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Wellbeing & mental health


Wellbeing is about our thoughts, feelings, emotions and ability to react to different situations in life.

A good sense of wellbeing is feeling ok and being able to cope, even when life or situations are challenging.

Sometimes our wellbeing is affected by things out of our control: illness, a stressful family situation or crisis, or a build-up of a range of small problems.

When our wellbeing is affected and we don’t feel able to cope, this can lead to mental health concerns: sadness, depression, feeling anxious. Which lead to unhelpful thoughts stopping us from enjoying and coping with daily life.


Mental Health Illness


We all need to look after our Mental Health.

Sometimes, people are born with a mental health illness which affects them throughout their lives. They might have different ways of being supported and coping with their mental health illness; they might take medicine or they might have a doctor or counsellor that they talk to, to help them cope and regain a sense of wellbeing.

Mental illness is often invisible, but that doesn’t mean it should be hidden.

It can take many forms, such as stress, depression, paranoia, sleeping problems, anxiety, panic attacks and suicidal feelings. You might not be able to tell from looking at a person whether they are suffering.

Statistics tell us that most people suffer from a mental health concern at some point in their lives and that one in ten young people struggle with their mental health. People with any illness, whether they affect our mental or physical health, deserve support, help and understanding.


Our Wellbeing at Dovedale Primary School


Our Vision

Our vision is for all our students, staff and community to have the support they need to build lifelong coping skills and thrive. We will promote, develop, equip and prepare healthy learners for life. We are committed to making it our mission to promote resilience, positive wellbeing and mental health for all our pupils and staff. We understand wellbeing to be a state of being comfortable, healthy and happy. We aim to drive this message forward, and to ensure that mental health and well-being is “everyone’s business” across the whole school community. We will strive to create an environment that has a whole school approach, in providing excellent mental health support, understanding and intervention. We will put Wellbeing at the heart of our school.

We will make this happen by:

  • Understanding the different types of emotional and mental health needs across the school and have systems in place to respond appropriately

  • Actively promoting students and staff emotional wellbeing and mental health

  • Have a positive culture which regards emotional wellbeing and mental health as the responsibility of all

  • Increasing opportunities to engage in the evidence based 'five ways to wellbeing' model 1) Connect 2) Be active 3) Take notice 4) Keep learning 5) Give

  • Developing the curriculum and teaching, learning and assessment methods to optimise mental health and wellbeing, recognising neurodiversity, while maintaining academic standards



Understanding and responding to our mental health and wellbeing needs is something we believe in at Dovedale Primary School. We aim to take away the stigma and negativity and help our pupils and families to talk openly. We have our own worry monster (a teddy) in school who helps to take worries away from children by popping a note into his worry boxes. A teacher/teaching assistant or our Child Mental Health Lead can then talk about that worry with the child.


We also have Wellbeing Wednesday every week when our Child Mental Health Lead holds regular mental health sessions in our hub with children who need that support. Our Child Mental health lead also runs regular free wellbeing after school clubs each half term for children of all ages to take part in various wellbeing activities such as yoga, mindfulness, colouring, dancing, circle time, discussions and games linked to our feelings.


At Dovedale Primary we have our own Mental Health Champions within school. These are children that have shown interest in this role and applied to take part in the training. These children wear yellow caps at playtime and lunchtime on the playground so that they can be visibly seen by the other children and help to promote wellbeing in our school. They look out for others, listen to children's worries and be a good friend. They then attend termly meetings to talk about wellbeing in our school.


Our Wellbeing Champion Role

  • To spread happiness and peace throughout the school
  • To make everyone welcome
  • To always treat others as you would like to be treated yourself
  • To be kind and caring and helpful towards others
  • Listen to others and take notice

Share our Dovedale REACH values and Dovedale verse.


We also run the Thrive support programme in school. It is a programme developed to help prepare and support children with life’s emotional ups and downs.

It is an approach that helps children’s emotional developmental needs. It helps build resilience and resourcefulness and is led by our trained Thrive practitioners. For more information about what Thrive is and how it works or who to contact about Thrive then please see our ‘Thrive’ tab on the website under the ‘Parents’ heading.





Our Family Liaison Officer-Claire Kudryk




Across our Academy of schools we also have our own Family Liaison Officer, Claire Kudryk who can offer support in a number of areas including; supporting your child’s

  • Behaviour needs
  • Emotional health needs
  • Social needs
  • Implementing routines 
  • Support and sign posts to more specific targeted support where needed


Claire can also complete follow up work with our children in school, on a 1:1 or small group basis, including;


  • Regulating feelings and emotions
  • Helping them to manage anger and frustrations
  • Helping them with anxiety
  • Building on their confidence and self-esteem
  • Supporting around key transitions, including moving between classes and schools
  • Support around friendship and relationship issues
  • Support around family issues e.g. Bereavement, new baby, parent’s separation/ divorce, family breakdown, parental health and well-being needs. 


You can contact Claire via email on the details in the leaflet below or speak to a member of staff who may be able to make a referral for support on your behalf.

Helpful websites,apps and activities


 Young Minds



Positive Penguins

  • Aimed at 8 - 12 year olds. This app helps children to understand their feelings and challenge negative thinking. Four positive penguins take children on a journey to help them better understand the relationship between what they think and what they feel.


Dragon in the Attic,a%20dragon%20in%20an%20attic.

  • Dragon in the Attic is a mental health app centred on anti-bullying ideas. It is a fun, re-playable, game for 8 – 12 year old boys and girls about health and wellbeing choices which give players greater awareness and confidence, by getting kids to look after a dragon in an attic.


Supporting children and young people through the pandemic - BBC Children in Need

  • Children in Need website contains conversation starters, activities, challenges and further support through the pandemic


Lumi Nova:Tales of courage App

A FREE Digital intergalatic adventure game to support children with anxiety or worry. Lumi Nova is a fun mobile game that enables children & young people (aged 7-12 years) to learn life-long skills to self-manage their worries and build resilience.


Home Learning with BBC Bitesize - Wellbeing for Year 6 - BBC Bitesize

  • Supporting Year 6 children and parents with the move to Year 7 in Secondary School. Lots of videos and resources from a Year 7 child's point of view.


Supporting children's transition to secondary school | Childrens mental health and wellbeing in schools | Anna Freud Centre

  • Guidance for parents and carers on supporting their children's transition to secondary school


We recommend that parents always look at and test our apps and games for themselves before introducing their children to them.


Some useful activities to complete with your child

Self-care | Anna Freud

Resources to prioritise mental health and wellbeing.


mentally-healthy-schools-change-toolkit-primary.pdf (

Resources to help when dealing with change and transition

Helplines and useful links



Advice, support and signposting about a child or young person.

Tel: 0808 802 5544


Derbyshire Family Health Service

Telephone number for parents to ring Tel:01246 515100



Help for adults concerned about a child NSPCC Tel: 0808 800 5000



Help for children and young people call Childline Talk: 0800 1111



The Samaritans offer emotional support 24 hours a day - in full confidence.

Call 116 123 - it's FREE

Or email



Information and signposting for mental health, treatment options and advocacy services

Call the Mind infoline on 0300 123 3393 Or email




SHOUT - Text SHOUT to 85258




Useful link for parents:



Children's Mental Health Week 2024

It is Children's Mental health Week 5th-9th February and at Dovedale we continue to raise awareness. 


This year the theme is 'Our Voices Matter'.

Empowering children and young people has a positive impact on their health and wellbeing. Children and young people who feel that their voices are heard -  and that what they say makes a difference - have higher levels of self-efficacy and self-esteem.


We have created a whole week of mental health activities for all of the children to get involved in within school such as games, songs, posters and assemblies.


Please find attached some handouts to support your child's mental health at home including supporting those children with additional needs.


Mrs Tomlinson