This week has been overshadowed by the tragic deaths of a 7 year old and his mum at Aberdeen beach at the weekend.  Two of the family members are pupils at our school and our thoughts and respects are with the family at this desperately sad time.  We have indicated to any pupils who have been affected by this tragedy to seek support from their families, their Guidance teachers or senior staff at the school.  We have access to a wider support network in situations such as this.  Over the next while we will work in conjunction with the family and the Primary school which has been affected to both show our respects to those who have died and to show on-going support to those affected.  In times of trauma and uncertainty the routines, structures and established relationships of a school can offer a degree of stability and support to those who most need it.  As I say our thoughts and respects are with those most affected by this tragedy and also to any others who have experienced loss or trauma in the recent past.

For a long time loss/bereavement was something of a taboo subject to discuss openly and it is only in the more recent past that schools have addressed it.  We pick it up as a topic in both Personal Social Education (PSE) and in Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies (RMPS).   In addition, we try to pick it up at assemblies in November (around the time of remembrance) and in Spring (when we can discuss it in terms of growth).  We also run sessions called ‘seasons for growth’ which help people who have suffered loss/trauma to talk through feelings in a supportive way.

Whilst much of our time/effort promotes the positive side of things we also have to prepare people for days of defeat, disappointment, doubt and despair.  It is in those days when our character and our community are tested most.