Primary resources to promote good mental health and wellbeing

We've partnered with Mentally Healthy Schools – which offers primary school staff information, advice and practical resources to better understand, promote and support pupils’ mental health and wellbeing – to bring you a selection of resources on mental health; from lesson plans and assembly ideas to classroom activities and PSHE resources.

You'll find hundreds more free, quality-assured resources on the Mentally Healthy Schools website.

You can also register with Mentally Healthy Schools to create your own library of useful links and resources, and sign up to receive a half-termly email newsletter with tailored information and guidance on a timely topic.  

Mentally Healthy Schools resources

Getting to know me: KS1

Use this “Getting to know me” activity with your primary school class at the start of the school year to help pupils get to know themselves a little better and to set a goal that they would like to work towards. This activity will also help give you a sense of their character.

This task will encourage pupils to think about how they look, their personality, the
things they enjoy doing, and who are the important people in their lives. The
worksheet finishes with a goal that pupils can set themselves to achieve – or work
towards completing - by the end of the school year. Teachers can revisit these
goals during the last term. Pupils can either set these goals themselves, work in
groups or teachers can ask pupils to work as a class to set a goal for everyone to
work towards.

The second worksheet is aimed at pupils who are working in groups or as a class to
set an achievable goal. This may be more suitable for pupils working at lower key
stage 1 or for children with SEND.

By MentallyHealthySchools

All about me

The activities, lesson plans and assembly plans in this toolkit - which meet the learning objectives for the PSHE curriculum - will help children to think about who they are as a person, recognise what they are good at, identify positives things about themselves, learn from their experiences and set goals. There are also activities to support staff wellbeing.

By MentallyHealthySchools

Getting to know me: KS2

This activity allows pupils to set goals for the future academic year, reflect on themselves, their strengths and their weaknesses and practice letter writing.

This “Getting to know me” activity includes an activity plan for teachers, a printable letter template for pupils to write a letter to their future selves and a printable envelope to put the letter in. There is one letter template for all pupils and one for pupils working at lower key stage 2 and for those with SEND.

By MentallyHealthySchools

Mental health and wellbeing: 10 tips for teaching and support staff

To help get started in promoting and supporting the mental health of the children in your school, here are 10 useful tips and pieces of advice to help you feel informed in the decisions that you make, and also guidance on where to seek support if needed.

By MentallyHealthySchools

Mental health and wellbeing: 10 tips for school leaders

There are a number of ways that school leaders and senior staff can approach supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing. This document provides 10 top tips for making mental health a whole-school priority.

By MentallyHealthySchools

Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families resources

Talking Mental Health Teacher Toolkit

We know that over 50% of mental illnesses start before the age of 14 and one in 8 children and young people has a mental health disorder. The Talking Mental Health animation and accompanying resources aim to open up conversations with children about mental health in school, at home and with friends.

The Toolkit includes:

  • An assembly plan
  • A lesson plan
  • A set of cross-curricular activities
  • Resources to accompany the above

These plans and acivities have been written by a group of teachers at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. While we recognise that every school and class is different, we have produced these as a starting point for working with years 5 and 6 at your school.

By Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families

Supporting mental health and wellbeing in schools

A booklet for primary and secondary schools to support all staff working in school settings to understand how best to help children and young people in their care.

Developed with our child mental health experts, the booklet explains in simple terms what to do if you are worried about a child or young person in your school, and includes information on a range of topics including anxiety, low mood and self-harm. The colourful, informative pages could also be printed and displayed as posters in staff areas.

By Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families

Measuring and monitoring children and young people's mental wellbeing: A toolkit for schools

Efforts taken by schools and colleges to promote the physical and mental health of the student population creates a virtuous circle, reinforcing attainment and achievement that in turn improves student wellbeing, enabling students to thrive and achieve their full potential.

With half of all diagnosable mental health disorders established by the age of 14, there is a strong case to promote children and young people’s mental health.

There are a range of risk and protective factors that impact on mental wellbeing. These span individual factors, family, learning environments and the wider community. The evidence tells us that the learning environment plays an important and valued role in helping protect and promote student mental wellbeing.

Public Health England and the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families are committed to improving health outcomes for children, young people and their families, and collaborated to fund and develop this toolkit.
The toolkit aims to raise awareness amongst school and college staff of the range of validated tools that are available to help measure subjective mental wellbeing amongst the student population. This, in turn, will help school and college leaders make use of school and college level data to identify the mental wellbeing needs of students and determine how best to address these.

By Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families

Supporting staff wellbeing in schools

Teaching is a tough job. It can be immensely rewarding but also physically and emotionally draining. If we want our school staff to do what is asked of them, then we need to make sure that their mental health and wellbeing is effectively supported.

This booklet has been developed with our mental health experts, and aims to give school staff and Senior Leadership Teams some simple guidance and good practical examples where schools have successfully implemented wellbeing strategies.

Topics featured include:

  • What can impact or support staff wellbeing?
  • What can Supervision look like in schools?
  • How can senior leaders prioritise wellbeing?
By Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families

Engaging Parents

As part of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families ‘You’re never too young to talk mental health’ campaign we’ve released a series of expert advice videos for schools on a range of topics. Here, Brenda McHugh, Consultant Psychotherapist, gives advice to school staff about engaging with parents.

By Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families

Place2Be resources

Primary assembly guide and slides – spread a little kindness

It can be hard to know what to do to help someone going through a tough time, but small acts of kindness can make all the difference.

This popular resource on kindness was created by Place2Be for Children’s Mental Health Week in 2017. Download the primary assembly guide and accompanying slides to help spread a little kindness in your school.

By Place2Be

Get through difficult times and bounce forward - a resilience themed assembly

Assembly plan, presentation and suggested resources to support the development of resilience.

By Place2Be

Being ourselves – help children develop self-esteem

Some children and young people can find it difficult to think positively about themselves. Designed for primary school children, this assembly plan and presentation will help children to understand that there are ways in which we are similar even though, at the same time, we are all different.

It will also help them to:

  • recognise the importance of celebrating the differences and similarities in ourselves and others
  • explore what “being ourselves” means
  • identify things we can do to enjoy
  • make the most of our similarities and differences
  • be connected with those around us.
By Place2Be

Animation of Millie's story about parental separation

Millie, age 10, shares her perspective through animated drawings of what it felt like when her parents split up.

By Place2Be

YoungMinds resources

Pyramid of Need Framework

This pyramid of need framework helps schools consider what data might be used to assess the needs of children and to think through the extent of their support needs. It can be a useful tool for integrating different levels of support across the school for children and families.

By YoungMinds

Transition tips for pupils with SEND

Transitioning to secondary school can be a difficult and worrying time for children and can present another set of challenges for children with additional needs. Download our guide to help children with SEND have a smooth transition, feel safe and have appropriate people and places to go to if they need support.

By YoungMinds

The Resilient Classroom

Multiple lesson plans focused on areas including belonging, learning, coping, core self, problem solving, key life skills, positive thinking; positive activities; calming and self-soothing; healthy habits; letting go of worries or mistakes; seeking support; aspirations and dreams; understanding yourself and your strengths; identifying feelings.

By YoungMinds

What Keeps Us Going?

This activity, with accompanying video, is great for school staff to do, to get you thinking about your own mental health and how you cope with the issues you face.

By YoungMinds