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“Let Your Light Shine!” - Matthew 5:16

Shirley Avenue




BD19 4NA


Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy

We respect and celebrate everyone’s uniqueness, supporting each other so that we can reach our full potential.

We show love for each other through acts of friendship and forgiveness.

We show resilience so that we feel confident to face any challenge.

By being the best we can be, we all shine brightly making our world a better place.

The Bible quote that underpins our vision is ‘Let your light shine’

Matthew 5:16

As a Church School we are committed to our Christian ethos. We aim to follow in the footsteps of Jesus through our St Mary’s Steps to Success:

  • Love
  • Respect
  • Friendship
  • Forgiveness
  • Resilience

At Gomersal St Mary’s CE Primary School we work towards positive Emotional Health and Wellbeing in the whole of our school community for adults as well as children.

Mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realise their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community. It is an integral component of health and well-being that underpins our individual and collective abilities to make decisions, build relationships and shape the world we live in.

World Health Organisation

Emotional health and wellbeing promotes school success and improvement by:

  • contributing positively to priorities such as enhancing teaching and learning, raising standards,
  • promoting social inclusion and improving behaviour and attendance
  • be able to express a range of emotions appropriately
  • involving pupils more fully in the operation of the school
  • be able to make and maintain positive relationships with others
  • helping pupils and staff feel happier, more confident and more motivated
  • helping to meet legal, ethical and curricular obligations
  • providing an inclusive environment where there is no prejudice towards gender, race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation
  • cope with the stresses of everyday life including managing times of stress and dealing with change.

Roles and Responsibilities

The promotion of Emotional Health and Social Well Being and raising the achievement of all pupils is the responsibility of the whole school staff and governors.

The Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team will demonstrate through their personal leadership the importance of this policy, ensure all staff are aware of it and understand their role and responsibility in relation to it.

The Governing body has adopted this policy and will assess and monitor its impact annually.

Staff will be expected to know what their responsibilities are in ensuring the policy is implemented. They will be aware of the implications of it for their planning, teaching and learning strategies, management of activities, as well as behavioural issues. They also understand the factors that protect children from adversity, such as self-esteem, communication and problem-solving skills, a sense of worth and belonging and emotional literacy.

Pupils will be made aware of how the Emotional and Social Well Being policy applies to them as part of the school aims, values and in the curriculum.

Parents/Carers – Parents and carers will be encouraged to participate fully in implementing it in partnership with the school

We recognise that many behaviours and emotional problems can be supported within the school environment, or with advice from external professionals. Some children will need more intensive support at times, and there are a range of mental health professionals and organisations that provide support to pupils with mental health needs and their families. Support includes:

  • Inclusion Manager
  • Safeguarding/Child Protection Team
  • Support staff to manage mental health needs of pupils
  • SENCO who helps staff understand their responsibilities to children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), including pupils whose mental health problems mean they need special educational provision.
  • Pastoral Lead
  • School nurse
  • CAMHS core meetings to support staff to manage mental health needs of pupils
  • Early Help consultant


Teaching and Learning

  • Pupils who are more engaged in the learning process
  • Pupils who can concentrate and learn better
  • Improved standards in all subjects, including literacy and numeracy.
  • Improved attainment
  • More effective teaching
  • Parents and carers more involved in school life and learning

Behaviour and Attendance

  • Pupils with high self-esteem and confidence
  • Pupils who have a say in what happens at school
  • Fewer disaffected pupils, disengaged from learning
  • Improved behaviour and attendance
  • Less bullying
  • Lower rates of truancy

Staff Confidence and Development

  • Improved morale
  • Lower absenteeism
  • Better recruitment level
  • Positive and effective relationships with pupils

Our school offers a learning environment that promotes and enhances positive mental health. A consistent approach means that our school environment and school ethos all promote the mental health of the whole school community.

Healthy relationships underpin positive mental health and have a significant impact.

A mentally healthy environment has:

  • A clear and agreed ethos and culture that accords value and respect to all
  • A commitment to being responsive to children and young people’s needs
  • Clearly defined mental health links in school policies
  • Clear strategies to help pupils to develop social relationships, support each other and seek help when they need to
  • A commitment to help pupils to be resilient learners
  • Strategies to teach pupils social and emotional skills and an awareness of mental health
  • An early identification of pupils who have mental health needs and planning support to meet their needs, including working with specialist services
  • Systems to effectively work with parents and carers
  • Strategies in place to support and train staff to develop their skills and resilience
  • Clear guidelines for internal and external referrals
  • Strong links with external agencies to provide access to support and information
  • A named lead for mental health promotion with the expectation that there is support and involvement and an ethos that ‘mental health is everyone’s business’

A mentally healthy environment is a place where children and young people:

  • Have opportunities to participate in activities that encourage belonging
  • Have opportunities to participate in decision making
  • Have opportunities to celebrate academic and non-academic achievements
  • Have their unique talents and abilities identified and developed
  • Have opportunities to develop a sense of worth through taking responsibility for themselves and others
  • Have opportunities to reflect
  • Be able to express themselves appropriately
  • Have access to appropriate support that meets their needs
  • Have a right to be in an environment that is safe, clean, attractive and well cared for
  • Are surrounded by adults who model positive and appropriate behaviours, interactions and ways of relating at all times
  • Feel confident in themselves
  • Be able to make and maintain positive relationships with others
  • Cope with the stresses of everyday life
  • Manage times of stress and be able to deal with change
  • Feel supported at key transition times
  • A well-constructed and age appropriate RSE and PSHE curriculum
  • Feel safe!

A mentally healthy environment is a place where staff:

  • Have their individual needs recognised and responded to in a holistic way
  • Have a range of strategies that support their mental health, eg a named person to speak to, signposting
  • Have recognition of their work-life balance
  • Have the mental health and well-being of the staff reviewed regularly
  • Feel valued and have opportunities to contribute to decision making processes
  • Celebrate and recognise success
  • Are able to carry out roles and responsibilities effectively
  • Are provided with opportunities for CPD both personally and professionally
  • Have their unique talents and skills recognised and opportunities are provided for development
  • Have time to reflect
  • Can access proactive strategies and systems to support them at times of emotional needs in both the short term and the long term

A mentally healthy environment is a place where parents/carers:

  • Are recognised for their significant contribution to children and young people’s mental health
  • Are welcomed, included and work in partnership with schools and agencies
  • Are provided with opportunities where they can ask for help when needed
  • Are signposted to appropriate agencies for support
  • Are clear about their roles and expectations of their responsibilities in working in partnership with schools
  • Opinions are sought and valued and responded to
  • Strengths and difficulties are recognised, acknowledged and challenged appropriately

A mentally healthy environment is a place where the whole school community:

  • Is involved in promoting positive mental health
  • Is valued for the role it plays in promoting positive mental health
  • Contributes towards the ethos of the school

Vehicles for emotional health and wellbeing

Prevention and Early Identification

Our identification system involves a range of processes.

We aim to identify children with mental health needs as early as possible to prevent things getting worse. We do this in different ways including:

  • Identify individuals that might need support
  • working with the School Office staff who are often the first point of contact with families seeking support
  • home visits in Foundation Stage 1 and Foundation Stage 2 to identify needs
  • induction meetings for pupils / families joining after the Reception year
  • analysing behaviour, exclusions, repeated medical issues, attendance and CPOMS
  • pupil surveys
  • staff report concerns about individual pupils to the Inclusion Manager/SENCO and Designated Safeguarding Team · worry boxes in each class for pupils to raise concerns which are checked by the class teacher
  • weekly staff briefing for staff to raise concerns about individual children
  • gathering information from a previous school at transfer or transition
  • parental meetings
  • enabling pupils to raise concerns to class teacher and support staff
  • enabling parents and carers to raise concerns through the school class teacher or to any member of staff – we have an ‘Open Door Policy’

Any member of staff concerned about a pupil will take this seriously and talk to the SENCO/Inclusion Manager or Designated Safeguarding Team. These signs might include:

  • non-verbal behaviour
  • isolation from friends and family and becoming socially withdrawn
  • changes in activity or mood or eating/sleeping habits
  • lowering academic achievement
  • talking or joking about self-harm or suicide
  • expressing feelings of failure, uselessness or loss of hope
  • an increase in lateness or absenteeism
  • not wanting to do PE or get changed for PE
  • drug or alcohol misuse
  • physical signs of harm that are repeated or appear non-accidental
  • wearing long sleeves in hot weather
  • repeated physical pain or nausea with no evident cause
  • repeatedly completing morning ‘check in’ in a negative manner

Staff are aware that mental health needs such as anxiety might appear as noncompliant, disruptive or aggressive behaviour which could include problems with attention or hyperactivity. This may be related to home problems, difficulties with learning, peer relationships or development. If there is a concern that a pupil is in danger of immediate harm then the school’s child protection procedures are followed.

Working with Specialist Services to get swift access to the right Specialist Support and Treatment

In some case a pupil’s mental health needs require support from a specialist service. These might include anxiety, depression, school refusal and other complex needs.

We make links with a range of specialist services and have regular contact with the services to review the support and consider next steps, as part of monitoring the pupils’ provision.

School referrals to a specialist service will be made by the Inclusion Manager/SENCO following the assessment process and in consultation with the pupil and his/her parents and carers. Referrals will only go ahead with the consent of the parent/carer and when it is the most appropriate support for the pupil’s specific needs.

The school promotes and provides a range of services to pupils:

  • Hygienic toilets which ensure privacy and safety
  • School council to act as mentors
  • A pastoral base staffed with non-teaching pastoral assistants and a qualified first aider
  • Co-ordinated support from a range of external organisations
  • Welcome days and transition events

The school promotes an anti-bullying culture through:

  • A strong school ethos which empowers tolerance and respect, including respect for difference and diversity
  • High profile of anti-bullying procedures and policy through corporate posters, assemblies and events such as national anti-bullying week and using appropriate materials
  • Active listeners, including assistants and adults other than school staff to whom the victim may turn
  • A Restorative Practices approach to resolution where every voice is heard and listening to others and empathy is encouraged

The school promotes and strengthens the pupil voice through:

  • A democratic process for the election of school council representatives
  • Timetabled meeting time for members of the school council
  • Involving pupils in interviews for members of staff
  • Consulting pupils about change and policy development
  • Allocating a school council budget
  • Pupil led assemblies

The school promotes the involvement of parents and carers in the life and learning of the school through:

  • Parent questionnaires
  • Regular consultation about change and development through questionnaires and special meetings
  • Subject Focus evenings, Sports and Theme Weeks and Concerts/Music Events, Happy Hour
  • Involvement in school trips and extracurricular activities
  • Regular communication and involvement over pupil progress, behaviour and pastoral issues (assertive mentoring forms as well as parents evenings)
  • Our school coffee mornings
  • External training opportunities
  • Early Help consultant support

The school facilitates a context for learning through:

  • Enhancing school and classroom layout; facilities and resources
  • Recognising the background of individual pupils and their physical, social and emotional needs
  • Establishing clear rules, routines and expectations about behaviour for learning and social cohesion.
  • Encouraging positive, caring and constructive relationships

The school enhances pupil motivation and learning through:

  • Consistent support for vulnerable children and those with SEN from trained teams of pastoral, learning support, learning mentor, teaching assistants and other agencies where appropriate
  • A range of challenging opportunities for gifted and talented pupils
  • An exciting and varied range of extra-curricular events and trips
  • A balanced curriculum with opportunities for intellectual, physical and expressive development
  • Recognising a range of learning styles and a focus on Quality First Teaching
  • Encouraging independence in learning with a Growth Mindset approach
  • Using a range of teaching styles such as Circle Time appropriate to pupils’ age, ability and level of maturity
  • Using the appropriate materials to raise self-esteem and confidence levels.

The school enhances pupil self-esteem and personal development through:

  • The Personal Development Curriculum which includes Citizenship and PSHE
  • Information, advice and guidance on sex and relationships and drugs
  • Careers advice
  • Opportunities for pupil leadership through school council, library support, playleaders, Primary Parliament
  • An emphasis on praise and reward
  • Opportunities for reflection and spiritual development through art, literature and the RE Curriculum

The school enhances staff motivation, learning and professional development through:

  • Curricular planning time within the school week
  • Whole school training events, including Safeguarding
  • Access to appropriate external training
  • Involving all staff in decision making and proposed change e.g. timing of the school day, frequency of reporting to parents and so on.
  • Provision of non-contact time to allow for planning, delivery and evaluation of healthy school activities
  • Consultation on training and support needs through regular review

Links to other policies:

  • Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
  • Staff Code of Conduct
  • Online safety policy
  • SEND policy
  • SRE and PSHE policies
  • Behaviour Policy
  • Pathway