Learning & Development

Mental Health and Wellbeing

At Red Lane Primary School, supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our whole school community including pupils, staff and parents/carers is at the heart of what we do. We have agreed that wellbeing is a state of being comfortable, healthy and happy. We know that everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable and at times, anyone may need additional emotional support. Everyone has a role to play in promoting positive health and wellbeing across school. Children, staff and parent/carers are encouraged to talk about their feelings and to ask for help when they need it.

For all of us at Red Lane, our first priority is to care for every child in a secure, friendly environment enabling them to enjoy their time in school and feel confident to learn. In order to maintain this ethos, the staff team work together to support children’s emotional and social learning, we maintain this attitude during lesson times, break times and through all activities that take place throughout the day to make sure our children feel secure in school. This method is called the Thrive Approach.

Not all children can put their needs into words every time they experience a different emotion, but the way children behave can tell us a lot about how they are feeling. The Thrive Approach draws on the latest research – from current neuroscience, recent attachment research, current studies of effective learning and current models of child development – in order to help our school to understand the needs being signalled by children’s behaviour. It gives us targeted strategies and activities to help them re-engage with learning and life.

Unfortunately, (like all of us at some point in our lives), children may face challenges that knock them off course. What is needed then is understanding and support to get them back on track. Many children will respond to the care, understanding and support given by parents, family, friends and teachers. However, some children need a little bit extra to enable them to:

  • Feel good about themselves

  • Know that they matter

  • Become more resilient and resourceful

  • Have a positive place in society

  • Form trusting, rewarding relationships

  • Be creative

  • Be compassionate and empathetic

  • Be thoughtful and self-aware

  • Be productive

  • Be able to overcome difficulties and setbacks

Children who need a little bit of extra help are identified through a variety of ways such as our whole-class screening process, by class teachers, or through communication with families. For some children there may be an obvious reason why they need a bit of extra support. This might be bereavement, family break down or an identified need such as ADHD. For others, there can be no obvious trigger to why they are finding some aspects of school and/or home life difficult.  Working closely with parents and class teachers, our Thrive team carry out full assessments of identified children’s social, emotional and behavioural needs. This helps us to build a bespoke Thrive Action Plan of activities to support their needs.

A Thrive Action Plan is plan of activities tailored to support a child’s identified social and emotional learning targets. The activities are carried out one-to-one and in small groups, they are play and arts-based activities designed to help the child feel better about himself; become more resilient and resourceful; form trusting, rewarding relationships; be compassionate and empathetic; and/or  be able to overcome difficulties and setbacks. They might include playing in the sand tray, cooking, painting, model making, exploring difficult situations through role-play or comic strips, playing strategy games or projects focusing on the child’s own interests – all dependent on the needs of the individual child.  The Action Plans are reviewed regularly so that we can see the progress children have made.

At Red Lane, we don’t consider Thrive to be an intervention carried out for just a few children, we consider it to be a whole-school approach. We all believe that all behaviour is communication and that communication needs to be understood and supported – not “dealt” with. Thrive feeds into everything we do; celebration assemblies, getting to know everyone and their families, sharing all achievements – not just academic ones, celebrating our diversity and individuality.


As a school, we are keen to support and help look after the mental health of parents/carers. 

  • Mrs Driver and Mr Hudson are trained Mental Health First Aiders. This means they have been trained to have an in depth understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing. Please speak to one of them if you are concerned about your mental health as they will be able to guide you to further support.
  • Our safeguarding officer Miss Regan and our pastoral officer Mr Ridgely are also on hand to support parents and carers with any aspect of mental wellbeing.



We are keen to ensure emotional wellbeing remains high profile in our school and we are working towards reducing the stigma around mental health. The children take part in a number of activities to help promote good wellbeing and mental health including:

PSHE Curriculum - We deliver the PSHE curriculum across school which aims to develop the underpinning qualities and skills that help promote positive behaviour and effective learning. This curriculum is designed to support social and emotional aspects of learning: self-awareness, managing feelings, motivation, empathy and social skills.

The materials help children develop skills such as understanding another’s point of view, working in a group, sticking at things when they get difficult, resolving conflict and managing worries. They build on effective work already in place in the many primary schools who pay systematic attention to the social and emotional aspects of learning through whole-school ethos, initiatives such as circle time or buddy schemes, and the taught personal, social and health education (PSHE) and Citizenship curriculum.

To further support wellbeing:

  • The school council have introduced 'Friendship Fridays' where they promote and celebrate friendship as part of their peer leadership capacity.
  • Playleaders spend time on both the KS1 and KS2 playground at lunchtime to encourage children to play together nicely and to talk to children who are feeling sad or lonely.
  • We have theme weeks such as ‘Mental Health week’ and “Healthy Living Week” which are built into a annual calendar of events.  During these weeks, outside agencies are invited into school to enhance our provision.
  • Assemblies are regularly linked to mental health and wellbeing.
  • Year 5 take part in the Healthy Relationship programme provided by Fort Alice which is “an early intervention educational programme aimed at Years 5 and 6 children, offering a minimum of four one hour teaching sessions which are mapped to the PSHE and RSE curriculum guidance. Each session incorporates a diverse range of interactive activities using resources specifically developed to ensure learner engagement through the use of games, discussions, video and role play” Specialist Children’s Workers with expertise in Domestic Abuse deliver the programme, which has a scheme of work and individual lesson plans.


Seven Steps to Wellbeing


Socialise- be social and get together with others.


Move - be active and do regular exercise


Interest - Have a hobby, keep learning!


Look - take notice of the world around you and be reflective


Eat well - eat a healthy, balanced diet


Support - be kind and give help to others


Further information on how to look after your mental health can be found on the following websites:




This booklet has some activities to help you look after your wellbeing and give you some ideas to help build up your resilience.
These activities will help you when you are finding things hard.

 Click Here to Download

Where to get further help and support


If you're experiencing mental health problems or need urgent support, there are lots of places you can go to for help.

Young Minds

Telephone: 020 7089 5050 (general enquiries)

Telephone: 0808 802 5544 (parents helpline, for any adult with concerns about the mental health of a child or young person)

Website: www.youngminds.org.uk

National charity committed to improving the mental health of all babies, children and young people. Provides information for both parents and young people.



Telephone: 0800 1111
Website: www.childline.org.uk

ChildLine is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of nineteen. You can contact a ChildLine counsellor for free about anything - no problem is too big or too small.


Telephone: 116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call)
Website: www.samaritans.org

Provides confidential, non-judgemental emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those that could lead to suicide. You can phone, email, write a letter or in most cases talk to someone face to face.

Rethink Mental Illness Advice Line

Telephone: 0300 5000 927 (9.30am - 4pm Monday to Friday)
Email: online contact form
Website: http://www.rethink.org/about-us/our-mental-health-advice

Provides expert advice and information to people with mental health problems and those who care for them, as well as giving help to health professionals, employers and staff.

Various helplines: