Mental Health

At Holly Park Primary School, we aim to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for our whole school community (children, staff, parents and carers), and recognise how important mental health and emotional wellbeing is to our lives in just the same way as physical health. We recognise that children’s mental health is a crucial factor in their overall wellbeing and can affect their learning and achievement. All children go through ups and downs during their school career and some face significant life events. 

Our aim is to help develop the protective factors which build resilience to mental health problems and to be a school where:

  • All children are valued.
  • Children have a sense of belonging and feel safe.
  • Children feel able to talk openly with trusted adults about their problems without feeling any stigma.
  • Positive mental health is promoted and valued.
  • Bullying is not tolerated

Our whole school approach to mental health: Holly Park whole school approach

Our whole school strategy: Holly Park Mental Health Strategy

The following members of staff will be designated as wellbeing officers

  • Ann Pelham            Headteacher – Designated Senior Mental Health Lead
  • Maria Michael         Deputy Head – Mental Health First Aider  Deputy Designated Senior Mental Health Lead
  • Kathy Puzey           Learning Mentor –  Mental Health First Aider Deputy Designated Senior Mental Health Lead
  • Diana Kelly            SENDCO – Mental Health First Aider
  • Eve Mehtar            AHT Personal Development – Mental Health First Aider
  • Andrea Needham   Pupil Support Officer – Mental Health First Aider

Whilst all staff are involved in the mental health and wellbeing of children, it specifically involves:

  • The  Designated Senior Mental Health Lead
  • The Mental Health First Aiders
  • The Learning Mentor
  • The PHSE Lead
  • The SENDCO
  • The DSL
  • The Pupil Support Officer
  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • The Designated Lead for Looked After Children
  • We have a designated governor responsible for Mental health and wellbeing

A whole school approach to promoting positive mental health

We take a whole school approach to promoting positive mental health that aims to help children become more resilient, happy and successful and to prevent problems before they arise. This encompasses seven aspects:

  1. Creating an ethos, policies and behaviours that support mental health and resilience, and which everyone understands.
  2. Helping children to develop social relationships, support each other and seek help when they need it.
  3. Helping children to be resilient learners.
  4. Teaching children social and emotional skills and an awareness of mental health.
  5. Early identification of children who have mental health needs and planning support to meet their needs, including working with specialist services.
  6. Effectively working with parents and carers.
  7. Supporting and training staff to develop their skills and their own resilience. 

Teaching about Mental Health

The skills, knowledge and understanding needed by our pupils to keep themselves and others physically and mentally healthy and safe are included as part of our developmental PSHE curriculum. 

There will always be an emphasis on enabling students to develop the skills, knowledge, understanding, language and confidence to seek help, as needed, for themselves or others.

We ensure that we teach mental health and emotional wellbeing issues in a safe and sensitive manner which helps rather than harms.

We teach units on health and wellbeing within the PHSE curriculum. 

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6
Awareness of feelings

Keeping well and clean

Looking after myself



Healthy People

Keeping Safe

About my body



Emotions and feelings

Healthy Lifestyles

Keeping Safe

Smoking and basic first aid

Parts of the body

Mental health

Rights and responsibilities

Healthy lifestyles

Growing and changing

Alcohol and decision making

Mental Health and wellbeing

Personal safety

Healthy lifestyles


Legal & illegal drugs

Healthy lifestyles

Drugs, risk and media

Moving On

Mental health & online safety

Puberty & relationships

Sex education

Personal safety – FGM

We have developed a range of strategies and approaches including:

  • Weekly Talk Times so that children can discuss concerns, listen to one another and explore solutions
  • Worry Box in every class
  • Bubble Time and Happy / Sad faces where children can ask for help
  • One to one sessions to talk with our Learning Mentor
  • One to one sessions to talk with our Learning Mentor and school dog
  • Solution Focus work with our Learning Mentor
  • Group sessions with our Learning Mentor
  • Buckets in every class – filling buckets vs dipping buckets to promote positive relationships
  • Our school dog
  • Feel Good Fridays
  • Anti-Bullying Ambassadors
  • Use of the Restorative Approach to listen to all children and solve issues
  • School Council, Learning Council, Eco Council, Healthy Living Council, Junior Travel Ambassadors and Rights Respecting Champions to encourage pupil voice
  • Rights Respecting School to raise awareness of showing respect, listening to each other and ensuring we are all safe
  • Assemblies and lessons to raise awareness about mental health
  • Mini Mentors and Play Leaders – children supporting one another at playtimes
  • Wellbeing week – whole school focus on doing things which make us feel good
  • Mindfulness sessions with Learning Mentor and in class
  • Lessons about resilience

 Please see attached for our Mental Health  and Wellbeing strategy: Holly Park Mental Health Strategy

At Holly Park, we use the Zones of Regulation throughout the whole school to teach the children good coping and regulation strategies so they can help themselves when they experience anxiety and stress.

In the classroom, sometimes children may panic when faced with a tricky learning problem or challenge. By teaching them how to cope with these feelings they are better able to tackle learning challenges and build resilience so they don’t give up so easily when faced with difficulty.

We want children at Holly Park to grow into successful teenagers then adults. Teaching the children at a young age about managing their feelings will support them in later life so that they don’t turn to negative coping strategies which affect their mental and physical wellbeing.

We aim to help children to:

  • Recognise when they are in the different Zones and learn how to change or stay in the Zone they are in.
  • Increase their emotional vocabulary so they can explain how they are feeling.
  • Recognise when other people are in different Zones, thus developing better empathy.
  • Develop an insight into what might make them move into the different Zones.
  • Understand that emotions, sensory experiences such as lack of sleep or hunger and their environment might influence which Zone they are in.
  • Develop problem-solving skills and resilience.
  • Identify a range of calming and alerting strategies that support them (known as their personal ‘toolkit’).

Blue Zone: low level of arousal; not ready to learn; feels sad, sick, tired, bored, moving slowly.

Green Zone: calm state of alertness; optimal level to learn; feels happy, calm, feeling okay, focused.

 Yellow Zone: heightened state of alertness; elevated emotions; has some control; feels frustrated, worried, silly/wiggly, excited, loss of some control.

Red Zone: heightened state of alertness and intense emotions; not an optimal level for learning; out of control; feels mad/angry, terrified, yelling/hitting, elated, out of control.

Read this Parent/Carer Guide to get more information about the Zones of Regulation:

Holly Park Zones of Regulation Parent Booklet

 We have made four short videos as a guide to parents and carers about the Zones of Regulation. Click on the links to get the video.

 Zones of Regulation – Introduction

This video is an introduction to the Zones of Regulation.

How do you feel in each Zone?

Zones of Regulation – Expected and Unexpected Behaviour

This video is about how we should behave at school and at home.

  • What is the expected behaviour?
  • What is unexpected behaviour?
  • How do people feel when you behave in the expected way?
  • How do people feel when you behave in an unexpected way?

Zones of Regulation – Triggers

This video is about the triggers that push you into the Yellow and Red Zones.

What makes you feel scared, angry or worried?

Zones of Regulation – Toolkit

The final video is about the tools that we can use to move between the Zones.

  • Which tools can you use to calm down?
  • Which tools can you use to get more energy?​

Here is the Holly Park Zones of Regulation toolkit: Holly Park Zones of Regulation Toolkit

The Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA)

Parents may be interested in the work of The Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA) who aim to empower, educate, and equip individuals and organisations to support suicide awareness and prevention.

They are UK based and are hosted by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and funded via Mersey Cares NHS Charity. They offer free online suicide awareness and prevention training and resources. They have a 20-minute suicide awareness training and have developed other editions of the training which include data and scenarios that are more targeted to specific audiences.

Their aim is to keep the training free and easy for anyone to do – so that more people feel confident and able to talk to someone who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts. You can find out more at: