Monday June 22nd 2020

A one day child bereavement, grief & loss training course for anyone who works with children.

This course will provide you with the tools you need to support children with the issues of bereavement, grief & loss. 

  • Where - South Petherton, Somerset TA13 5BS
  • Cost - £95 per person, early bird price £75 booked before 30/4/20 

BackPocketTeacher Services & Feedback

Services provided by Sarah Helton of BackPocketTeacher

  • specialist training and advice on how to  support individuals with SEND with the issues of bereavement and grief
  • support and guidance for schools after the death of a member of the school community
  • developing bereavement and grief policies and procedures with schools
  • writing articles about bereavement and grief
  • speaker for conferences and training days
  • advocate and campaigner for the needs of all bereaved children - we all grieve

This list gives you an idea of what BackPocketTeacher can provide, but is in no way exhaustive.

Please contact BackPocketTeacher via the Contact Page with any requests. 

Feedback for We All Grieve

I have just received through the post a copy of 'supporting bereaved children who have SEND'  and it is exactly the resource I have been hoping for for years - a huge thank you! The work that has gone into it is apparent.

As a special school supporting children and young people who have a range of needs, we have suffered the devastating loss of several of our much-loved pupils over the past few years, so all of our pupils have experienced  this loss. We work really hard to support them and our families and  have had a whole school day focused on managing bereavement but this  resource is going to be so, so helpful for the future.

Just wanted to say thank you. I will be ordering more copies to be able to pass on to families  and will share the information on our newsletter.


Feedback from Churchill Fellowship 2018/19


Lisa Athan - Grief Speaks, New Jersey

What a wonderful time we had together. Was like a miracle how everything came together. Made my week. What a great world we live in with so many wonderful people. You do incredible work. So in awe. 


Judi Alfano - Lakeview School, New Jersey

I cannot thank you enough for introducing me to Sarah and bringing her to Lakeview School.  Sarah, what an amazing afternoon I had.  I felt like we had worked in the same school but at different times.  Our schools are so parallel - both with the same beautiful students, dedicated staff and hopes and dreams for the future.  I am still in awe with all that your staff do and the responsibilities they have. I cannot wait to share all of this with our teachers.  Lakeview School has ordered your books, and my own copy arrive on Friday.  I feel so blessed to own a book written by such a wonderful, spirited person.  You truly captured Lakeview - and more - in your writing Sarah.  I will happily share this with our staff.  I am humbled by your words Sarah.

Maureen Patterson - Good Grief Program, Boston Medical Centre

It was so lovely to meet with you have gain an international perspective on how different countries are integrating grief and loss themes into classroom environments. It both highlights some of the work that we are doing right and illuminates the many new avenues that we can continue to forge! Thank you for the resources you shared with me - I have already been thinking about how to incorporate these bereavement response plans into the collaborative work that I do with schools. All the best to you on your continued travels and what comes next!

Amanda Arnst - Teacher, Cotting School, Massachusetts

Thank you so much for today! It was amazing to have you visit us! You will never know how much that it meant to me, and I know my co-workers really took a lot away from it! I cannot wait to see where you work takes you! So much appreciation!!

Today was one of the best days of my entire career! There are those amazing people who just get it. Sarah Helton thank you for the unbelievable work you do. Here is to hopefully working together in the future.

Dr. Pam Varrin - Family Support Coordinator, Cotting School, Massachusetts

What a pleasure it was to connect with a true kindred spirit. We would have loved for you to stay longer, and hope we can work that out sometime in the future.

Jarle Eid - University of Bergen

Your work is pioneering & I hope we can find an opportunity to invite you back to the university & clinic perhaps some time early next year when we could plan for a workshop for clinical psychologists and researchers here in Bergen.

Martin Lytje - Danish Cancer Society

We very much enjoyed having you here & you got some glowing feedback from the people you talked to. We are all sure that you have a glowing future ahead of you within this area and look forward to following it.

Anne-Marie Keis - Social Worker, Lolland Kommune, Denmark

Thank you for giving us inspiration, acknowledgement & enthusiasm. It was a great pleasure spending time with you.

Anne Brandt Olsen - Social Worker, Lolland Kommune, Denmark

Thank you to you too, so nice to meet a person so dedicated to help the children. Looking forward to seeing your report & to see you again.


Training Testimonials


July 11th 2018 - Bereavement & Grief Training Day in Honiton, Devon. 

"I found the training so helpful and thought provoking. It was great to share thoughts and ideas with colleagues from a mixture of settings too". Amy Ley, Advocacy Lead, Ellen Tinkham School 

April 27th 2018 - Bereavement & Grief, How to support children with difficult times for Somerset Partnership Teaching School, Yeovil

"Thank you, it was ACE!"

April 20th 2018 - SEND bereavement and loss, Grittleton Wiltshire

"Thank you to @BackPocketTeach for a sensitive and reassuring day focusing on loss and bereavement. We had lots to talk about in the car on the way home". @JPGearingSEN 

February 26th 2018 -  Creative approaches to support children with difficult times, South Petherton Somerset

"Thank you for yesterday. I feel so much more confident now with dealing with a bereavement, and transferring the knowledge across to other losses experienced by others. The crafting activities have left me buzzing to get going!" - Tess Cozens, LSA Minehead Middle School

"I just wanted to say what a fantastic day it was yesterday. I have got lots of ideas, resources etc. I thought the discussion was good and it was reassuring to hear that we are doing a lot of the activities that you suggested for good practice". - Adrian Jones, Deputy Head Teacher/SENCO

February 7th 2018 - SEND Bereavement & Loss Training at Plymouth Marjon University 

"I thought your session was excellent. It was crammed with useful, practical information that is obviously based on years of reflection. Your delivery was paced to the group needs and the interaction was respectful, focussed and I felt really useful".

November 2017 to January 2018 Teaching Alliance of Dorset Special Schools - 3 afternoon sessions on bereavement & grief

"Thank you for tackling such a sensitive subject with such knowledge and empathy. Its been useful in so many ways".

"A fantastic training opportunity. Many thanks".

"Very valuable three sessions.
Very well presented and communicated".

"Thank you Sarah for the great training you have given".

"Thank you, you brought a very hard subject of Death to Life".

"Excellent and excellent resources".

"Really interesting and informative course - enjoyed the discussions we had".

"Excellent course - morbid subject but sensitively and lightly covered".

January 8th 2018 - SEND Bereavement & Loss Training at Ash Field Academy - Leicester

"How to best support your SEND school community in moments of bereavement, grief and loss? Sarah has delivered this highly insightful, helpful and practical training at Ash Field Academy and I can highly recommend her work". Ellen Croft, Teacher 

​​​​​Feedback from SEND Bereavement & Loss Training Day - October 20th 2017

"Your training was fantastic and others' experiences were truly humbling. I feel very empowered to return to school with a mission to get bereavement addressed and a policy put in place". Vicki Leigh, Complex Needs Teacher - Farringdon Centre

"Thanks so much, a great course. I have been using the resources already - especially the chart about what children understand about death at different ages". Kay Cutting, teacher - Watergate School

October 5th 2017​ - Managing Difficult Times Training Session at New Fosseway School, Bristol

"Thank you once again for your training.  It was also lovely to hear your story Remembering Lucy". Joanne Robertson - Assistant Head Teacher

"Thank you very much for the notes from the powerpoint. I always find your training sessions so useful and so nicely delivered". Claire Sherman - Teacher

Older testimonials

September 4th 2017 - SEND Bereavement & Loss Training Session Victoria School, Poole

"Many thanks for providing such valuable training which the staff found to be both challenging but very informative and beneficial. We will be looking to maintain links with you so that we can utilise you further in the future. Once again many, many thanks". Linsey Tilbury - Training Services Coordinator & Hub Administrator

June 27th 2017 - SEND Bereavement & Loss Training​ Session at Horizons, Victoria Education Centre, Poole 

"Thank you for delivering a very useful training session". Jayne Walters - Teacher

​​​​​Feedback from SEND Bereavement & Loss Training Day in South Petherton - April 27th 2017 

"I'd just like to take the opportunity to say a huge thank you for today. I've done many a course around bereavement - today was great! You really have a niche and should be proud of all you have achieved. It's a tough topic, but with dedication and passion people can be empowered to do their best with sad situations". Kirsty Tudor - Baytree Special School

"Thanks so much - I found the course reaffirming and so positive in light of the subject being discussed. I shall indeed be pre-ordering your books from Amazon (or another reputable book source!)" Kerry Hiscock - Culverhill Special School

"We cannot thank you enough for providing this valuable and much needed training". Sue Hewitt - Deputy Head, Culverhill School, Bristol​

"Brilliant grief and bereavement training day. We all need to be prepared so that the pupils get the support they deserve. Thank you, Sarah. A great day that was super useful". Kitty Eve (SENCO) - St Saviours Junior School

"Your course has given me a lot to think about. I want to do more!!" ​Debbie Packer - Larkrise Special School

"I really enjoyed the session last week, I found it very moving as well as helpful". Clare Mackavoy - Teaching Alliance of Dorset Special Schools

January 19th 2017

​ "Thank you for providing this important training". Sue Hewitt - Deputy Head, Culverhill School, Bristol

New Fosseway School, Bristol - January 17th 2017  'Supporting Pupils With Bereavement' training 

​"Thank you Sarah! Great session".

Delegates at SEN South West, TeachMeet - July 15th 2016 

Presentation - Is your school equipped to support children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities with bereavement and loss? 

"Great talk. I'll be going back to school and asking what policies and procedures we have in place".

"Thank you for a very interesting and thought provoking presentation". 

Joanne Robertson - Assistant Head Teacher, New Fosseway School, Bristol - June 30th 2016

"Thank you so much for the training I have already had people saying how good it was and asking for the next one".



Jill Owen - Head Teacher, Montacute School, Poole, Dorset 

I have been lucky enough to work closely with Sarah for several years. She is a lovely, creative, sensitive person to work with. She always has the children at the heart of her thinking. I have seen her enthusiasm, positivity and care sparkle through to those around her on even the toughest of days. I cannot think of anyone better equipped to tackle this hugely important and immensely challenging area of our work.

I worked with Jill for 7 years at St Nicholas School, Chippenham, Wiltshire (an all age SLD/PMLD school). Jill was the Head Teacher and I was a teacher and then Assistant Head Teacher.

Sue Flavin - Deputy Head Teacher, St Nicholas School, Chippenham, Wiltshire 

Sarah really knows what she is talking about! I have worked for several years with Sarah on the Leadership Team of a very special school, and I can honestly say she is one of the best teachers I have ever known. She understands the abilities and the needs of the pupils, parents, staff and the whole school community. Sarah has a vast wealth of experience, and she is gifted when sharing her expertise with others.


Like many special schools, our school has dealt with the sad death of pupils, and also with pupil with life-limiting conditions. Sarah has first-hand experience of working with pupils with extremely complex needs, supporting them gently and sensitively to come to terms with their loss.

I worked with Sue for 7 years at St Nicholas School, Chippenham, Wiltshire (an all age SLD/PMLD school). Sue was the Assistant Head Teacher and later Deputy Head. I was a teacher and then Assistant Head Teacher.

Syb Rookwood - Deputy Head & SENCO at Minehead First School, Somerset

I had the pleasure of working with Sarah shortly after she started her teaching career. Even as a newly qualified teacher, her talents shone out and she quickly established herself  as a highly skilled and compassionate professional. She inspired not only the children in her care, but also her colleagues. Sarah led by example and quickly developed an inclusive culture at the school.

Long after she moved on to pastures new her influence was still felt at school and her legacy continues to this day. She is a truly inspirational educator, one who will always give up her time to help, support and advise others - always in a gentle and encouraging way.

Sarah has taught across a wide range of settings and has been employed in a variety of senior roles. However, her greatest attribute is the friendship that she offers to children and their families, whatever their circumstances. They willingly put their trust in her, secure in the knowledge that she will always put the needs of the children first and that she will work tirelessly to ensure that they get the very best chances in life.

I worked with Syb for 3 and a half years at Minehead First School. I was the teacher in charge of the school’s SEN Resource Base. 

Mrs AnnMarie Wyncoll - Parent

Sarah is one of the most inspirational people that I have ever met. When my son started school at the tender age of four, Sarah was his first teacher. To initially accept that your child needs to attend a specialist educational establishment is really tough and Sarah was, for us, a life saver during that time. We knew that we could trust her to support our son and give him the care and assistance that he needed; her enthusiasm and dedication to her work was unwavering. We felt safe knowing that our son was in Sarah’s capable hands and we are only sorry that he was not able to spend longer in her class. Sarah genuinely cares about her work and the children that she supports and we will be forever grateful for the reassurance that she gave us during a difficult time.

I had the pleasure of teaching Mrs Wyncoll's son at St Nicholas School, Chippenham, Wiltshire.Long after she moved on to pastures new her influence was still felt at school and her legacy continues to this day. She is a truly inspirational educator, one who will always give up her time to help, support and advise others - always in a gentle and encouraging way.

Sarah has taught across a wide range of settings and has been employed in a variety of senior roles. However, her greatest attribute is the friendship that she offers to children and their families, whatever their circumstances. They willingly put their trust in her, secure in the knowledge that she will always put the needs of the children first and that she will work tirelessly to ensure that they get the very best chances in life.

Kitty Eve - SENCO Chandag Junior School, Keynsham, Bristol 

Sarah understands what it is like when death affects her classroom. Both the emotional trauma for the staff who have built up powerful relationships with the pupil and the sadness that the pupils feel for the loss of their friends. She has seen first hand what it can be like for children who do not have the communication tools to express themselves which is why she decided to write her book and help others to understand how to help the grief process for children with Special  Educational Needs. Her wealth of experience as a class teacher and school leader means that her training will be thorough and will facilitate the mourning process in a sensitive and appropriate way. 

I provided Kitty and Chandag Junior School with SEND Outreach Support.    

Suzanne Askham - Governor, St Nicholas School, Chippenham, Wiltshire 

In my role as a governor, I worked with Sarah on a range of issues at St Nicholas School. I always looked forward to our meetings. She was, and is, a breath of fresh air, able to bring understanding, empathy, practical solutions and positivity to a wide range of challenges. Sarah has always been brilliant at promoting inclusion for children with special needs; and also at understanding how to get specialist knowledge out to a wider audience, for the benefit of children who are not always well understood. Sarah has enthusiasm and a natural creativity that enables her to come up with original, workable solutions. I loved the button necklaces she made with her pupils, and wore with inimitable style!