Teaching about death and bereavement

Updated: 16/11/16

Loss and bereavement are an inevitable part of our lives, and it is important to prepare children and young people for this experience.

We can teach this pro-actively, as well as allow natural discussion about death as it arises in everyday life. We can encourage children to see death as part of the natural life cycle.

Children and young people say that they want to learn about it -yet we are not teaching them some valuable skills to help them deal with the most certain experience.

A questionnaire with about 100 high school students revealed:

97.6% thought that death and bereavement should be taught in school

(3.4% in EY, 25.4% in Primary, 86.4% in high school)

76.3% said they know nothing or a little bit about bereavement

93% experienced the death of a pet

56% experienced the death of a grandparent

7% the death of a parent

4 % the death of a sibling

26% the death of a aunt/uncle/cousin

9% the death of a friend

37% the death of someone else

54% had attended a funeral

61% felt confident in supporting a bereaved friend

91% wanted to learn about how they can support a bereaved friend

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