Emotional wellbeing support for schools including universal and transition

Schools are a huge protective factor in promoting children’s resilience. The following resources are designed to complement existing school resources and are to be dipped into as and when needed. Each strand includes different levels of response according to the level of need.

Supporting school systems

Children and young people in Kent services (SWAY) – systems and services to inform decision making.

Schools can access a free Resilience Toolkit including resources and support for implementation.

See the Department for Education guidance about safeguarding on mental health and behaviour.

Early Help and Preventative Services  includes tools and processes for Early Help and leaflets for partners and families.

Colourful wheel with 6 areas of wellbeing: feeling secure, education, talents and interests, emotions and behaviours, health and friendshipsResilience conversation tools can enable in-depth conversations with young people around their resilience and wellbeing. These tools are flexible, strengths-focussed and capture the young person’s voice.

Kent Public Health have shared trauma informed guidance for schools along current considerations.

Education and curriculum guidance

The Department for Education have produced new emotional wellbeing resources for schools with access to specific relationship and sex education sessions. Find guidance here on the Communication to schools on the implementation of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex and Health Education.

You may also wish to refer to the Department for Education teaching about mental wellbeing guidance.

Supporting pupils returning to school

Pupils thumbs ups in the foreground with a classroom in the backgroundIn this section you will find tools for you to assess the needs of your pupils and lesson plans to support your class to re-engage with learning.

Universal support for children and young people is separated into the following five areas:

  • Transitions – from home to school, while at school and school to home. There is a separate support package for Year 6-7 transition.
  • Social skills – how well the pupils are re-engaging with their friends.
  • Attitudes to learning – how well the pupils are able to re-engage with tasks specified by a teacher.
  • Feelings and emotions – how well pupils are coping with the whole Covid19 situation/experience.
  • Physical wellbeing – how well are pupils coping physically? Are they sleeping etc?

There is a google drive set up to share to a library of resources that contain wellbeing check-in templates and lesson plans.


Wellbeing check-in templates

After the settling in time and before starting to work with your pupils/students, it is important for you to assess what your class needs. We have therefore included a wellbeing check for teachers to complete, and a pupil wellbeing check (one for primary and one for secondary) to judge the level and type of support individuals, groups and class cohorts will need.

Young people against a brick wall with cartoon paper plate faces featuring different emotions covering their own facesThese assessments have been linked to the five areas of support above. You may decide to use the pupil questions to create an online questionnaire for your class using Microsoft Forms/Survey Monkey etc. Please feel free to adapt these forms to suit your own school’s needs.

Using the results of the wellbeing checks, those with the majority of answers falling into ‘green’ should just require universal lessons and support (provided in this section).  For those with answers falling into ‘amber’ they may require targeted intervention and those with answers falling into ‘red’ may require intensive intervention.  Support with those needing ‘amber’ and ‘red’ interventions can be found in other sections of the Kent Support Pack.


Lesson plans and discussion points

The lesson plans, discussion points and ideas for KS1/KS2 and KS3/KS4 contained in this section have been designed for class or form teachers to support their pupils to return to the demands of the school day. Primary schools could deliver the support at any time during the school day and secondary schools could use these resources during Form Time. These resources promote and encourage a wellbeing approach and support schools to offer nurturing experiences both inside and outside of the classroom.

It is important to remember that the lessons offered are not in any sequential order or have any time limit. One lesson or idea may take you four or five lessons over a week as you develop your understanding of pupils’ needs, and another resource may simply take 30 minutes. You could also repeat some lessons which will certainly help if some pupils return before or after others. Lessons should be completely pupil centred.


Emotional wellbeing tips for the classroom videos

These seven films from Nip in the Bud are on average 4 minutes long. They provide easy-to-use tips and guidance for teachers who have vulnerable children in their classroom who might be showing signs of a mental health condition or already have a formal diagnosis.


Year 6 to Year 7 transition – all schools will have some provision in place to support their pupils at this critical stage in their education. The following information has been devised, in consultation with secondary schools, to help primary schools support and prepare their pupils for the move to secondary school in September. The pack works just as well if the activities have to be sent home for those not returning as for those in school in term 6. A young adult's hand writing on paper with a pencil

These resources include a set of generic activities and tasks suitable for pupils going to any secondary school, which cover important issues such as time management, planning journeys to school, reading a timetable and budgeting lunch money.

The resources also include ‘tips’ which can be sent out to Year 6 parents/carers on a weekly basis. These ‘tips’ link directly to the pupil activities and suggest additional activities and discussion points so that parents/carers can also support their child’s transition to secondary school.

In order to support new Year 7’s who will be starting secondary school this September, the Anna Freud Centre have developed Moving Up! animation and accompanying toolkit with young people, teachers and mental health experts. These lesson and assembly resources aim to support pupils with the move, open up discussions about potential worries, and help to find solutions.

Moving from Infant to Junior School – for some younger pupils, not only will they be returning to school in September after a long break, they will also be returning to a new school. Whilst most Infant and Junior Schools are linked closely both by geography and community, some 7-year-olds will find this transition difficult.

We have therefore created a document to help provide the Junior School with the essential information to help ease the move. Its completion will enable KS2 teachers to ensure that the appropriate and necessary interventions are in place, friendship groups continued and a consistent approach is offered. For further information contact Jill Ansell or Emma Lloyd.

“For most children, starting a new nursery, school or key stage is a relatively smooth process, but transition is also a time of vulnerability for children as they progress through their educational careers” (National Foundation for Educational Research).

Early Years transitions -this section draws on the resources by the Kent County Council Early Years and Childcare Service including a framework, an audit tool, information on school readiness, and a transition leaflet.

Barnardo’s have created a leaflet full of advice and activities for Year Six pupils to allow them to explore their thoughts and feelings as they transition to secondary school. Download a copy of the leaflet below.

Barnardo's Stepping into Secondary School leaflet

Training for school staff

The Education People – school webinars

  • Supporting children with anxiety.
  • Understanding trauma, its impact and how we can best respond.
  • Understanding and managing self harm in children as a response.

Cartoon flipchart board with "training course" written on itKent Safeguarding Children– Youth Mental Health First Aid 

Internet Matters – a one stop shop resource featuring guides and apps to help you support others.

Anna Freud Centre – has a number of resources, webinars and vlogs focusing on mental health including anxiety for young people.



Educate Against Hate – offers government advice and trusted resources for schools to safeguard students from radicalisation, build resilience to all types of extremism and promote shared values:


Online Safety

Keyboard with the words THINK SAFETY highlighted on gold keysWhen sharing online resources with children and young people, it is important schools undertake robust checks to ensure the content they share is suitable.

Internet content is dynamic and can change; remind children and young people how they can report online concerns and encourage parents/carers to ensure age appropriate parental controls and supervision is in place.

A list of online safeguarding resources for remote learning to share with parents/carers is available from The Education People along with written guidance for schools on the variety of tools to support home learning.

Campaigns and resources

Draw Your Own Solution campaignwill help young people become more aware of what resilience is, and how to increase their levels of resilience. A group of people in a circle checking their smartphones

Good Mental Health Matters – developed by the NHS in Kent, Good Mental Health matters is a free resource for Primary and Secondary school teachers.

The Fantastic Fred Experience – a memorable live performance to teach children how to look after their own mental health.
F.R.E.D is an acronym for the four practical ways in which children can help to look after their own good mental health:
Food – Rest – Exercise – Digital Devices.