Grief encounter

30th March 2007 at 01:00
Who went?

Gill Rice, PSHE co-ordinator at Queen's Croft School in Lichfield, Staffordshire.

What was it?

Managing Bereavement in School, run by Creative Education, which specialises in teacher-training courses.

What did it do?

It looked at how schools should react if one of their pupils dies. And how schools can help children following the death of a parent or family member.

Why go?

We had a number of children we felt had not properly come to terms with their feelings - and there can be a long waiting list for professional help. We want to be a caring school that actively supports its pupils.

Message, motto or mantra?

Grief is a natural response to death. It can even be healthy and healing.

Handouts or hands on?

Lots of discussion. We were quite a small group so there was time to deal with specific situations relating to each of our schools. One teacher had a terminally-ill child in her class and we looked at how she should handle that.

Something I liked There was advice on establishing a school policy on bereavement. If there is an accident on a school trip, for example, the situation will be enormously stressful. You need clear procedures in place.

Something I learned You cannot impose your own values. There is no right or wrong way to react to death and you have to allow for cultural differences.

Has it made a difference?

We have written a policy document and briefed all staff. We also set up a weekly counselling session for pupils who want to talk.

The verdict?

It is hard to believe a course about bereavement could be fun - but it was

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now