Appleton C of E Primary School

Mental Health and Wellbeing

At Appleton C of E Primary School, we are committed to promoting the positive mental health and emotional wellbeing of all children, their families and members of staff and governors.

Our open culture allows pupils’ voices to be heard and, through the use of effective policies and procedures, we ensure a safe and supportive environment for all affected - both directly and indirectly - by mental health issues. Everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable. At times, anyone may need additional support to maintain or develop good mental health.

We aim to:

  • Promote positive mental health and emotional wellbeing in our school community
  • Create a culture of wellbeing and inclusion
  • Develop resilience amongst children and raise awareness of resilience building
    techniques through our growth mindset approach
  • Foster a positive atmosphere in school, where pupils feel able to discuss and reflect on their own experiences with mental health openly
  • Celebrate all the ways pupils achieve at our school, both inside and outside the classroom
  • Allow pupils to participate in forming our approach to mental health by promoting pupil voice 
  • Give pupils the opportunity to develop their self-esteem by taking responsibility for themselves and others
  • Increase understanding and awareness of common mental health issues
  • Enable staff to identify and respond to early warning signs of mental ill health in
    children, including how and when to access support
  • Provide the right support to children with mental health issues and know where to signpost them and their parents/carers for specific support.

Roles and responsibilities

All staff are responsible for promoting positive mental health and wellbeing across the school; however, certain key members of staff/governors have specific roles to play.

Senior Mental Health Lead and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-Ordinator (SENCo): Kate Griffiths

Headteacher/Designated safeguarding lead (DSL): Amy Carnell

Deputy DSLs: Gemma Leggett and Kate Griffiths 

Wrap around care DSLs: Carl Pinder and Becky Bradbrook

Nurture support: Becky Bradbrook and Cat Prior-Holt

Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) leads: Shannon O’Neill and Amy Carnell

Supporting pupils through our general provision

At Appleton C of E Primary School we support and promote pupils’ mental health and wellbeing by: 

  • Raising awareness of mental health during collective worship, PSHE lessons and mental health awareness weeks and other discussions
  • Teaching the skills, knowledge and understanding that all our children need to keep themselves - and others – physically and mentally healthy and safe as part of our PSHE curriculum (Jigsaw) which follows the PSHE Association Guidance teaching mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • Monitoring of all pupils’ mental health including use of pupil voice and assessments where appropriate and using these to inform provision
  • Appointing a senior mental health lead with a strategic oversight of our whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing 
  • Offering pastoral support through nurture support, friendship groups and a staffed wellbeing area during break times
  • Making classrooms a safe space to discuss mental health and wellbeing including use of:
    • Zones of Regulation
    • Feelings boxes
    • Books for children to record their feelings.

Further support at School

Nurture support is available for children who may need more support with their wellbeing. This includes children who are going through difficulties such as family illness, separation, bereavement, or other stressful situations and may also include children with SEND who are identified as having Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs. We also offer support through friendship groups and visits from a Pets as Therapy Dog. 

External support

Where it is evident that a child needs further support than the support that school can provide, the school will make, or encourage parents to make, a referral for external support; for example GP, CAMHS (Children and Adolescents Mental Health Service) or the Mental Health Service Team, Mental health charities (e.g. Samaritans, Mind, Young Minds, Seesaw), local counselling services. 

Supporting Parents and Carers

We recognise that the family plays a key role in influencing children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing; we will work in partnership with parents and carers to promote emotional health and wellbeing by:

  • Asking parents/carers to inform us of any mental health needs their child is experiencing, so we can offer the right support
  • Informing parents/carers of mental health concerns that we have about their child
  • Engaging with parents/carers to understand their mental health and wellbeing issues, as well as that of their child, and support them accordingly to make sure there is holistic support for them and their child
  • Highlighting sources of information and support about mental health and wellbeing on our school website, including the mental health and wellbeing policy
  • Liaising with parents/carers to discuss strategies that can help promote positive mental health in their child
  • Providing guidance to parents/carers on navigating and accessing relevant local mental health services or other sources of support (e.g., parent forums/courses/early help assessment)
  • Keeping parents/carers informed about the mental health topics their child is learning about in PSHE, and sharing ideas for extending and exploring this learning at home. 

Supporting Peers

When a child is suffering from mental health issues, it can be a challenging time for their friends who may want to support but do not know how. To keep peers safe, we will consider on a case-by-case basis which friends may need additional support.

Supporting Staff Mental Health

We recognise that anyone can experience mental health issues for various reasons which may be out of their control. There may also be work-related factors that could contribute to poor mental health such as work life imbalance, workload pressure, and poor working conditions. To every extent possible, we aim to recognise and address cases of workplace pressures that contribute to mental health issues. 

We aim to:

  • Treat staff mental illness seriously 
  • Proactively support resolution of issues causing concern
  • Support staff members who face mental health problems
  • Ensure staff are signposted to, and aware of, the support and services available to them
  • Create a pleasant and supportive workplace
  • Encourage communication and opportunities for staff voice on wellbeing e.g., through establishing a staff wellbeing team and staff voice surveys.

Useful resources and weblinks: