A very useful resource has just been published on the Scottish Grief and Bereavement Hub in their Child Bereavement Special Interest Group page.
This is an index of research articles which have been grouped under the different headings in GIRFEC. It was produced for Scotland by the Childhood Bereavement Network and is available by clicking here
As part of the Perth & Kinross Schools’ Bereavement Project funded by Choose Life Scotland a teacher was seconded to improve and strategically extend provision of quality information, guidance and support to children, families and staff in Perth and Kinross primary schools about change, loss and bereavement.
The notes below explain the aims and rationale of this project. it is hoped to be able to post a series of power point preentations on this site once copyright has been clarified on some of the pictures used.
Click here for an example of a lesson plan for Primary 5 pupils.
Click here for the link to the full teaching materials on GLOW - the intranet for teachers.
This project offered a model of resourcing, encouraging and empowering staff and enabling pupils to explore the area of loss and their responses to it, with a view to developing knowledge and skills that they can use when faced with future loss experiences thus building resilience.
Loss and bereavement is a very sensitive area and one that many adults are not comfortable discussing with children. The project was aimed at all children and was intended to offer a safe and supportive environment to consider loss and bereavement in various ways including stories, music, artwork, role play and discussion at the appropriate level for each child. The work was based on the health and wellbeing section of the Curriculum for Excellence which aims to develop the knowledge, understanding, skills, capabilities and attributes necessary for mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing now and in the future. The specific outcomes targeted by this project are:-
- I know that people experience a number of circumstances in life, such as transitions or bereavement, which can be challenging and upsetting.
- I understand that there are people I can talk to and that there are a number of choices I can make to access practical and emotional support to help me or others in such circumstances. (http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/curriculumforexcellence/outcomes/healthandwellbeing/index.asp)
The teacher worked in partnership with schools to provide an integrated, whole school approach to issues of loss and bereavement such as
‘Individuals within the school environment may be experiencing particular emotional difficulties, but a whole school response generates benefits for everyone, by providing a supportive context for targeted actions.’ The Mental Health of Children and Young People: A Framework for Promotion, Prevention and Care, (2005)
Information was provided for schools to share with parents before the sessions to encourage them to consider issues of loss and bereavement in relation to their child. Hopefully this facilitated discussion of these difficult issues within families. Training and information was also provided for school staff and parents (separately) to enable them to offer additional support to children who have suffered significant loss. This incorporated some of the resources in their Bereavement Boxes and contact details of other agencies.
Follow up activities were provided, including suggestions for assemblies, enabling the school to embed support for loss and bereavement in their policies, practices and procedures.