Today in collective worship, we will be gathering to remember Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. All of our teachers are prepared to answer children’s questions, in an age appropriate way.
In collective worship, there will be a twin emphasis both on sadness at the death of the Queen and also thankfulness for her long life and reign. Marking 70 years of reign this year she became the longest serving monarch. We will mention that the Queen had a really important job earlier this week, as it is the monarch who asks a party leader to be their Prime Minister, and the Queen made a point of doing this final duty.
Any such event will possibly engender conversations in the classroom. Here are some pointers that have been shared with staff but I thought maybe useful for parents too.
Children will want to talk – and they can be asked both to share what they know about the Queen and also any talk about the day of her death and how they heard the news. We will bear in mind there may have been sadness in homes at this time they will want to relate.
We use the terms ‘death’ and ‘died’ and avoid euphemisms.
We are mindful of those particularly affected, allow children to say what they want and need to say and listen carefully.
Staff should feel totally free from any pressure to offer any answers to questions around ‘death’ and ‘dying’, it is ok to not have the answers.
We will make it clear that being sad is natural, as is not knowing what to feel or say.
Here is a prayer that will be offered for children:
God of love,
We thank you for the life of The Queen,
for her service to our nation,
and for her faith in you.
Be close to all of us who mourn,
that we may we find comfort and hope in your love,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
An online Book of Condolence has been started – we will be explaining that this is a way in which the Church has arranged for everyone to write a note of sadness or thoughts for King Charles.
At school, we have lots of books that explore death in an age appropriate way. If you wish to borrow one of these books, then please let me know.