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Appendix: sample letter to parents and caregivers

Dear (names of parents or caregivers)

Health Education – Change, Loss, and Grief

You may remember that during the consultation for the health education programme, learning about change, loss, and grief was identified as a need for all students at our school.

Over the next few weeks, our class will be working on this health theme. The aims of the unit are to help students to:

  • understand that change is part of life and that it has the potential for loss as well as gain
  • understand that grief is a response to loss and is a normal part of life
  • understand the feelings associated with grief and realise that these feelings are a healthy response to it
  • become aware of their needs and the needs of others at times of loss and learn how they can best meet those needs.

Children face many losses in their lives – when a favourite toy is broken or lost; when they start or change schools, leaving friends and familiar teachers behind; or perhaps when there is divorce or a death in the family. The response to loss in our lives is called grief, and children feel it as much as adults do, though they may not show it in the same ways.

As part of the programme, your child will have the opportunity to look at some feelings of grief in his or her life, and so feelings of sadness or anger may arise. This is a normal response, and I encourage you to discuss these feelings with your child. If you are concerned about your child’s response or believe that your child may be upset about a special loss that I should be aware of, please contact me.

Effective communications between us will help your child’s learning by providing an environment that is supportive and understanding. Therefore, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this programme, please contact me at the school.
Yours sincerely


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