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Pupil Mental Health and Wellbeing

At Marshlands Primary School, we aim to promote positive mental health and well-being of every member of our school community and recognise how important mental health and well-being is to our lives, as is physical health.  We recognise that children's mental health and overall well-being can affect their learning and achievements and as such have received a bronze award for being an  attachment and trauma informed school. 

A key aspect of our role in school is to ensure that children are able to manage times of change and stress and that they are supported to access help when they need it.  We also have a role to ensure that children learn about how they can maintain positive mental health, what affects their mental health, how they can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and where they can go to get help and support.

In order to achieve this, we have a whole school approach to promoting positive mental health and well-being, while avoiding stigma.  We do this by:

  • Following the requirements of the RSE guidance.
  • Creating an ethos, policies and behaviours that supports mental health  and resilience.
  • Helping children to develop social relationships and to support each other.
  • Helping children to be resilient learners.
  • Teaching children social and emotional skills, alongside an awareness of mental health.
  • Developing a curriculum that focusses on the whole child and not just academia.
  • Early intervention and support including working with outside agencies.
  • Nurture classes and two trained nurture staff. (Mrs Clarkson and Mrs Shipley)
  • Effectively working with parents and carers.
  • Supporting and training staff to develop their own skills and resilience.  
  • 9 staff trained in youth mental health. (Mrs Tang, Mrs Clarkson, Mrs Sharp, Miss Marston, Mrs Latham, Mrs Wright , Mrs Laverack, Mr Wrafter and Miss Ruston)
  • 2 staff staff trained in adult mental health. (Mrs Tang and Mrs Clarkson)
  • 2 Senior leaders trained in mental health, as advised in DfE guidance.  Mrs Tang has undertaken training with the Anna Freud Foundation on a community and whole school approach to mental health.  Mrs Wright has undertaken Thrive training.
  • Miss Hayles is trained as a mental health champion.
  • Mrs Tang has assured City and Guilds training to support 'Young Gamblers and Gaming'.
  • Whole school training on attachment, ACES and trauma leading to the Bronze Trauma and Attacement award. 
  • Developing an open culture that encourages discussion and understanding mental health awareness.
  • A designated well-being governor (Mr Mowton).
  • Whole school promotion of kindness and building resilience in all areas of the curriculum.



Supporting Students

Mental health and well being is a varied and complex area and there are no quick fix solutions.  Maintaining every day, regular routines wherever possible, such as, attending school and lessons whilst working towards managing mental health is key.  We can offer a range of services and programmes to help students develop positive mental health and well being.  


Any staff member, student or parent/carer concerned about the mental health and well being of  student can make a referral for support.  


The ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) intervention was originally 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 their pupils. It recognises that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are also addressed. This intervention is now widely implemented by educational psychologists across Britain.

ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by educational psychologists, who apply their professional knowledge of children’s social and emotional development to areas of need experienced by pupils. They provide on-going professional supervision to help maintain high quality in the work undertaken by ELSAs, thereby helping to ensure safe practice for ELSAs and pupils alike.

The role title of ELSA may only legitimately be used by people who:

  • have attended (or are currently attending) a full ELSA training course delivered by one or more fully qualified educational psychologists (courses lasting a minimum of 5 but more usually 6 days)
  • regularly attend half-termly supervision in small groups (with a recommended maximum of 8 ELSAs per group and duration of 2 hours per session), led by a qualified educational psychologist
  • are currently delivering bespoke programmes of support to individual pupils and sometimes small groups


Mrs Ford and Mrs Patton are our trained ELSA staff.  They work weekly with pupils, either individually or in a small group,  for a 10 week period

Drawing and Talking 

Drawing and Talking Therapy Training is an experiential rather than theory based training programme designed for anyone working with children or young people,  who may be suffering from trauma or poor mental health. People suffering with poor mental health are often unable to express their feelings in ordinary verbal language. The Drawing and Talking therapeutic approach allows individuals to discover and communicate emotions through a non-directed technique. This is what sets Drawing and Talking apart from existing solution-focused and cognitive based therapies and intervention.  Staff undertake specific training to be able to run session. 

Mrs Ford, Mrs Clarkson and Miss Grady are our trained staff .  They run weekly sessions, for 12 weeks,  on a one to one basis.

Lego Therapy

These sessions focus on freestyle and collaborative LEGO® building projects, designed to encourage interactions between children and enable them to come up with their own solutions. Each week the group will divide up organised tasks, so that every member is assigned a defined and interactive role. Children work as a team, communicating together to build a shared project each week. 

LEGO® Therapy also supports the development of fine motor skills, creativity, perseverance, management of frustrations and task development without a fear of failing. Due to the consistency of the same children attending each week, it is also an opportunity for children to meet new peers in school. 

 LEGO® Therapy courses have 4 roles: The Architect, The Supplier, The Builder and The Director, which change each week.  All roles are clearly explained to each child at the start of the course.  
The collaborative teamwork encourages joint focus, sharing, communication, problem solving and reinforces positive behaviour and social contact. Social skills and conventions are encouraged and reinforced by the facilitator and the use of language skills, negotiation and compromise are discussed to help settle any conflicts or challenges. 

Staff trained in this are: Mrs A Smith, Mrs Patton, Miss Grady, Mrs Shipley, Miss Longhorn, Mrs Clarkson, Mrs L Harrison and Mrs Wright.

Parent Support Worker


Hello, my name is Diane Cambridge. I’m the Parent Support Worker at Marshlands School. Here is a little more about my role.

I’m here to support you and your family with any issues you may have both in school and at home. I work closely with the rest of the staff to help parents/carers and children gain as much as possible from their school life experience.

Some of the things that I can help with include:

  • Family support, covering a wide range of issues, for example:

Relationships, divorce and bereavement.

  • Signposting and referring to local agencies and services.
  • Exploring the challenges, you and your children might be facing both at home and in school.
  • Social, emotional and behavioural issues.
  • Help with looking for and getting into employment.
  • Financial and housing problems.
  • Completing forms and paperwork.
  • Ensuring that you have access to the benefits and support you are entitled to.

I have worked with children and families for many years and as a mum myself I understand that being parent is tough and challenging at times.  I am here to provide a safe space and a listening ear, information and support. I can meet with you either in school or in your own home if you would prefer.

If you would like to speak to me you can leave me a message at the reception desk or you can email me at and I will get back to you.

Food Assistance

The Two Rivers Community Pantry is aimed at supporting local families in need of support. 

If your household requires food support, they are able to provide you with a free weekly food supply for 6 weeks.  If support is needed beyond 6 weeks, then a weekly fee of £5.00 per food parcel is introduced.

As well as food, they are able to support with health care  and  hygiene.  They also support with activity packs over school holidays. 

For more information please speak to Mrs Tang or click the link below. 

Useful Resources and Websites