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Emotional Well-being and Mental Health at St Peter's

At St Peter’s we recognise and value the importance of emotional wellbeing and mental health for all pupils.  We have lots of ways in which we support this within school, as well as using outside agencies which can provide further support when needed, and we even have a school dog!


Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Updates

Recently we gave a presentation at a Diocesan conference for Emotional Wellbeing.  In this we shared how support for Emotional Wellbeing is woven throughout the entire culture and daily practice of our school.  Please do look at the presentation which is given below to see what we do.


Senior Mental Health Lead

The Department for Education (DfE) have funded training for the role of Senior Mental Health Lead to develop and implement a whole school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing. Our Senior Mental Health Lead is Mrs Evans.

MHFA England

Youth Mental Health First Aider

Our Youth Mental Health First Aider is Mrs Evans, who is also our SENCO.  Youth Mental Health First Aiders attend training which looks at how to support young people to recover faster from mental and emotional health issues and how to intervene more effectively at points of mental health crisis. 

Mental Health Champion(1)

Mental Health Champion

Our Mental Health Champion is Mrs Tisi.  Mental Health Champions attend training which equips them to support children’s emotional wellbeing within their professional practice.  They gain enhanced capacity to understand, manage and improve pupils’ attitudes to learning.  More importantly, they will be well placed to share ideas, effective practices and resources with other teaching and non-teaching staff within the school.

Time to Talk

Time to Talk

One of the ways we support children’s emotional wellbeing and mental health is by offering Time to Talk.  This is run by Mrs Evans in our Jigsaw Room (with the help of Geoffrey – our giant teddy bear!).  Time to Talk is literally that – time together where we talk about what is worrying or upsetting the child, discuss the emotions they are feeling and suggest techniques and strategies to address these.  Children of all years can participate by putting their name into the box in Mrs Evans’ office and then she will collect them at lunch times.  Teaching staff can also refer children if they feel they would benefit from this provision.  Usually in Time to Talk one session is sufficient, however for some children follow-up sessions are useful to see how they’re getting on, reviewing the strategies they’ve been applying and discussing new challenges as they emerge. 



Our ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) is Mrs Wilson.  Mrs Wilson is a very experienced Teaching Assistant who has been specially trained to take on the role of an ELSA.  The ELSA project is overseen by Educational Psychologists in order to ensure reflective practice and develop the effectiveness of the programme; for this reason parental permission will be sought before undertaking the intervention with each child.  In the ELSA programme children, for whom the school feels it would be of benefit, are sent an invitation to participate.  Initially there is a ‘getting to know you’ phase before the intervention itself is begun.  Each session is carefully planned and individually tailored to meet the child’s needs and develop their emotional literacy.  Children enjoy participating and research has shown this to be a highly effective resource. 

CAMSb976209a-b7d0-4c9e-a0e5-fc07e367746fIn Uniform

Other Agencies

On rare occasions children may benefit from support beyond that of Time to Talk or the ELSA and on these occasions the school may work with the parents to make a referral to Brentwood Catholic Children’s Society (BCCS) for counselling or the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for more specific professional input. 


School Dog

In response to a school survey where the children said they wanted a school pet, we now have Robbie, a cockapoo, who comes into school around once a week.  He even has his own uniform!  The children are taught how to interact with him appropriately and are always excited to see him (and he loves all the cuddles!).  

An assembly was used to introduce Robbie to the school which outlined the rules for interacting with him and this can be seen below.

Robbie has his own dog blog, which can be found under the News tab, where he shares some of the things he has done in school.

Useful websites, helplines and apps:

https://www.childline.org.uk    0800 1111

www.youngminds.org.uk   0808 802 5544                             

https://www.themix.org.uk  0808 808 4994

https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk (section on young people and anxiety)

Positive Penguins app

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