A school visit may be with an individual teacher or learning mentor who is providing individual support for a grieving pupil or with a group of staff who have been affected by the death of a member of the school community. It is a chance to share concerns, talk about how grief might affect students and develop strategies to support them over time. When a school has been affected by a sudden death of a pupil we will be able to visit the school promptly and will be available by phone on the day of the event.
The Rapid Response Team from the John Radcliffe Hospital meets within 48 hours of a death of a young person to consider the wider bereavement support needs around the death. SeeSaw is called upon by this team and as a result, we often visit the school to offer support to the Headteacher and school staff.
School visits will allow staff to consider the importance of:
- Watching and listening for any changes in behaviour that may indicate that the student is beginning to struggle.
- Being aware of any academic or social changes that may cause concern.
- Checking on any unusual absences.
- Watching out for children revisiting their grief over time – this can happen years after the event, especially if the death happens when the student was very young and the implications of the loss are not realised and understood until much later.
- ‘Touching base’ with the student and the family regularly – this way you will be aware of any difficulties or changes that are happening to the wider family and the impact this may have on your pupil.
- Keeping routines and boundaries in place.
Support for staff
We understand that supporting a grieving student can be very stressful. We know that to be of help and support to others, staff need to take care of themselves. This is not an indulgence – it is a necessity!
SeeSaw offers school staff the opportunity to talk through what impact this has on their own emotional wellbeing and to identify the strengths and support networks that sustain them.
Schools information pack – ‘Supporting bereaved pupils in schools’.