A partner academy in the John Taylor MAT
A partner academy in the John Taylor MAT

Mental Health & Wellbeing

Mental Health & Wellbeing at Shobnall Primary & Nursery School

At Shobnall Primary & Nursery School, we are very proud to state that the wellbeing of our whole community is of paramount importance. We understand that issues around wellbeing and mental health are rising nationally. Therefore, in December 2018, Shobnall Primary & Nursery School achieved the Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS Award) which was the recognition of our work and ethos which is now embedded in everything we do. This was reverified in February 2022 for a further three years!

We firmly believe that Shobnall Primary & Nursery School develops, nurtures and supports its pupils, making them fully prepared for life in the 21st century.

This page and the accompanying booklet below will provide you with very useful information about what we do to support the mental health and wellbeing of all within our community, inclusive of pupils, staff and parents and the service we are able to offer.

Mental Health & Wellbeing at Shobnall Primary & Nursery School Booklet

Positive Play Programme

Our Positive Play Leaders, Mrs Leedham and Mrs Marston, are skilled practitioners with a wealth of experience and knowledge in supporting the emotional mental health and wellbeing of children. They receive regular training to assist them in delivering structured one-to-one and group sessions in a sensory environment using the natural medium of play.







Working within our fully equipped and well-resourced nurture room, these sessions are tailored to meet individual needs, assisting in developing pupils’ listening and communication skills, addressing anger management issues, helping them to deal with the consequences of their actions and engage with their feelings and emotions.

The aims and objectives of the Positive Play Programme:

  • Allow young people a space to express and communicate feelings and difficulties in their lives, through a variety of media in constructive rather than aggressive ways and in a safe non-threatening environment.
  • Help young people feel good about themselves and raise self-esteem by providing activities that look at their strengths and by valuing what they do.
  • Provide a non-authoritarian, supportive, reliable, safe, unconditional relationship within the school and other settings.
  • Provide some of the early experiences that may have been missed but which are necessary for formal education and social interaction.

ELSA – Emotional Literacy Support

What is ELSA?

There will always be children and young people in schools facing life challenges that detract from their ability to engage with learning. Some will require greater support to increase their emotional literacy than others. ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by educational psychologists. It recognises that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are also addressed.

The majority of ELSA work is delivered on an individual basis, but sometimes small group work is more appropriate, especially in the areas of social and friendship skills. Sessions are fun, we use a range of activities such as: games, role-play with puppets or therapeutic activities such as mindfulness or arts and craft.  ELSA sessions take place in our very own ‘ELSA room’ which provides a calm, safe space for the child to feel supported and nurtured with our trained ELSAs, Mrs Johnston and Mr Rowley.

In ELSA we aim to provide support for a wide range of emotional needs:

  • Recognising emotions
  • Anxiety
  • Self-esteem
  • Social skills
  • Friendship skills
  • Anger management
  • Loss and bereavement


How does ELSA work?

Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their class teacher, Senior Leaders or, on occasion, the SENDCo. We identify and prioritise which children require a weekly programme for around 6-8 weeks. With the programme aims in mind we then plan support sessions to facilitate the pupil in developing new skills and coping strategies that allow them to manage social and emotional demands more effectively.

Remember, ELSAs are not there to fix children’s problems. What we can do is provide emotional support.

We aim to establish a warm, respectful relationship with a pupil and to provide a reflective space where they are able to share honestly their thoughts and feelings.

It needs to be appreciated that change cannot necessarily be achieved rapidly and is dependent upon the context and complexity of the presenting issues. For children with complex or long-term needs it is unrealistic to expect ELSA intervention to resolve all their difficulties, however support will be designed to target specific aspects of a child’s need. Training and development of ELSAs is an ongoing process and wisdom is required to recognise when issues are beyond the level of expertise that could reasonably be expected of an ELSA. In these cases, school supports parents with referrals for specialist counselling, play therapy or to CAMHS. The Educational Psychologist that works with our school has regular supervision sessions with our ELSA, and is able to offer advice on suitability or nature of ELSA involvement in complex cases.

Pupil Voice

On completion of their ELSA programmes, we ask the children to reflect on their experiences and to kindly leave us some feedback. Here are some of the lovely comments we receive:  

“I like coming to ELSA, it makes me happy!”

“ELSA has been really fun and has helped me with making new friendships“.

“ELSA has helped me with confidence“.

“It has helped me a lot with my anger and my problems in the playground. I enjoyed it very much!“.

“ELSA has helped me with bullying problems, making new friends and most of all to have fun!“.

“ELSA has helped me to be more sensible in class”.

Mental Health Support Team (MHST)

The wellbeing of pupils at Shobnall Primary & Nursery School is supported by the Mental Health Support Team, who have led training sessions for staff. The Mental Health Support Team work with individual children who are finding certain situations difficult or who are generally suffering from anxiety.

If you are worried about your child, please inform the school office at shb-office@shb.jtmat.co.uk or Mrs Knight who can advise you or make a referral to the team.

Education Staff Wellbeing Charter

As set out in the Education Staff Wellbeing Charter, we believe that everyone working in education should have the opportunity to enjoy the highest possible standard of wellbeing and mental health. We are united in our view that improved wellbeing among staff is a key outcome for education policy. Our staff are a precious resource: valuing them, and their wellbeing and mental health, is a duty we all share. Not only is this a good thing itself, it is critical in recruiting and retaining high quality education staff now and in the future. It is also crucial in securing better outcomes for young people, including regarding their own wellbeing and
mental health.

In signing this charter, we signal our intent to come together with people across the system with the shared aim of improving wellbeing at every level.

DfE Education Staff Wellbeing Charter

The Secretary of State for Education states, “The mental health and wellbeing of staff in education settings has always been important, but it is now more important than ever in the context of the pandemic and moving towards recovery. I am immensely grateful for the work you do to educate children and young people and I thank you for your dedication to the profession. As Education Secretary, I want you to know that I will always be your champion.

The creation of this charter is an excellent example of effective collaboration between the department and representatives from across the education sector, at a time when this was most needed. I am proud of what has been achieved.

This charter sets out commitments from this department, from Ofsted and employers working in education on actions to protect and promote the wellbeing of education staff. As signatories, we are accountable to those commitments. Everyone working in education has an important role to play in supporting their wellbeing and that of their colleagues. I encourage all schools and colleges to put wellbeing at the centre of everything you do and sign up to the charter.”

Financial Wellbeing

At Shobnall Primary & Nursery School, we believe financial education is crucial when preparing our pupils for life in 21st century. With NatWest, we are leading a financial unit through PSHE in the summer term where the children have the opportunity to set up and run their own company to raise money for the school.

The Enterprise Project

We introduced The Enterprise Project at Shobnall Primary & Nursery School at the start of the summer holidays 2021.

At Shobnall Primary & Nursery School, we offer our children a rich and varied curriculum and we believe that financial education is an important part of preparing children for life in the 21st century. Successful social enterprises are often set up and run by entrepreneurs who are resilient, innovative and intellectually curious.

Pupils in our school are given the opportunity to begin their own small business venture alone, or in small groups. The idea behind this is for the children to develop their entrepreneurial flair, understand and appreciate the value of money and to use their mathematical knowledge and skills to calculate profit made throughout the project. The aim is for the children to make as MUCH PROFIT AS POSSIBLE to be a successful company! Younger children may need more assistance from their parents to begin with to track the money spent and profit made.

All of the children in school are given £1.00, as a ‘start-up’ investment for their company. As this is a ‘loan’ (interest free, of course!), they will need to repay this back to the school on completion of the project.

Mental Health First Aiders

We have five qualified Mental Health First Aiders in school who are part of a community of hundreds of thousands of people in England trained to support themselves and each other – Mr Adams, Mrs Knight, Miss Lord, Mrs Marston and our Link Governor for Safeguarding, Mrs Bradley.






A Mental Health First Aider can:

  • understand the important factor affecting mental ill health
  • identify the signs and symptoms for a range of mental health conditions
  • use ALGEE to provide Mental Health First Aid to someone experiencing a mental health issue or crisis
  • listen non-judgmentally and hold supportive conversations using the Mental Health First Aid action plan
  • signpost people to professional help, recognising that the role does not replace the need for ongoing support

We also have a member of the Senior Leadership Team who has undertaken Senior Mental Health Lead Training with the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.

Senior Mental Health Lead Training Certificate – David Adams

Wellbeing Weeks

At Shobnall Primary & Nursery School we have raised the awareness of wellbeing and mental health by running themed-weeks in school.

Healthy Happy Children Week

Schools in the JTMAT have taken part in ‘Happy Healthy Children Week’, which was designed to ease children back to school after the Christmas holidays and into the spring term.

Activities included:

  • Meeting a therapy dog
  • Offering staff and parents free health checks
  • Yoga sessions
  • Thai Chi
  • Recognising the importance ‘being active’ can have to maintain a positive wellbeing
  • The impact of worrying and strategies to cope
  • Stress of tests and exams and much more!

Happy Healthy Children Week was publicised in the Burton Mail in January 2020.

NHS Week

In September 2020, Shobnall Primary & Nursery School and other schools in the JTMAT took part in NHS Week to raise money for Burton Hospital and the wonderful professionals who continue to take care of many of our loved ones. This was an incredible week where each class were inspired by an artist to create their own piece of artwork which was sold to parents.


Happiness Heroes

At Shobnall Primary & Nursery School, we are very proud to state that the wellbeing of our whole school community is of paramount importance. We firmly believe that Shobnall Primary & Nursery School develops, nurtures and supports its pupils, making them fully prepared for life in the 21st century.

To continually promote the importance of wellbeing for our pupils, each class from Reception to Year 6 elects a representative to become a Wellbeing Champion to help support pupil wellbeing. 

They meet regularly with the ‘Secretary of State’ Miss Brewin, to find new ways to champion and support pupil wellbeing throughout the school. Please click on the links below to view the latest minutes from their meetings.

Happiness Heroes Meeting (27th June 2023)

Useful Resources for Parents

Please click on the links below which will sign-post you to some of the different websites online that offer help and advice to parents.