School Lane, Ashbourne, DE6 5HZ
01283 585251


Whole School Approach to Mental Health & Wellbeing


“Wellbeing for life”

Building skills to acquire the knowledge, tools and language to promote better understanding of our own and of others’ mental health”


At Sudbury Primary School, the mental health and wellbeing of our pupils, parents and staff is a key component of our school ethos. We are proud to be a family orientated, community driven school and know every pupil well. Our whole school approach is to create an environment that is safe, stable and caring. We strongly believe that a happy and healthy community can help maximise opportunities to thrive and achieve. At Sudbury Primary School, we recognize the importance of resilience and communication in supporting mental health and wellbeing and believe everyone has a responsibility to promote this. We believe it is essential to be a safety net under the whole child, not just the learner.


Positive emotional wellbeing includes the ability to:

  • Feel confident and have self-compassion
  • Express a range of emotional language appropriately
  • Make and maintain positive relationships with others
  • Cope with the stresses of everyday life and be able to deal with change
  • Have an open-minded and empathetic approach towards others
  • Learn and achieve

We do this by:

·       Teaching strategies to identify and manage thoughts, feelings and behaviour

·       Promoting resilience in pupils and staff with appropriate and effective training

  • Introducing a mental health lead ensuring wellbeing is continuously embedded in the school’s ethos
  • Ensuring pupils and staff feel safe, supported and enabled to access help when they might need it
  • Developing a sense of belonging and participation of all within the school community
  • Encouraging positive relationships and giving pupils the opportunity to talk about concerns with peers and staff reducing stigma
  • Identifying and monitoring need and implementing practical, relevant and effective interventions which are reflective and fed back properly
  • Including a core thread running through all the curriculum, teaching and learning and other school activities that links to our whole school approach




Useful websites for adults

Vita Minds are new NHS providers within the IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Services) community commissioned by Derby and Derbyshire CCG. 

The service is now live and offers a range of talking therapies for depression, generalised anxiety disorder, mixed depression and anxiety and a range of other conditions - the full list is on their general information leaflet HERE. 

People can refer themselves directly into the service either by calling 0333 0153 496 or by visiting the website and using the self-referral form HERE. 


Useful websites for children

CAMHS -This site was created for young people, carers and professionals to pool together lots of helpful resources from across the internet that are available to help support your mental health and well-being. The main site ( offers lots of resources about a wide range of mental health issues. 


As part of our PSHE curriculum, the children are familiar with Harold the giraffe who helps teach them about spiritual, moral, social and cultural aspects of life.

·         Taking regular exercise

·         Being creative

·         Helping others

·         Connecting with others – in ways that are safe

·         Mindfulness – learning to enjoy the moment, here and now.

Breathing exercises:


Peace out -via Bedtime FM

Short stories that help children calm down and relax by guiding them through visualisation and breathing exercises. Perfect for parents or teachers who want to teach mindfulness and self-regulation.

New story released every fortnight. Click on the image below.


Activities for a healthy mind

Worry box/book

This is a place where your child can drop in their worries at any time, they need to have access to it in the home, and then at the end of the week (or perhaps the end of the day at the moment), you take some time to address the worries they might have. This is also very helpful for children who struggle with more obsessive worries. If you explain to the child that once they have placed the worry inside the box or book they don’t have to think about it until the time when you talk about it, it can help them reduce the frequency of their worries. It can also help if you give them the chance to decorate the worry book or worry box whilst you explain its purpose!

Mindfulness and meditation     

Meditation always sounds like it should be for adults, but it is very helpful for children too. If you are already thinking “There’s no way I can get my child to sit still for two minutes!” – Don’t worry. This type of meditation/mindfulness is not necessarily about physical stillness but rather mental relaxation. It is about giving your child time and space to relax in their mind, which if they are experiencing worry and anxiety, will be a very noisy place. For a child, mindfulness can be the quiet that comes over them when they are being read a bedtime story - even gaming can be good for mindfulness! 

Exercise and chores

Your children might already be feeling the impact of less exercise already with community groups closing their doors. Exercise is very important for your child’s mental wellbeing as it gives them a serotonin boost and gives them a way to expend excess adrenaline which can cause anxiety. So how do we find ways to exercise with children during self-isolation? You might have to get imaginative with it. Try exercise videos online that you can do together, or a good old fashioned run around in the garden or a kick about with the football. Take your child out for a daily walk (unless advised otherwise by the government). If you find yourself stuck inside, you might consider using chores as exercise! Everyone knows nothing gets your heart pumping like a good bathroom scrub! it’s also important for children to have some structure in their day. A period of time doing something “boring” will only make the periods when they can do what they want more fun. It’s also a good way for you to give rewards for a good job done, and encourage your children to be more active! 

Jar of Joy

One of the hardest things about self-isolation for children can be boredom. After four days inside, even the Xbox can become boring! As we know, a bored child can be prone to anxious thoughts, bad behaviour, and low mood. Sometimes, however, a child just doesn’t know what to do with themselves and even your suggestions of their favourite activities are deemed “soooo boring!” The great thing about the jar of joy is that it brings an element of surprise and variation into the day. At the start of isolation,or at any point, get your child to write down different activities that they enjoy (inside and outside, but maybe limit them to your own garden). They can be as time-consuming as watching a movie, or as little as playing with a pet. Then, put all the activities in the jar. When your child cries boredom and you need to distract them, pull out the jar!