Death and bereavement on the school curriculum

Categories: Care and Featured.

Jamie’s dad passed away when he was just four, and now his family want to see bereavement lessons introduced in all schools in the UK.

Processing the death of a loved one is very difficult for all members of the family, particularly for the children who often do not have much experience or understanding of death and the processes surrounding it. This is made harder when the adults around them are uncomfortable talking about it and avoid or give vague and confusing answers to their questions.

In a short film recently released by the BBC, Jamie, who lost his dad to bowel cancer, describes how difficult it is to listen to his classmates moaning about their dads and saying they don’t want them there.

“For me that was really hard because all I ever want is a dad.”

Talking about death in the classroom

In the UK around one child in every classroom will have lost a parent or sibling. So some schools have started teaching children about death and bereavement.

Talking about what he has gained from the lessons, a young boy says, “You always have to be grateful for people that you loved and have died and a young girl adds, “It helps because you know that people are there for you and you can talk about it,” says another.

Giving her positive opinion on the lessons, the teacher says, “The more we talk about it to children they  grow up into be adults and find it more comfortable to talk to their children about it and hopefully we can break down some of the barriers that mean when it does inevitably happen to them they can cope with it much better and can support other people who are going through it as well.”

Watch the film below