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Following the Christmas period students can return to school with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and eagerness to get back to learning, or, their behaviour can worsen, negatively impacting the school environment and dynamics.

Understanding the post-Christmas behaviour shift

After the excitement and indulgence of the holiday season, students may experience a post-holiday slump or adjustment period. This can manifest in various ways, including:

1. Reduced focus and motivation

The break from routine and the shift back to academic demands can lead to a decrease in focus and motivation, making it harder for students to concentrate and engage in schoolwork.

2. Increased social chatter and restlessness

The lively atmosphere of the holiday season may spill over into the classroom, leading to heightened social interaction and restlessness, making it challenging to maintain focus on lessons.

3. Potential resistance and defiance

The transition back to school routine after a period of freedom may trigger resistance or defiance in some students. They may question authority, challenge rules, or display disruptive behaviours.

Strategies to re-engage students and impact behaviour

1. Establish Clear Expectations and Routines

Re-establish clear expectations and routines for behaviour and academic engagement. Remind students of classroom rules and procedures, and ensure a consistent approach to discipline.

2. Remind Students of Academic Goals

Remind students of their academic goals and the progress they have made. Connect the upcoming school work to their long-term aspirations and encourage them to continue their learning journey.

3. Communicate with Parents and Guardians

Maintain open communication with parents and guardians regarding students’ behaviour and academic progress. This can help ensure a consistent approach to support and discipline.

4. Incorporate Positive Reinforcement

Acknowledge and reward positive behaviours throughout the day. This can reinforce desirable behaviours and encourage repetition.

5. Promote Physical Activity and Breaks

Provide opportunities for physical activity and breaks throughout the day. This can help students release energy, refocus, and return to their studies with renewed attention. It can also allow students to become comfortable again in the school environment.

Supporting those who cannot access mainstream

For some students, coming back after the Christmas period can create a sense of heightened anxiety resulting in increased reluctance to attend school. What can we do to support these students and help them overcome these barriers?

Could an online model help?

An online alternative provision, such as EDClass, can help students who refuse to attend school as they can learn from the comfort of their own homes with one-on-one support from UK-qualified teachers. Students can then gradually reintegrate into school with more confidence and a more positive attitude.

If you would like to learn more about EDClass call 01909 568338, send an email to or enquire for more information here. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!