Supporting a bereaved student in secondary school


This webpage provides practical guidance for school staff to help young people at secondary school following the death of someone close.

This resource provides guidance for school staff in supporting young people after a bereavement. This covers contact with home, young people’s understanding of death and what helps them to grieve. 

Using this resource

This resource is designed for:

  • School staff and Governors

Curriculum links

England - RSHE

Mental health and wellbeing

By the end of secondary school pupils should know:

• how to talk about their emotions accurately and sensitively, using appropriate vocabulary

• how to recognise the early signs of mental wellbeing concerns

Northern Ireland – Learning for Life and Work

Personal Health

KS3 pupils should have opportunity to:

• Investigate the influences on physical and emotional /mental personal health

• Develop understanding about, and strategies to manage, the effects of change on body, mind and behaviour

• Develop strategies to promote personal safety

Key Stage 4 pupils should be enabled to:

• reflect on, and respond to, their developing concept of self, including managing emotions and reactions to on-going life experiences

Scotland – Health and Wellbeing

Mental and emotional wellbeing

• I am aware of and able to express my feelings and am developing the ability to talk about them.

• I know that we all experience a variety of thoughts and emotions that affect how we feel and behave and I am learning ways of managing them.

• I understand that there are people I can talk to and that there are a number of ways in which I can gain access to practical and emotional support to help me and others in a range of circumstances.

• I understand that my feelings and reactions can change depending upon what is happening within and around me. This helps me to understand my own behaviour and the way others behave.

• I am learning skills and strategies which will support me in challenging times, particularly in relation to change and loss.

Wales - Health and Wellbeing

How we process and respond to our experiences affects our mental health and emotional wellbeing:

Progression step 3

• I can see the benefits of communicating about feelings as one of a range of strategies which can help promote positive mental health and emotional well-being.

• I can ask for help when I need it from people I trust.

Progression step 4: I can identify people and groups who can help me with my mental health and emotional well-being.

Progression step 5:

• I can contribute towards a culture where talking about mental health and emotional well-being is encouraged and normalised.

• I can identify when to seek help based on a good understanding of my mental health and emotional well-being. 

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