Key Points – Recognising bereavement is for life

  • There is no time limit on grief and a bereaved pupil will continue to grieve for life.
  • As pupils grow up, their understanding matures and they will have questions about the death and the person who died.
  • Sharing bereavement information with subsequent teachers and schools is important.
  • Consider school activities or areas of the curriculum which may make a bereaved pupil feel vulnerable – try to prepare them in advance, where possible.
  • Check how they are managing their grief and review strategies.
  • Be aware that the pupil may try to ‘mask’ their feelings.

Reflective practice – Managing grief

How would you respond? What do you think these pupils need? What strategies could be put in place?

  • A pupil unexpectedly bursts into tears during your lesson.
  • A pupil tells you that their dad died a year ago today.
  • A pupil kicks a chair over and punches the table.