Pupil reactions

"Reassure them that all their reactions are valid"

Be prepared that emotional reactions take all forms and pupils may react in a variety of ways. Many people use humour as a tool to cope with difficult situations, and while this may be a coping strategy for some, it may feel disrespectful to others. Consider introducing a discussion about what are seen as ‘acceptable’ ways of responding to death and grief.

It is important to recognise all feelings and let pupils know that all reactions are valid, however unsettling they might feel. Some pupils may not be able to moderate their emotions, so reactions such as becoming tearful, angry, quiet, ‘silly’ or bursting out in fits of laughter need to be managed carefully. Remind all pupils the importance of showing respect for the feelings of others, whatever they may be, and reassure those who may be feeling anxious about any reactions they have displayed.