Back to school

So much has happened over the last few months and lots of children and young people have spent extended periods of time at home, not been able to go out and been home schooled. Now they are returning back to school and so they probably have lots of thoughts going through their heads about what to expect.

Our Child Bereavement Support Workers here at Nelson’s Journey have a few tips for any bereaved child or young person going back to school:

Fiona’s Tip: “You won’t be the only person who will be worried about going back to school. It is okay to talk to your friends and tell them the things you are worried about”.

Duncan’s Tip: “If you need to know some information or are worried about anything at all, then make sure you speak to an adult in school who you trust. They will want to help you.”

Adam’s Tip: “If you have experienced a bereavement recently, then you may be worried about what to tell people or what help you might need in school. Plan for this by writing down the bits of your story that you are happy to share with others (e.g. friends, teachers) and also a list of things you feel may help you in school. Share this with a member of school staff and talk through how they can help you”.

Lisa’s Tip: “Before you go back to school, talk to your parent/carer and explain the things that you’ve been thinking about that worry you. Write them down on a piece of paper. After your first day back at school, look at the list again with your parent/carer and talk about how things went for you. Sometimes we just need to try something different before we realise that it is okay and that we didn’t need to worry about it so much.”

Amy’s Tip: “If you are allowed to, put something small from home in your pocket like a button, photo or something similar. If you are feeling worried during the school day (and miss being at home) you can touch your pocket or hold the object for a short time to make you feel better and remind yourself that people care for you.”.

If you are an adult supporting a bereaved child on their return to school, then make sure the staff know if your child has any concerns or worries. This is really important if your child has experienced a bereavement recently, as the school staff may not know. If your child is starting at a new school then please be extra patient as they get to learn their way around a new environment. Remember, if your child needs extra support then please ask for it as the staff will want to make sure that help is put in place.

Children and young people may find it difficult to cope with their return to school, as it will feel so different for a while, but with extra adult support they will soon get back into a routine.