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Mental Health and Well-being

Emotional Health and Wellbeing

At Otford, we are committed to supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff. We know that everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable and at times, anyone may need additional emotional support. We take the view that positive mental health is important for everyone and that we all have a role to play.  

At our school we:

•    help children to understand their emotions and feelings better                             
•    help children feel comfortable sharing any concerns or worries
•    help children socially to form and maintain relationships
•    promote self-esteem and ensure children know that they count
•    encourage children to be confident and ‘dare to be different’
•    help children to develop emotional resilience and to manage setbacks 

We offer different levels of support:


Universal Support - To meet the needs of all our pupils through our overall ethos and our wider curriculum. We achieve this at Otford by creating an environment and school ethos where children are encouraged to talk about their thoughts, feelings, moods and emotions and by raising awareness of mental health across the school and what it means. We do this through Well-being assemblies, PHSCE sessions, Celebrating World Mental Day and raising money for Young Minds amongst other things.


Additional support - For those who may have short term needs and those who may have been made vulnerable by life experiences such as bereavement.  


Targeted support -  For pupils who need more differentiated support and resources or specific targeted interventions such as wellbeing groups or personal mentors.


All our teaching and support staff received Mental Health First Aid training in 2019 and this is due to be renewed in early 2023.

Mrs Cornelius is a fully trained Mental Health First Aider and is Well-being Lead in the school.


For more information about how to support your child’s mental health at home follow the links below:

Young Minds

Anna Freud Centre

Place2Be - How to support your child's mental health – Place2Be

Kent Children and Young People's Mental Health Service  0300 1234496

Children’s Mental Health Week 2024



The theme this year is My Voice Matters.


1 in 6 children and young people now have a diagnosable mental health condition. By taking part in Children’s Mental Health Week 2024, we can all help ensure that children and young people across the UK feel listened to and know that they’re not alone.


Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously (The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child)


There are some children and young people whose voices are marginalised. For example, those who have a special educational need or disability, those who are care-experienced, those who are part of the LGBTQI+ community and those from racially minoritized groups. This Children’s mental Health Week Place2Be want all children and young people, whoever they are, and wherever they are in the world, to be able to say – and believe ‘My Voice Matters”.


During the week, the children considered this theme during assemblies and activities in class, learning and thinking about children who have stood up and found their voice to fight for what they believe and how they can do the same.


They also DRESSED TO EXPRESS - the children could dress in something that expressed themselves and their interests.


Please also find attached a ‘Top tips For Families’ from Place2Be and ‘Top tips for children’, which the children will discuss in school too. You can also check out their website for more information and support Families - Children's Mental Health Week (


Many thanks,


Mrs Peppie Cornelius

Deputy Headteacher and Well-being Lead




Measuring Pupil Wellbeing


Understanding the wellbeing and mental health needs of our pupils and staff at Otford is at the heart of our whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing. As part of this approach, gathering data from children enables us to understand their needs, identify interventions, allocate resources and measure how responses change over time. Measuring pupil wellbeing will help us to understand whether the investments we are making in our pupils’ mental health is led by the needs of our pupils.


It is good practice to identify where our interventions and approaches are making a difference, so that we can regularly review and develop next steps.


Using measurement tools can give us useful and informative data for our school community and can help us to understand the following:


· the strengths of our pupils

· the needs of our pupils

· how to identify the most suitable interventions to address these needs

· how to allocate resources to meet their needs

· measuring how their needs change over time.


Here at Otford we have decided to use the Anna Freud Centre Wellbeing Measurement Framework for Primary schools to gather this data. Children will complete this survey by the end of November, using an online tool. The number of sections the children complete will depend on their age and year group. Reception children will not take part in the survey. The reason for completing the survey and how it will help us support the children moving forwards, will be shared with the children prior to them taking it. We will repeat the same survey at the end of the year. This will help us measure impact and plan next steps. We will only have access to overall trends and results, and will be unable to identify individual’s outcomes.


As well as completing a child’s wellbeing survey, we are also carrying out a staff wellbeing survey, again using the Anna Freud Wellbeing Measurement for schools. As Leaders, this helps us to understand how staff are feeling. It asks questions about the ability and capacity of staff to support the children and young people in the school and explores aspects of school culture, which may be affecting staff wellbeing. The results of this survey, will be shared with governors and staff.


To integrate mental health and wellbeing across the whole school community, we have also recently created a Wellbeing Action Group in school, comprising of representatives from different stakeholders; staff (both teaching and non-teaching), Wellbeing Governor - Hannah Drennan and some children. This year our Community Leaders from Y2-Y5 and our Community Ambassadors in Y6 will be the children who form part of the pupil voice within the Wellbeing Action Group. We are also keen, to have parent voice within this group and will be discussing the best way to achieve this.


Establishing the Action Group means that everyone is playing a part in promoting good mental health and this will help advise us, as leaders, on strategies to improve and support mental health and wellbeing across the whole community. We will keep you up to date on key information throughout the year.


Pupil Well-being Survey Results - November 2023






  1. I feel lonely 

42% (35%) 

51% (63%) 

3% (2%) 

  1. I cry a lot 

37% (38%) 

54% (56%) 

6 % (5%) 

  1. I am unhappy 

32% (25%) 

61% (70%) 

4% (4%) 

  1. Nobody likes me 

60% (72%) 

34% (23%) 

3% (4%) 

  1. I worry a lot 

34% (31%) 

51% (52%) 

12% (15%) 

  1. I have sleep problems 

31% (32%) 

44% (43%) 

23% (24%) 

  1. I wake up at night 

22% (24%) 

47% (53%) 

28% (23%) 

  1. I am shy 

45% (37%) 

42% (50%) 

11% (11%) 

  1. I feel scared 

45% (41%) 

47% (55%) 

5% (3%) 

  1. I worry when I am at school 

45% (48%) 

42% (42%) 

8% (9%) 

  1. I get very angry 

40% (41%) 

50% (50%) 

8% (7%) 

  1. I lose my temper 

50% (50%) 

40% (41%) 

7% (8%) 

  1. I hit out when I am angry 

71% (68%) 

21% (24%) 

6% (7%) 

  1. I do things to hurt people 

79% (87%) 

15% (10%) 

2% (2%) 

  1. I am calm 

10% (54%) 

56% (40%) 

31% (5%) 

  1. I break things on purpose 

86% (85%) 

9% (12%) 

3% (1%) 



If you do have any individual concerns about the mental health and wellbeing of your child, there is helpful information and advice on our website under Key Information - Inclusion and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – Wellbeing so do please have a look


Equally, do make an appointment to speak with your child’s class teacher or Miss Chalkley, Mrs Williams or myself. All the staff at Otford are really committed to creating a culture of wellbeing, where everyone feels supported and valued and enabled to achieve their very best.


Thank you for your continued support,


Mrs Peppie Cornelius

(Deputy Headteacher - Wellbeing/Designated Safeguarding Lead