Mental Health & Well Being

At Folkestone Primary, the best interests of our children are at the heart of everything we do. The wellbeing and resilience of our pupils is a priority for us as a school and we work continuously with professionals and provide additional services and training to ensure that these form the keystone to school life.

Our vision is for the children of Folkestone Primary to be happy, confident learners who take pride in both themselves and their learning and have the skills and strategies to promote their emotional resilience into the Secondary setting and beyond.

Our school adopts a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing that aligns with the Six Principles of Nurture;

  • Children’s learning is understood developmentally

  • The classroom offers a safe base

  • Nurture is important for the development of wellbeing

  • Language is understood as a vital means of communication

  • All behaviour is communication

  • Transitions are significant in the lives of children

At Folkestone Primary, we offer a tiered approach to support the mental health and wellbeing of our pupils;

Folkestone Primary’s universal offer for all pupils:

  • Nurture and Resilience informed practice in all classrooms, following Nurture UK’s six principles of Nurture and HeadStart’s Kent School Resilience toolkit

  • Boxall Profiling to assess the SEMH needs of all our pupils

  • Safe, calm and structured learning environments with clear and consistent routines and expectations, supported through visual prompts (e.g. visual timetables)

  • Whole school awareness of the importance of supporting children’s emotional mental health, supported through regular CPD opportunities to upskill our staff (e.g. trained Mental Health First Aiders)

  • Leadership and management that supports and champions efforts to promote emotional health and wellbeing (e.g. Trauma informed leadership)

  • Exceptional pastoral care, with support of our dedicated Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) - Mrs Hollie Fahey, Family Liaison Officer (FLO) - Miss Maria Cunningham, SEMH lead and Associate SENDCo - Miss Sally Rolfe and SENDCo - Miss Hannah Clifton

  • Curriculum, teaching and learning to promote resilience and support social and emotional learning (e.g. Zones of Regulation)

  • Nurturing environment to support the needs of all pupils (e.g. safe spaces, wellbeing clubs during unstructured times)

  • Bespoke Nurture/ Sensory room, accessible to all pupils

  • An ethos and environment that promotes respect and values diversity

  • Enabling pupil voice to influence decisions (e.g. School Council, Eco Monitors)

  • Resilience Conversation and Self-Reflection tools used to gain an overview of pupils’ needs and strengths (e.g. YouHQ/ Kooth interactive platforms)

  • Robust PSHE curriculum with opportunities for open discussion (e.g. ‘Ask it basket’/ worry box)

Targeted support for identified children

  • Small group intervention sessions to support SEMH and develop social skills (e.g. Build an Island, LEGO Therapy)

  • Small group Interventions to develop emotional literacy and promote wellbeing (e.g. Zones of Regulation, Zippy’s Friends, Speech Bubbles, SALUS Youth Participation)

  • Regular emotional check-ins with allocated staff members (e.g. ELSA, SENDCo, FLO, DSLs)

  • ‘Drop-in’ sessions with school child Psychotherapist(s) (LightSpace)

  • Nurture group sessions with ELSA

  • ‘Teddy Time’ with school therapy dog

  • Assemblies/ group workshops centred around mental health and wellbeing (e.g. Brain Buddies provided by NELFT Emotional Wellbeing Practitioners, Upfront Theatre company)

Specialist support for children identified with a high level of need

  • Individualised support of a key worker (e.g. emotional check-ins, zones of regulation, sensory breaks)

  • 1:1 Draw and Talk therapy with the school’s Draw and Talk therapist

  • 1:1 Counselling and/or play based therapy with the school’s Child Psychotherapist(s)

  • 1:1 parental support with school based NELFT Emotional Wellbeing Practitioner(s)

  • School referral to external support agencies (e.g. Specialist Teaching and Learning Service, CYPMHS, SALUS, CAMHS, Home-Start and Early Help).

Turner School’s Pupil Wellbeing and Mental Health Strategy

If you have any questions relating to Folkestone Primary’s SEMH provision or would like to speak to a member of the team, please contact Hannah Clifton (SENDCo) by emailing