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Mendip Green Primary School

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Mental Health & Wellbeing

Our Shared Vision

At Mendip Green, we are committed to supporting the positive mental health and wellbeing of our whole community of children, staff, parents and carers.  


Our ethos is supportive, caring and respectful. We understand how important positive mental health and wellbeing is to our lives. We recognise that children’s mental health is a vital factor in their overall wellbeing and how it can affect their learning and achievements. We know that anyone in our community may need additional emotional support to cope with life’s challenges so we encourage children to be open and we support all children to have their voice heard.  


Our culture of nurturing children and building resilience to mental health problems means our school is a safe place where: 

  • Every child feels valued; 
  • Every child has a sense of belonging;
  • Every child feels able to talk openly with trusted members of staff about their problems; 
  • Positive mental health is promoted; 
  • Bullying is not tolerated. 

We recognise the importance of supporting positive mental health and wellbeing to the whole school community.  

At Mendip Green positive mental health is everybody’s responsibility.  

What is mental health and wellbeing?

There are many ways to define wellbeing but the definition of ‘wellbeing’ as referenced in the World Health Organisation definition of mental health is widely accepted: “Mental health is defined as a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”


Young Minds define mental health as: “The strength and capacity of our minds to grow and develop, to be able to overcome difficulties and challenges, and make the most of our abilities and opportunities.”


We recognise that mental health and wellbeing is not simply the absence of mental health problems. We know building children’s confidence and self-esteem in a safe environment is vital to positive mental health and successful learning outcomes. 


Check out our children's page for mental health and wellbeing.

Why is mental health and wellbeing important?

The Department for Education (DfE) recognises that “in order to help their children succeed, schools have a role to play in supporting them to be resilient and mentally healthy”. Our School is a place for children to experience a nurturing and supportive environment. We support the children to develop their self-esteem and build resilience. We understand all children and their families go through ups and downs, and some face significant life events.  


    Over the course of their education, children spend over 7,800 hours at school. With such a huge amount of their childhood spent in the classroom, our school provides an ideal environment for promoting good emotional wellbeing and identifying early behaviour changes and signs of mental distress. The social and emotional skills, knowledge and behaviours that young people learn in the classroom can help them to build resilience and set the pattern for how they will manage their mental health throughout their lives.


    Emotional wellbeing is a clear indicator of academic achievement, success and satisfaction in later life. Evidence shows that mental health and wellbeing programmes in schools, can lead to significant improvements in children’s mental health, and social and emotional skills. Wellbeing provision in schools can also lead to reductions in classroom misbehaviour and bullying.

    Mental health and wellbeing at Mendip Green

    We recognise that mental health and wellbeing is not simply the absence of mental health problems. We know building children’s confidence and self-esteem in a safe environment is vital to positive mental health and successful learning outcomes. 


    At our school we want all children to: 

    • Understand their emotions and experiences; 
    • Form and maintain friendships and relationships; 
    • Be able to express a range of emotions appropriately; 
    • Develop resilience and cope with setbacks; 
    • Manage the stresses of everyday life and be able to deal with change; 
    • Learn and achieve.


    We maintain a mentally healthy environment for pupils and staff by: 

    • Promoting our school rules and values, and encouraging a sense of belonging and community; 
    • Providing opportunities to develop self-worth; 
    • Valuing each pupil for who they are; 
    • Celebrating academic and non-academic achievements; 
    • Supporting our children to have their say and participate in decision-making;
    • Raising awareness amongst staff about early warning signs and symptoms of mental health issues; 
    • Supporting staff who are struggling with their own mental health problems. 

    Promoting and Supporting Children's Positive Mental Health

    We recognise that children need to know that they matter, we value them, their voice can be heard, we can help them and we are here for them. Children are acknowledged and noticed everyday through greetings, a gesture, a nod, a smile and a conversation.


    We use the PACE approach - Playful, Accepting, Curious, Empathy - to help shape our conversations with children when they are anxious or distressed. Phrases such as, 'I know', 'I appreciate', 'I understand' help build common ground with children and to recognise and affirm their feelings: be it a scratch, a funny feeling in their tummy, a sad feeling because of a falling out, a sigh because they cannot do something.


    We need to set aside our 'rush' to teach and ensure progress and attainment and ensure that we have done our best to support our children to be ready to learn - emotionally available. We do this at all levels - leadership to office staff, teachers to midday supervisors.


    Our school promotes positive mental health and we aim to prevent mental health problems through our developed range of activities and strategies including: 

    • Creating an ethos, values, policies and behaviours that support mental health and resilience that everyone understands.
    • Using teaching strategies as well as additional nurture provision or clubs, as required, that enable children to develop social relationships, support each other and seek help when they need to. We offer Friendship Club at lunchtimes, afternoon nurture provision, 1:1 sessions with one of our Pupil Family Support Workers.
    • Explicit teaching of social and emotional skills and an awareness of mental health - this is achieved through our high quality and structured Jigsaw provision for PHSEIn addition to a focus on social and emotional skills, our PSHE curriculum also supports children to develop their confidence and resilience as well as teaching mindfulness and calming strategies. We also have a team of Mental Health Champions - children who have received training to recognise signs of 'worrying' or 'anxiety' as well as calming strategies.
    • Access to Dot our school dog and nurture pup
    • Raising awareness as a school by recognising and supporting Children’s Mental Health Week across the School and Mental Health Awareness Week as a staff team.
    • Supporting and training staff to develop their skills and resilience. We have staff in all year groups who have completed Mental Health First Aid Training and all staff have received training in the PACE approach.
    • Identifying pupils who have mental health needs and planning support to meet their needs early, including working with specialist services. Our leadership, SEND, safeguarding and pastoral teams work closely together, including discussions with a child's family, class teachers and support staff to ensure he full picture is known.
    • Ensuring a smooth transition between year groups and school.  This is especially Transition programme: activities (including life skills) to support Year 6 children moving onto secondary school. 
    • Additional strategies include:
      • Class activities: sharing news, celebrating achievements such as certificates and awards, making regular time for discussions, worry box, having an 'open door' policy for children
      • Whole school initiatives: , assemblies, School Council, challenges to promote healthy minds and bodies (e.g. The Daily Mile and reading for pleasure), letters home from the head and deputy headteacher

    Intervention and support

    All concerns are reported to the pastoral team and recorded. The level of need will be assessed with the support of the SENDCo and class teacher as required to ensure the child can get the appropriate support from within school or from an external health professional. We aim to put early interventions in place wherever possible and to prevent problems escalating. 


    Following discussions with the child's family and the adults who work closely with them in school, a plan will be put in place setting out how the pupil will be supported. This will include any actions needed to provide the identified support, opportunities to review the effectiveness of the provision.  We have access to a range of specialist services, including CAMHS. We involve the children themselves and their parents or carers, and if appropriate put in place support for their friends/peers in school. We make every effort to support parents and carers to access services where appropriate.