Emotional Health and Wellbeing Policy

‘a state of mind in which an individual is able to realise his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.’

(The World Health Organisation 2010)


There are government expectations that schools should support pupils to be resilient and mentally healthy. They should provide a safe environment that fosters trust and belonging and create a culture that supports mental health

It is estimated that 1 in 4 children and young people will be affected by a mental health problem each year with 1 in 10 children in UK aged between 5 years and 16 years have a diagnosable mental health condition. Children with learning disabilities are over 6 times more likely to have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder than their peers who do not have learning disabilities (BOND 2014).

Public Health England in March 2015 comment on the influence that a child’s emotional health & wellbeing has on their cognitive development & learning, as well as their physical and social health and their mental wellbeing in adulthood. A whole school emotional wellbeing approach that moves beyond learning & teaching to cover all aspects of school life has been found to be effective in bringing about sustained health benefits.


Briarwood School aim to support and teach skills to pupils and staff to increase their awareness of emotional health and wellbeing.

Two key elements to support good mental health are:

  • Feeling Good – experiencing positive emotions like happiness, contentment and enjoyment. It also includes feelings like curiosity, engagement & safely.
  • Functioning Well – how a person is able to function in the world. This includes positive relationships and social connections, as well as feeling in control of your life and having a sense of purpose.

To promote first aid for mental health and wellbeing by creating plasters for the mind.


  • To develop a whole school approach for both staff & pupils.
  • To create an approach is based on the 6 main principles taken from the ‘Mental Health Standards’ (2014) and 8 key outcomes identified in ‘Promoting Children & Young People Emotional Health & Wellbeing’ (2015).
  • To work together with families.
  • To provide a holistic & multi-agency approach.

Briarwood Emotional Health & Wellbeing Principles

ehwb1The seven identified Emotional Health and Wellbeing principles will underpin the approaches used to support the development and integration of wellbeing strategies within the school. School policy and curriculum delivery will be tailored to promote the key aspects of improving wellbeing. It will focus on creating a physically, emotionally and socially rich environment where key relationships can thrive and pupils can feel secure in their learning.

School based programmes which are linked to the curriculum will promote pupil voice through developing independence and choice making.

Staff will have access to training sessions and signposting to approaches and resources that will support their own emotional health and wellbeing with an aim to foster teamwork and create solidarity.

Clear identification, impact and outcomes measures will feed into the school based programmes and the targeted interventions that will be offered to pupils.

Pupil Identification

Wellbeing measures include a Vulnerable Plus identification tool which has been created to enable the school to address the on-going challenge of providing meaningful support to the most vulnerable pupils. It takes a variety of factors, which could be considered as barriers to learning or risks to a student and scores them. They are then placed with the RAG (Red, Amber, Green) system to indicate the most vulnerable (see Vulnerable Plus Rationale for more information).

Staff Observations focusing on any changes in behaviour, attention and presentation will feed into the identification process as well as any communications from the pupils regarding their emotions & feelings.

Pupil Wellbeing Interventions

Approach Intervention
Whole School


Curriculum re-write Pupil voice – communication skills

Emotional literacy

Engagement profiles

Self-regulation strategies

Teaching and Learning approach
Holistic/ Multi-agency approach
Staff training
Targeted support Lunchtime club Weekly physical exercise and group games based on sensory processing approaches.
Wellbeing Interventions 1:1 sessions provided for an afternoon each week focusing on individual wellbeing outcomes.

Targeted Pupil Wellbeing Interventions

Identified pupils will receive bespoke intervention packages delivered by a trained Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA).

The development of resilience through providing a secure basis, enhancing self-esteem and self-efficiency will underpin all interventions.

An additional identification assessment will highlight any gaps that may affect a pupil’s optimum emotional health. Targets and strategies will be set to address these needs and teach new skills.

ehwb2Individual targets will aim to address these gaps and will focus on developing a skill set to support three key areas; growing and developing; future planning plus strategies to meet pupil needs.

Each set of interventions will be bespoke and provide a meaningful approach for each individual. The interventions will be based on yoga, meditation, mindfulness principles; sensory processing activities; positive thinking techniques and physical exercise.

Staff Identification

Training and signposting to assessment materials will form the basis for the staff identification. Onus will be placed on staff to self-assess and information for next steps will be available on request.

Staff wellbeing questionnaires will be sent out annually and the analysis of this will help to improve and inform whole school wellbeing approaches.

Staff Wellbeing Interventions

Whole School


Action for Happiness Information sharing

Posters/ leaflets


Wellbeing survey

Work life Support
Library of resources
Whole School offer Wellbeing twilights Sessions supported by trained professionals.

Wellbeing champions to organise events

Information sharing

Fitness sessions – termly
Social activities
Treat sessions – 3x yearly
Mindfulness/CBT sessions
Workshops – craft activities
Targeted support Termly debriefing/support sessions for staff working in classes for pupils with complex medical needs or challenging behaviour from trained professional.
Significant incidents – debriefing/counselling with a trained professional for all staff involved in a significant incident.

Monitoring and Assessment

  • Vulnerable Plus indicator outcomes will be monitored mid-year and end of the year. Any recommendation for wellbeing interventions will take place at the same time.
  • Intervention outcomes will be monitored using the Briarwood Assessment Tool (BAT) which provides an assessment system that identifies progress made in engagement, involvement and prompt levels. This data will be analysed alongside the triangulation of attainment, behaviour, attendance & engagement data.
  • Staff questionnaires and surveys provide an opportunity throughout the year to enable whole school wellbeing assessments to take place to improve practice and monitor outcomes.

Links with Other Briarwood Policies/ Documentation

  • Vulnerable Plus Rationale
  • Child Protection / Safe Guarding Policy
  • Intervention Policy – under review


BOND (2014) ‘Children and Young People with Disabilities – Understanding their Mental Health’

Department of Health & Public Health England ‘Promoting emotional wellbeing and positive mental health of children and young people’ – March 2014

DFE ‘Mental health and behaviour in schools’ – March 2016

NHS Health Scotland (2012) ‘Establishing a core set of national, sustainable mental health indicators for children and young people in Scotland’

Public Health England (2014) ‘The link between pupil health and wellbeing and attainment’

Public Health England (2015) ‘Promoting children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing’

Scottish Government (2012) ‘A guide to Getting it Right for Every Child’

Unicef (2002) ‘For Every Child’

Using Mental Health Standards (2014)

World Health Organisation (2010) ‘Mental Health: strengthening our responses’

Review Date: Academic Year 2019 – 2020