Mental Health and Wellbeing


At St James’, Mental Health and Wellbeing takes a whole school approach which includes the curriculum, assemblies, extra- curricular activities, staff and individual interventions.

Interventions can make a huge difference to the wellbeing of pupils, to their behaviour and levels of attainment. This then has a positive impact on their happiness and coping strategies.

Where we can build resilience, create open, trusting environments and have the freedom to talk we hold the tide of poor mental health at bay.


During our childhood we learn to manage our emotions and thinking by developing coping strategies and beliefs. These strategies and beliefs, whether helpful or unhelpful, are frequently stored in our memory and often progress into unconscious habits for life. Unhelpful habits that persist into adult life usually bring stress and can be detrimental to our day to day functioning, psychological health and relationships.

Examples of helpful thinking, behaviours and habits:

  • Learning to apologise or say sorry effectively
  • Being proactive and stopping procrastination
  • Developing a positive outlook
  • Changing negative emotions into positive emotions
  • Seeking appropriate help
  • Learning to collaborate
  • Getting over mistakes

Examples of unhelpful thinking, behaviour and habits that can be changed:

  • Having a negative outlook as a default position
  • Being overly self-critical and unable to forgive yourself for mistakes
  • Holding onto guilt and beating yourself up
  • Not reaching out and asking for help
  • Fearing failure and unforgiving perfectionism
  • Living with low self-esteem
  • Worrying excessively
  • Overacting to situations
  • Generally moaning and complaining

We can develop helpful habits and prevent unhelpful habits from forming during childhood. We can also change old habits or form new habits in our adult life.

Through exploring the 10 themes, outlined in our Mental Health and Wellbeing curriculum overview, our aim is to help children to develop constructive and healthy habits for life.

We look at how the brain functions in simple terms and follow the working model created by Professor Steven Peters called MY HIDDEN CHIMP