Bereavement and Loss

24th October 2016

‘1 in 7 children loose a parent or sibling by the time they are 20’.

Within a university lecture, we looked at how to deal with bereavement and loss within schools and the consequent impact that this may have on children’s progress. Unfortunately, this is an issue which is quite frequently faced by teachers and it is important that you know how to approach this sensitively and effectively. The statistic above really shocked me, this could mean that 2 or 3 children within a class may loose their parent or sibling at an early age! This made me realise the significance of being aware of how to deal with bereavement and this lecture was powerful in making me aware of appropriate strategies. It is important that teachers are aware of how to address issues regarding bereavement and understand how to appropriately support the child. This may be used to inform planning in order to suit their needs, for example if you are learning about fathers day but a child has recently lost their father then certain strategies may need to be put into place.

There are 4 stages of death…

  1. Accept the reality
  2. Experience the pain
  3. Adjust to the environment
  4. Relocate the loved one

As a teacher it is important to be aware of these stages so that you can support the child appropriately and understand the stage that they are in.

Activities to support children experiencing bereavement:

  • Memory boxes
  • Coloured sand jars
  • Balloon release
  • Memorial tree planting
  • Happy memories
  • Books are a fantastic way of exploring this (The Heart and the Bottle – Oliver Jeffers)



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