Understanding death and grief

"Establish their starting point, so you can meet them where they are."

Children’s understanding of death develops over time. This depends on their biological age, their cognitive ability, their personal experiences of bereavement and how openly death has been discussed with them. Consider their communication needs and what additional strategies may be required.

It is important to establish what a pupil understands about death and grief and to work with them at their level of understanding. By embedding the topics of death and grief into the curriculum, pupils will have an opportunity to learn about death in a safe environment and staff can have a clearer understanding of what a pupil knows and understands.

For some pupils, there may be a significant delay in what they understand about death.

Further links:

Children's understanding of death at different ages

How does a pupil’s age and stage of development affect their understanding of death?