A DEATH ASSOCIATED WITH THE SCHOOL COMMUNITY
by Gordon and Ronni Lamont
Suitable for Whole School
Aims To create space for
bereavement. To aid the process of mourning. To offer a pathway through a difficult
Preparation and materials
- This assembly is intended to form
part of the grieving process and assumes that the initial news and perhaps shock
have had time to sink in. It is suggested that the leader takes time for him/herself
before the assembly.
- You will need a copy of Water
Bugs and Dragonflies by Doris Stickney (Mowbray, ISBN 0 264 66904 5) either
to read out in the assembly or to be read to individual classes prior to the assembly.
- Prior to the assembly, issue an
invitation to the children to bring something in to remember the individual by,
an object (perhaps a favourite library book?), a poem, a memory. Place these in
a special area of the hall before the assembly.
1. Give a brief explanation of
the purpose of assembly: to remember the person, and to offer practical instructions
and suggestions (a special place to go and be quiet, a book of remembrance, things
to read and look at, the presence of a counsellor/chaplain in school).
2. Allow for a short time of silence
for the childrens own memories (not too long, to avoid over-emotional responses).
Then play some music, perhaps person's favourite (but not a mournful piece). Invite
the children to look at the objects in the remembrance area.
3. Explain what resources are available
in the school to help them to come to terms with the death: a counsellor/chaplain,
a quiet space, a book of remembrance, etc.
4. Read the story, Water Bugs
and Dragonflies by Doris Stickney. This short story is about how the water
bugs mourn the loss of their friends when they transform into dragonflies. It
can be read as part of the assembly, or talked about if class teachers have already
read it to classes.
Song No individual song is suggested for this assembly, as the circumstances
will be so specific. It might be appropriate to sing a song associated with the
person being mourned, play more of their favourite music, or perhaps leave the
hall in silence.