Catherine Junior School

Together, we can do it!

Mental Health

At Catherine Junior School, we want all pupils to gain the knowledge and skills they need to become independent, life-long learners. This ambition is underpinned and supported by our school values:


  • Supportive: we encourage and help others.
  • Resilient: we try to overcome difficulties.
  • Valued: we appreciate everyone and care for all.
  • Enthusiastic: we enjoy taking part and achieving.
  • Motivated: we aim high and want to do our best.
  • Thoughtful: we make good choices with words and actions.
  • Respectful: we are polite, fair and accepting.
  • Collaborative: we work positively together.


We recognise that our aims and values require a school community where every member is supported with their mental health and wellbeing. We also understand the important role that this plays in upholding the Equality Act 2010 and ensuring that our community is protected against all forms of discrimination.


Mental health is “the emotional and spiritual resilience which enables us to enjoy life and survive pain, suffering and disappointment. It is a positive sense of wellbeing and an underlying belief in our and others dignity and worth. It is influenced by our experience and our genetic inheritance.” (World Health Organisation)


Our inclusion team works collaboratively with pupils, their families, staff and external services to promote mental health and wellbeing. This is important to maintaining a happy and healthy school community and also strongly supports positive behaviour for learning, attendance and academic success. We understand that anyone in our community may need additional support with their mental health. We therefore encourage openness and dialogue, which allows us to intervene at the earliest opportunity. Our mental health and wellbeing provision involves the implementation of a range of strategies including:


  • Creating an ethos, values, policies and behaviours that support mental health and resilience that everyone understands.
  • Using teaching strategies, nurture provision, clubs and systems (such as lunchtime buddies) to enable children to develop social skills, support networks and the confidence to seek help when needed.
  • Raising awareness of mental health and wellbeing or issues that impact this by engaging in national events, such as Anti-Bullying Week, Children’s Mental Health Week, NSPCC Number Day, No Pens Day and Autism Awareness Week.
  • Explicitly teaching social and emotional skills and developing pupils’ understanding of mental health through PHSE, including teaching mindfulness and calming strategies.
  • Supporting and training staff to develop their skills and resilience, including CPD opportunities such as Mental Health First Aid and Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) training.
  • Identifying members of the community who have social, emotional or mental health (SEMH) needs and planning support to meet these needs at the earliest point. This may include:
    • Support sessions with our school counsellor, ELSA or behaviour mentor
    • Making referrals to external services:
      • The social, emotional or mental health (SEMH) team at Leicester City Council
      • Child Early Intervention Psychology Service (CEIPS)
      • The school nurse
    • Signposting parents to the GP to access the NHS’ Child and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS)
  • Ensuring a smooth transition for pupils when moving year groups or schools by having effective handover processes.
  • Class activities: weekly opportunities for class discussions and worry boxes in each classroom.
  • Whole school initiatives: assemblies that raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing, assemblies that celebrate achievements, promoting pupil voice and aspirations through the PLT, and challenges to promote healthy minds and bodies.


Our mental health and wellbeing provision supports the culture of safeguarding at our school. All staff are trained to prioritise safety, recognise concerns, remain vigilant and maintain professional curiosity. When a mental health concern also constitutes a safeguarding concern, the school’s safeguarding procedures are followed first.