If you are supporting a bereaved pupil you may find it helpful to talk with us.
Bereaved children and young people tell us what a difference it makes if they feel supported by school staff after the death of someone they love. Every pupil will grieve in their own unique way and the way they react and the support they need will differ.
We can't always 'get it right' but it can help to think through what is going on for your pupil and how you can put things in place to help them feel supported. It is important to remember that young people may revisit grief as they develop, even years after a death. It is really helpful to know about any bereavements that your pupils have experienced to allow greater sensitivity in teaching and pastoral support. This particularly applies when children bereaved in primary school move to their secondary school who may not know what has happened.
In this initial conversation we might discuss the importance of:
- Acknowledging the death with the parent/carer and student – simple, genuine expressions of sympathy to the family, plus reassurances of support for the pupil in school, are often hugely appreciated.
- Communicating news about the death to other staff and students.
- Identifying what support is needed to help the student manage in school.
- Being prepared to listen if the student wants to talk.
- Awareness of how the news affects others – being sensitive to the impact of the death on other students and members of staff.
- Looking out for changes in behaviour or attitude to work and relationships with friends that could indicate the need for more support.
- Would a school visit be helpful?