Bereavement: Resources to help teachers support pupils

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Image: Adobe Stock

One in 29 pupils aged five to 16 have been bereaved of a parent or sibling – equating to at least one child in every average class.

Charity Barnardo’s has published new resources for teachers to help them support children who are coping with bereavement.

The figure above is from before the Covid-19 pandemic. It is feared that many more children will now be affected by bereavement given that more than 165,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the UK.

Furthermore, Black people and men of Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage are almost twice as likely to die from Covid-19 as White people, meaning children from these communities are more likely to experience loss.

The free resources about grief are available on the Barnardo’s Education Community website. They include an introductory worksheet which explores what grief is and a volcano-making activity that focuses on how grief impacts us. They also include some suggestions and advice about how to cope and who children can talk to when going back to school after someone special has died.

Also in the resources are coping techniques for children to use when times are difficult, as well as exercises to help ground children and regulate their breathing.

The resources were launched to coincide with this year’s Children’s Grief Awareness Week (November 18 to 24).

Barnardo’s Interim Co-CEO Michelle Lee-Izu said: "Children have suffered a huge amount of loss in the last year. For most this has meant missing out on school and playing with their friends, but for too many children it has meant the loss of parents, grandparents and members of their family or community.

“I hope that teachers who are discussing the issue of grief with their pupils during Children’s Grief Awareness Week will find our tips and resources useful – and that they will be used to assist schools and colleges to support children who are struggling in the future.”


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