At St Laurence-in-Thanet CE Junior Academy we are committed to promoting positive mental health and emotional wellbeing within our school community. We firmly believe in fostering positive mental health and emotional wellbeing to create a school community where everyone can thrive.

Who has mental health?
We acknowledge that everyone, including children, possesses mental health, also referred to as emotional health or wellbeing.

What is mental health?
As defined by the World Health Organisation, mental health is a state of wellbeing where individuals achieve their potential, cope with life's stresses, work productively, and contribute to their community. It encompasses emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing, influencing how we think, feel, and act. Similar to physical health, mental health varies across a spectrum and can fluctuate daily.

What helps?
Maintaining good physical health, a balanced diet, regular exercise, time for play, supportive family relationships, a school that prioritises wellbeing, and participation in local activities are essential for keeping children mentally well. Other crucial factors include feeling loved, trusted, understood, valued, and safe, having a sense of belonging, and developing resilience.


What happens in school?
In our school, we prioritise the promotion of positive mental health and wellbeing. Our curriculum and daily practices underscore the importance of teaching children about good mental health. We follow the One Goal mental health programme, with a specific emphasis on developing social and emotional skills through the PSHE curriculum. This proactive approach aims to prevent poor mental health and equips children with effective coping mechanisms.
Here at St Laurence we recognise that children occasionally face social and emotional challenges which can impact negatively on their learning; for these more vulnerable pupils our involvement might need to be intensified, and to this purpose we run nurture, self- esteem and social skills groups.

We have 2 Emotional Literacy Support Assistants as part of our team.

ELSAs are warm, kind and caring people who want to make children and young people feel happy in school. and to reach their potential socially, emotionally and academically. They understand the barriers to learning that some children and young people might have and can help them with this.

They can support the children and young person’s emotional development and help them cope with life’s challenges. ELSAs will also help children and young people to find solutions to problems they might have.

An ELSA is not there to fix problems but to help them find their own solutions and offer that important support to a child or young person. Relationships are key in helping children and young people to feel safe and nurtured.

Zones of Regulation
The Zones of Regulation is an intervention which helps children to manage difficult emotions, known as ‘self-regulation’. Self-regulation can go by many names such as ‘self-control’, ‘impulse management’ and ‘self-management’. The Zones of Regulation aims to teach children strategies to help them cope with these feelings so they can get back to feeling calm and ready to learn. These coping strategies are called ‘self-regulation’.

We want to teach all of our children good coping and regulation strategies so they can help themselves when they experience anxiety and stress. In the classroom, sometimes children panic when faced with a tricky learning problem or challenge. By teaching them how to cope with these feelings might make them better at tackling learning challenges and build better resilience so they don’t give up so easily when faced with difficulty.

We prioritise the well-being and mental health of our pupils through the One Goal Mental Health Champions Programme. At our school, we believe that nurturing a positive and supportive environment is essential for the holistic development of every child.

The One Goal Mental Health Champions Programme is a unique initiative designed to empower our pupils with the tools and knowledge they need to navigate the complexities of their emotional well-being. Through engaging activities, open discussions, and skill-building exercises, our young learners become advocates for mental health, fostering a culture of empathy, understanding, and resilience.

By participating in the One Goal Mental Health Champions Programme, our children not only enhance their own well-being but also contribute to creating a positive and compassionate school community.

Together, let's make mental health a One Goal for all!


The Emotional Wellbeing Team
We are proud to partner with the Kent Emotional Well-Being Team from NELFT (North East London NHS Foundation Trust), bringing specialised expertise to support the emotional and mental health needs of our young learners.

The Kent Emotional Well-Being Team comprises dedicated professionals who work collaboratively with our school to provide tailored support, resources, and interventions. From promoting emotional resilience to offering guidance on coping strategies, the team is committed to fostering a positive and nurturing environment that enables every student to thrive.

Through workshops, one-on-one sessions, and whole-school initiatives, the Kent Emotional Well-Being Team actively engages with pupils, parents, and educators to promote mental health awareness and well-being. Our partnership with NELFT ensures that our school community is equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to address emotional challenges and build a foundation for lifelong mental well-being.


In-School Counsellor
We believe that a happy and emotionally healthy child is better equipped to excel academically and socially. Our in-school counsellor brings a wealth of expertise to provide comprehensive mental health support and plays a crucial role in fostering a supportive and nurturing environment for our young learners.

Whether a pupil is facing challenges with managing anxiety, coping with changes or has suffered trauma or a bereavement, our school counsellor is here to offer guidance and support. Through individual counselling sessions, our counsellor helps pupils develop essential life skills, build resilience, and promote positive social interactions.

Here at St Laurence, our commitment to transforming education is taking a pivotal step forward as we embrace the Thrive Approach. Our mission is clear - to empower children and young people not only academically but to engage with life in a holistic manner. Through our whole-school approach, proven to enhance attendance, behaviour, and attainment, we are dedicated to creating an environment that fosters emotional well-being and sets the stage for lifelong learning.

Thrive Benefits:

•    1. Emotional Learning and Regulation
•    2. Improved Educational Outcomes
•    3. Collaboration with Parents and Carers

Becoming a Thrive School is our commitment to the well-being and success of every pupil.


What if my child is experiencing difficulties?
We understand that mental health doesn't mean constant happiness, and facing challenges is a part of life. Listening to your child and taking their feelings seriously is crucial. Our school encourages open communication, and if your child needs additional support, we are here to help. We value the collaboration between home and school to support children during challenging times.

Looking after yourself
Recognising when things are challenging is important. Seeking support from someone you trust or approaching us in confidence is encouraged. We understand that taking care of your own mental health is essential, and reaching out for support, including from your GP or a counselling service, is a sign of strength. We emphasise that taking care of yourself enables you to better support your child.

Useful Web Links:

Parent Advise Leaflets