St. Paul's Catholic Primary School

Well-being at St Paul's

At St. Paul’s, we believe that supporting your child’s happiness and well-being is central to our roles as teachers, now more than ever.

We have introduced some new initiatives to help children with their emotional needs, to ensure that all of our pupils feel as safe, happy and motivated to be in the St. Paul’s learning environment as possible.

Should you have concerns about your child's well-being please contact your child's class teacher who will ensure they receive the support they need. We have a number of qualified staff. 

Mrs Katie McAuley - Senior Mental Health Lead 

Miss Henrietta Weedon - Mental Health First Aider

Mr Philip James -Mental Health First Aider 

Mrs Barbara Thordsen - ELSA / Bereavement 

Mrs Clare Hunt - ELSA 

Weekly Well-being Check-in

On a weekly basis, each class completes a ‘Well-being Check-in’ worksheet. This enables children to develop the skill of recognising their own emotions, and importantly, to allow their teachers to identify ways in which to support them. We believe that having conversations and validating emotions is crucial in supporting pupils' mental and emotional wellbeing.

For Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, this check-in is conducted by each child placing their post-it-note onto the face they feel a connection with. For the anonymity of pupils, their names are written on the sticky strip on the back of each note. Class teachers and LSAs run circle time discussions, focusing on the emotions that a pupil might have felt during the week; exploring why they may have experienced these feelings, and what they could do because of them.

In Years 3, 4, 5 and 6, the check-in is conducted through a written approach. At the start of the academic year, all KS2 pupils may bring in their own folder to leave in their trays, as a safe space to store their Well-being Check-in worksheets.

Well-being room

In the 2021 Autumn term, we proudly opened the doors of a newly decorated Wellbeing Room. The space consists of two large sofas, draped blinds, sensory toys, and positive prints on the walls. It was thoughtfully designed by Mrs Brass, an interior designer and parent of St. Paul’s.

We believe that this blending of comfortable furniture and calming colours provides a relaxing backdrop for quiet reflection, reading or prayer.

The primary purpose of the room is to serve as the base of the school’s well-being. All classes are timetabled to use the room, please see below.

Staff can also use this room as an alternative to meeting rooms or the staffroom, offering a calming space to be productive or take a quiet moment in a busy day.

We believe that stepping through the doors of the Wellbeing Room is an act of self-care. It really is impossible to step inside without instantly feeling more relaxed!

 

Wellbeing Club

Below you can find details of our Wellbeing Club, outlining the sessions we offer the children three times a week. The sessions are run by our ELSA staff, and offer pupils the opportunity for a quieter, more mindful playtime.

 

As part of our thrive groups, the children enjoy making different creations together. 

Additional and Ongoing Support

All LSAs across the school conduct a weekly 10-minute mindfulness session, in which they deliver a range of activities including guided meditations, breathing exercises, nature journals, and worksheets focusing on gratitude, happiness, and resilience.

Each classroom also has a Worry Box, which provides pupils with a safe space to share a worry. Class teachers are then able to support the child in this area, or refer them to the Worry Room, which is run by a qualified ELSA specialist. 

ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)

Following on from the success of The Wellbeing Room’s impact, the ELSA room also experienced a re-design by Mrs Brass, who kindly returned at end of the 2022 Spring term.

The ELSA Room is used for 1:1 or grouped ELSA sessions, as well as our weekly Thrive groups. Our Thrive groups focus on:

  • - Self-Esteem
  • - Resilience
  • - Socialising
  • - Friendships
  • - Thriving!

“The ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) intervention was originally developed… by Sheila Burton, Educational Psychologist. It was designed to build the capacity of schools to support the emotional needs of their pupils from within their own resources. This is achieved by training teaching assistants to develop and deliver individualised support programmes to meet the emotional needs of children and teenagers in their care. It recognises that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are also addressed.” (https://www.elsanetwork.org/about/)

Our fully-qualified ELSAs are trained to plan and deliver support to pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer-term additional emotional needs. These sessions are largely delivered on an individual basis, however on occasion, and when the focus is on building social and friendship skills, they can take place in small groups. We are proud to have full-time ELSA support on site, available to children in all Key Stages.

The Wellbeing Team

The combination of school-wide (such as HelloYellow and Children’s Mental Health Week fundraising campaigns), whole class (PSHE lessons, circle time, weekly check-ins), and individual strategies (ELSA programme, teacher and pupil relationships), is run by The Well-being Team. This whole-school approach allows us to navigate the best support we can offer pupils who may be struggling with their emotions.

 

Resources to Support at Home:

Age-appropriate Growth Mindset

Big Life Journal

Positive Psychology

BBC

Cosmic Kids Yoga

Headspace

NHS

Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families

 

What to do if you are Worried Guidance for Parents