Mental Health and Wellbeing

“Mental health is a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”  (World Health Organisation 2014)

At West Vale Academy, we acknowledge the high importance of our pupils and staff developing and maintaining good mental health and well-being, as well as physical health. We are committed to supporting the emotional health and well-being of our pupils and staff. it is our vision that all children are entitled to develop to their fullest potential academically, socially, emotionally and into healthy well beings, enabling each child to grow in confidence and be able to fully participate in everything that goes on in the wider community with confidence. It is widely recognised that a child’s emotional health and well-being influences their cognitive development and learning, as well as their physical and social health and their mental well-being in adulthood.

At our school we know that everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable and at times, anyone may need additional emotional support.

West Vale Academy is committed to providing a healthy, safe and supportive working environment that promotes positive mental health for staff and students.

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 promote a mentally healthy environment through:

  • Promoting our school values and encouraging a sense of belonging
  • Promoting pupil voice and opportunities to participate in decision-making
  • Celebrating academic and non-academic achievements
  • Providing opportunities to develop a sense of worth through taking responsibility for themselves and others
  • Providing opportunities to reflect.
  • Access to appropriate support that meets their needs

The aim of this area of the website is to provide links to good quality information and guidance on mental health and well-being.

Follow the links below for advice for parents/carers in supporting your children and looking after your own mental well-being. We encourage parents and pupils with any concerns to speak to a member of staff.

At West Vale Academy, our Senior Mental Health Lead is Miss Vincent

At West Vale Academy, we are thrilled to be working with our Mental Health Support Worker, Sarish Ditta. This academic year she has already delivered a fantastic and well attended ‘Anxiety’ workshop for parents and will be delivering small group interventions for identified children  with anxiety, poor self esteem or  low mood.  As ever, please do not hesitate to speak to a member of staff in school if you have concerns about your child’s mental health and wellbeing.

Our Parents/Carers also have access to Silver Cloud, which is a ‘treasure trove’ of resources, interventions, learning modules and extra information about well-being, with a specific focus on anxiety, low mood and transition. For further details, see the leaflet below.

At West Vale Academy we value mental health and well-being. Our whole school assemblies are based around a variety of topics including mental health and well-being. We discuss many important topics such as  how to manage anxieties, mindfulness and self esteem and cover many of the books above.

We also have a Worry Box, which the children know is checked and allows an adult to help them with any worries. We also have worry monsters in our ‘reflect room’ that the children are able to access.

Our reception children also have access to a wide variety of picture books based around mental health and well-being which they discuss in their circle times.

As part of our work at West Vale Academy supporting children’s well-being and positive mental health, we have a close link to Open Minds CAMHS. Each half term they run an in person parent/carer workshops on various topics including supporting children’s anxiety, managing emotions, sleep issues, sensory difficulties and self-esteem. They also run specific  Year 6 parent workshops for supporting secondary school transition worries.

Open Minds also run workshops virtually via Microsoft Teams on the second and forth Thursdays of each month between 6-7pm.

For more information or to book onto the free online workshops, please visit:

Family Relationships

We know families can go through difficulties from time to time. When two people share responsibility for a child, no matter whether they are still together or separated, the relationship between them has a direct impact on the mental health of their children. The below website – Relationship Matters – provides guidance on how these moments are experienced and resolved, and how to limit impact on children.