Listening With Open Ears - Conversations Around Grief & Emotional Loss 

We all deal with loss at some point in our lives, whether that’s losing a parent, a grandparent, divorce, a pet, or a favourite pencil. Children also experience a sense of loss when they change classes and teachers, move to a new house, or fall out with their friends. 
The Open Ears Programme has been designed to equip children with coping strategies and the right tools to deal with loss, learned in a fun, yet informative way through a series of weekly activities spread out over the year. 
 
Open Ears gives children the means to deal with losses of any kind and help their emotional development and well-being. 
"Thanks Grief UK - love these tools and ideas! So comprehensive, all the hard work has been done for me for the entire year! New PSHE curriculum sorted!" 
Sara, RE Teacher, West Midlands 
The Open Ears Programme has been designed to help children learn how to listen to their emotions, what to do with them, and how to listen and help others. 
 
Children will also gain plenty of other skills too, such as self-awareness, taking responsibility, being a good friend, and learning how to listen. 
 
The Open Ears Programme is a user-friendly year-long PSHE curriculum to develop life-long skills to cope with bereavement, grief and loss, incorporating feelings and emotional wellbeing, developing healthy relationships, and resilience into learning. 
 
All the hard work has been done for you in our ready-made Open Ears Programme, which meets many of the objectives found in the new PSHE Curriculum guidelines (September 2020), and includes worksheets, lesson plans, assemblies, and circle times. 
 

Designed to Fit With the New PSHE Guidelines 

All the hard work has been done for you with the Open Ears Programme, as it meets many of the objectives found in the PSHE Curriculum guidelines (September 2020), and includes: 
 
23 worksheets 
36 lesson plans 
6 assemblies 
6 circle times 
24 posters 
1100 stickers 
30 Open Ears Passports 
30 Completion Certificates 
 
The intention is for you to follow one value per half term and carry out one corresponding activity per week. 
The values are in an order, so that skills can be accumulated along the way: 
 
Be Present – learning to be in the moment and listen to ourselves and others 
Empathy – understanding others and why they might feel the way they feel 
Community – creating a sense of belonging 
Encouragement – learning how to support each other 
Self-Awareness – reflecting on their own behaviour and actions 
Responsibility – taking control of their actions and emotions 
 
 

Who's Behind Open Ears? 

The Open Ears Programme has been designed by Grief UK, who brought together a development team comprising of: 
 
Teachers 
Psychotherapists 
Grief Recovery Specialists 
Relationship Coaches 
Forest School Practitioners 
Parent Governors 
 
The Open Ears suite of tools has been developed based on Grief UK’s ACEs-informed programme, Helping Children with Loss.  
 
The name 'Open Ears' is an acronym we use to describe how to have a conversation with someone who is grieving: 
 
Open with how you’re feeling 
Patiently wait for their response 
Establish a tone of trust and safety 
Note that grief is emotional, not intellectual 
Each reaction is normal and natural 
Avoid phrases that discourage painful feelings 
Remember, listen with your heart, not your head 
Summarise by acknowledging their feelings 
 

About Grief UK 

Grief Recovery UK is an education and training organisation that teaches The Grief Recovery Method, the only evidence-based* grief programme globally that helps people to learn how to move beyond death, divorce, and other losses.  
 
We can train up to eight people at once to help children to deal with loss online or in person. 
 
In addition to the Open Ears Programme, we have created a number of free resources here to encourage coaching conversations around emotional well-being. 
 
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