We acknowledge that our children are likely to experience a significant life change like separation, bereavement, loss and sadness during their childhood. Each child will react differently to these experiences, they will feel a range of emotions and there is no right or wrong way to grieve or cope with sadness.
At St Paul’s Catholic Primary School, V.A., we create a safe, caring and secure environment in which all children can express, and be supported in their feelings. Being educated through our core values of Faith, Hope and Love, our children learn the importance of kindness, respect and healthy, supportive relationships. In addition to our catholic ethos, we also specifically address the issue of bereavement and loss through our RE and PSHE curriculum at an age appropriate level.
However, there will be times where our children will need additional support to this, and below are some of the ways we can help our children work through these difficult periods of time:
· We have a dedicated area in our library with books and information leaflets relating to separation, bereavement and loss.
· We can offer 1:1 time with Mrs Turner, our Nurture trained member of staff, who is experienced in supporting children with emotional literacy.
· We run weekly nurture groups in school where children can work in a small group to explore self-esteem, confidence and emotions.
· We can lead lunchtime clubs for children who are finding the lunch break a bit too long or would just prefer some quiet time.
· We can access specialised support through the ARM Cluster, who offer 1:1 pupil counselling, family support and parenting advice and support.
· We can work through resources provided by charities and organisations who specialise in childhood bereavement e.g. Winston’s Wish and OWLS.
· Our PSHE scheme of work ‘Mindmate’ addresses mental wellbeing for children, surrounding loss and bereavement, using a spiral curriculum, building on knowledge, skills and strategies yearly, throughout your child’s time at St Paul’s Catholic Primary School, V.A.
We would also like to signpost you to some websites that provide a range of information about services and support:
Young Minds: https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/for-parents/supporting-your-child-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/
Public Health England: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-parents-and-carers-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak
British Psychological Society: https://www.babcockldp.co.uk/babcock_l_d_p/Core-Downloads/Covid/Talking-to-children-about-Coronavirus-BPS-document.pdf
Leeds Teaching Hospitals: https://www.leedsth.nhs.uk/patients-visitors/patient-and-visitor-information/patient-experience/bereavement-services/bereavement-support/child-bereavement/
Child Bereavement UK: https://www.childbereavementuk.org/
CRUSE Bereavement Care: https://www.cruse.org.uk/get-help/local-services/yorkshire-and-humber/leeds/children-and-young-people
OWLS – Overcoming Bereavement, Worry and Loss: https://www.janetomlinsonappeal.com/our-work/owls-bereavement/
Winston’s Wish: https://www.winstonswish.org /
Catholic Children’s Society: https://www.cathchild.org.uk/rainbows-bereavment-support-programme/
Family Lives: https://www.familylives.org.uk/advice/divorce-and-separation/
Young Minds: https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/for-parents/parents-guide-to-support-a-z/parents-guide-to-support-divorce-or-separation/
All staff at St Paul’s Catholic Primary School VA are here to support your child and your family through any bereavement or life change so please inform us if your child has suffered any loss or sadness.
You can speak to your child’s class teacher, leave a message with Mrs Diaz in the office or speak to Miss McIntyre (PSHE lead), Mrs Gaffey (SENCO/Designated Safeguarding Lead), Mrs Mercer or Mr Bowker.