At Picknalls First School, we are committed to supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff. We know that everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable and at times, anyone may need additional emotional support. We take the view that positive mental health is everybody’s business and that we all have a role to play.

At our school we:

  • help children to understand their emotions and feelings better                             
  • help children feel comfortable sharing any concerns or worries
  • help children socially to form and maintain relationships
  • promote self esteem and ensure children know that they count
  • encourage children to be confident and ‘dare to be different’
  • help children to develop emotional resilience and to manage setbacks 

We offer different levels of support:

Universal Support – To meet the needs of all our pupils  through our overall ethos and our wider curriculum. For instance developing resilience for all.

Additional support – For those who may have short term needs and those who may have been made vulnerable by life experiences such as bereavement.  

Targeted support –  For pupils who need more differentiated support and resources or specific targeted interventions such as wellbeing groups or personal mentors.

Lead staff members

Penny Plant:   Mental Health and Wellbeing First Aider
Sam Harris:SENDCo
Alan Curtis:Mental Health and Wellbeing Governor
Heidi Elsmore: Mental Health and Wellbeing Governor

What is Mental Health?

We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health.

Being mentally healthy means that:

  • we feel good about ourselves
  • we can make and keep positive relationships with others
  • we feel able to manage our feelings rather than feeling overwhelmed by them
  • we have interests or hobbies that we enjoy
  • we feel hopeful and positive about the future

Good mental health helps us to cope with life’s ups and downs. Sometimes it’s best to ask for support from others if we need it.

Mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people. They include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives.

Examples of things that might harm our mental health are:

  • having friendship difficulties such as lots of arguments
  • feeling under pressure at school, such as during exams
  • feeling worried about the health of a family member
  • being bullied – in person or online

Things that can help keep children and young people mentally well include:

  • being in good physical health, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise
  • having time and the freedom to play, indoors and outdoors
  • being part of a family that gets along well most of the time
  • going to a school that looks after the well-being of all its pupils
  • taking part in local activities for young people

Some things that might protect and improve our mental health are:

  • having a close friend you trust, or a supportive friendship group
  • having a teacher or other staff member at school you can go to if you need help
  • enjoying time at home with your family
  • having hobbies or interests you enjoy taking part in;
  • eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep. 

It is important to remember that, just as our mental health can suffer during difficult times in our lives, it can also  recover.

What are we doing as a school to support children with their mental health?

At Picknalls First School our pupils can access the following provisions:

Nurture groups 

are a short-term, focused intervention for children with particular social, emotional and behavioural difficulties which are creating a barrier to learning within a mainstream class – Nurture is important for the development of self-esteem and they achieve this by immersing students in an accepting and warm environment which helps develop positive relationships with both teachers and peers. 

The Hope Project 

has been developed over the past five years and has positive outcomes for children that have an emotional need for support. The Hope project trains school staff to understand the mental health of young people and enhance their supportive, listening skills.

Commando Joe’s 

character education focuses on seven core R.E.S.P.E.C.T. core life skills to promote positive behaviour and raise self-esteem through a whole school approach.

The Prefects and School Council 

give our pupils the opportunity be more involved in their learning process and develop valuable personal and social skills such as listening skills and working with others. 

Well-being Champions

The staff Well-being Champions meet several times a term to discuss how the provisions are working both for pupils and staff.  They have developed a Mental Health Policy which you can download here.

Our pupils can also become “Well-Being Champions” to help support children who feel left out. We have a whole school “Well-Being Day” every term including activities such as yoga, mindfulness colouring, PSHE lessons and baking.  

Well-being Links

The Education Hub – Mental Health Resources

Picknalls Mental Health Policy

Issue 2 – FHWS Newsletter

Children’s mental health support pathway

DfE Mental Health and Wellbeing Provision in Schools

National Children’s Bureau – Partnership for Wellbeing and Mental Health in Schools

School Wellbeing




Harvey Girls and Dads4Dads

Yess – Youth Emotional Support in Uttoxeter

CRUSE Bereavement Support


HOPE Project

Cosmic Kids

Class Dojo


The Toolbox Project

The Sleep Council

Healthy sleep tips for children

Reading Well booklists

Children’s Commissioner’s Children’s Guide to Coronavirus

Place2Be’s Mental Health Week 2021 Activity Pack

Relax Kids – Calm Pack

Relax Kids – Home Journal

Wellbeing booklet

Covid fact sheet for parents April edition

CDOP Child Death Prevention

Talking to a child about Covid19

Childline – tips for children and young people

NSPCC Library – Books for children who are worried or anxious

Coronavirus Act 2020

NSPCC Advice for Parents and Carers

Anna Freud – Supporting Young People’s Mental Health During Times of Disruption

Government Guidance and Resources for Parents

BPS – advice on dealing with school closures and talking to children about COVID-19

Children’s Commissioner – a downloadable guide for children about coronavirus

MindEd Hub – an educational resource for all adults on children and young people’s mental health

Childhood Bereavement Network – advice on supporting grieving children during the coronavirus outbreak