Mental Health

At St Paul’s CE Primary School, we are committed to support the emotional health and wellbeing of all of our pupils, parents, carers and staff. We believe in promoting mental health and emotional wellbeing to ensure that the school  is a community where everyone feels able to thrive. Our school ethos and values underpin everything that we do.

In St Paul’s we have a whole-school approach to mental health and wellbeing. This seeks to support good emotional and mental well-being by strengthening the relationships between teacher and pupil; between teaching staff; with the school senior leadership team and wider school staff; with parents and carers; and other professionals working with the school, as well as the wider community that surrounds the school. A whole school approach to mental health aims to build resilience amongst its community, focuses on prevention and early intervention.

St Paul’s is a Gold standard Rights Respecting school and believe

Article 24: “Every child has the right to the best possible health. Governments must work to provide good quality health care.”

Article 27: “Every child has the right to a standard of living that is good enough to meet their physical, social and mental needs.”

Article 28: “Every child has the right to an education.”

Article 31: “Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities.”

Who has mental health?

We all have mental health – some people call this emotional health or wellbeing.

What is mental health?

The World Health Organisation defines mental health as a state of wellbeing in which every individual achieves their potential, copes with the normal stresses of life, works productively and fruitfully, contributing to their community. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel and act.

Good mental health and wellbeing is just as important as good physical health. Like physical health, mental health can range across a spectrum from healthy to unwell; it can fluctuate on a daily basis and change over time.

Most children grow up mentally healthy, but surveys suggest that more children and young people have problems with their mental health today than 30 years ago. It is thought that this is probably because of changes in the way that we live now and how that affects the experience of growing up.

 What helps?

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Through assemblies, PSHE lessons and One Voice discussions our children know the five step that’s support wellbeing.

  • Be active
  • Keep connected
  • Take notice
  • Keep learning
  • Give – be kind

Other factors are also important, including:

  • feeling loved, trusted, understood, valued and safe
  • being interested in life and having opportunities to enjoy themselves
  • being hopeful and optimistic
  • being able to learn and having opportunities to succeed
  • accepting who they are and recognising what they are good at
  • having a sense of belonging in their family, school and community
  • feeling they have some control over their own life
  • having the strength to cope when something is wrong (resilience) and the ability to solve problems.

What happens in school?

In school, we teach children about what it means to have good mental health and wellbeing throughout our curriculum and daily practice.

Our PSHE curriculum focuses specifically on developing children’s social and emotional skills which can prevent poor mental health from developing and help all children cope effectively with setbacks and remain healthy. It is about helping children to understand and manage their thoughts, feelings and behaviour and build skills that help them to thrive, such as working in a team, persistence, and self-awareness.

Staff have regular training around mental health, identification and strategies to support.

What if my child is experiencing difficulties with their mental health and wellbeing?

Mental health doesn’t mean being happy all the time and neither does it mean avoiding stresses altogether. One of the most important ways to help your child is to listen to them and take their feelings seriously.

In many instances, children and young people’s negative feelings and worries usually pass with the support of their parents, carers and families. It is helpful for the school to know what they are going through at these times, so that staff can be aware of the need and support this.

Coping and adjusting to setbacks are critical life skills for children, just as they are for adults, but it is important that they develop positive, rather than negative, coping skills.

If you are ever worried about your child’s mental health and wellbeing then, just as you would about any concerns that you have about their learning, come and talk to us. Sometimes children will need additional support for a short period – this may be in the form of a daily check-in with a trusted adult,  time to talk through what they are feeling and support in developing ways of moving forwards with this.

If your child is distressed for a long time, if their negative feelings are stopping them from getting on with their lives, if their distress is disrupting family life or if they are repeatedly behaving in ways you would not expect at their age, then please contact school.


Mental Health and Wellbeing Lead:      pic 2.png

Jenny Power  (Senior Assistant Head/SENDCo/Designated Safeguarding Lead/Healthy School Lead)

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[email protected]



Wellbeing staff group:

  • Ms Power: see above
  • Mary Bailey: KS1Teacher
  • Elena Najduch: EYFS Teacher
  • Miss Simms: Key Stage 2 Teaching Assistant/NELI lead EYFS
  • Miss Norbury: Assistant Business Manager
  • Miss Talbot: Key Stage 1 Teacher
  • Mrs McGagh: Key Stage 2 Teaching Assistant/SEND Support
  • Mrs Baker: Key Stage 2 Teaching Assistant.

Looking after yourself:  

If things are getting you down, it’s important to recognise this. Talk to someone you trust and see what they think. It is easy to go on struggling with very difficult situations because you feel that you should be able to cope and don’t deserve any help.

Come and talk to us, in confidence and let us know when things are tough. As much as you try to hide how you are feeling from your child, they will notice even the smallest changes.

Go to your GP if things are really getting on top of you. Asking for some support from your doctor or a referral to a counselling service is a sign of strength. You can’t help your child if you are not being supported yourself.

“Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day” Dalai Lama

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Useful contacts, websites, articles and resources

Manchester Thrive Hub - Manchester's Emotional Wellbeing - Engaging parents with Mental Health

Charlie Waller - What We Offer Parents

Anna Freud.Org - National Centre for Children & Families

Place 2 Be - Improving Children's Mental Health

NHS - Every Child Matters

My Mind - Support for Children & Young People

The School Run - Best Wellbeing App for School Kids

Kooth Guide

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