CHILDREN have been using poetry to help make sense of the coronavirus pandemic.

Blackburn’s St Matthew’s Church of England Primary School, which closed its doors on Friday, encouraged pupils to talk about their feelings regarding the unprecedented circumstances in order to help them deal with worries.

Lower Key Stage 2 leader Fozia Sajjad found that one of the best ways of doing this was to encourage the children to write poetry.

Speaking about the anxiety felt in many households she said: “Children feel that, they know what’s going on.

"They hear their parents talking, so they’re aware and so we had to reassure them.”

She added: “We thought about how we could send a positive message to the people of Blackburn so we decided on poetry.

“Each poem conveys a positive message of faith, endurance and resilience and it is asking the people of Blackburn to adhere to them: stop panic buying, look after the elderly, keep washing and have faith in God.”

Many of the poems aim to convey messages about how to cope with the crisis.

Expressing her feelings through poetry, year 3 pupil Safa Shahid wrote: “The school is closing, my heart is breaking. I will miss you, I love you.”

Allowing the pupils to express their feelings about what has been happening has also been vital to their wellbeing as they now face an extended period of time away from school.

This will prove to be a difficult time for parents as well, staff said.

Mrs Sajjad said: “All I can advise parents to do is engage your child in conversation about daily life, reassure them that everything will be OK, and it will be.

"People should use this time to reconnect with your little treasures like never before.

“And always remember, anytime your child is facing something difficult or has any sort of feeling, talk about it.”

St Matthew’s, along with all schools in the UK will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Mrs Sajjad said: “We just want to reassure people that there will be light at the end of the tunnel, we don’t know how long that tunnel will be but we will get through it.”