Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH)

This area falls in to three strands:

  1. social and emotional well-being, which is a state of positive mental health and wellness.  It  involves a sense of optimism, confidence, happiness, clarity, vitality, self-worth, achievement, having a meaning and purpose, engagement, having supportive and satisfying relationships with others and understanding oneself, and responding effectively to one’s own emotions.
  2. mental health problems, which refers to the wide range of mental health, emotional and social challenges, difficulties, conditions and illnesses that can beset both pupils and staff.  It includes: stress and burnout, anxiety, depression, attachment difficulties and behavioural problems
  3. behaviour management, which encompasses the ethos adopted to respond to the variety of behaviour displayed by people experiencing difficulties in the areas above.


Developing Social and Emotional Well-being

Promoting Social & Emotional Well-being etc- NCB– Excellent Resource supporting schools with effective approaches to ensuring good social and emotional well-being.

Family Links– a national charity dedicated to empowering children, parents, families and schools to be emotionally healthy.  EXCELLENT.  Resources for sale, training providers and can provide support to families directly etc etc.  Hosts Nurturing Schools Network!

The link between pupil health, wellbeing and attainment- PHE– Evidence for Headteachers on the link between SEMH and academic learning and excellence.

SEAL Primary Materials– (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning)- EXCELLENT- These are the primary materials zipped.  So download and un-zip.  A programme from previous Labour Government to add SEMH curriculum to all Primary schools.

SEAL- Secondary Guidance– as above for secondary settings (note- less materials, secondaries did not adopt this in a big way).

PSHE Association Website– Planning and Assessing Frameworks and all nine modules of our Online CPD Programme for introducing SEMH curriculum to primary and secondary schools. (You just need to be a member to access all this brilliant stuff. EXCELLENT.

Healthy Schools Programme– hosted by the School Well-being website – all Leeds City Council.  Do the school ‘Health Check’.  But you will need to sign up to be included and access all the Resources. (Shame)

Circle of Friends, an inclusion program for all students with disabilities, brings the understanding and acceptance of differences on school campuses and within the community, decreasing bullying and making a significant social impact.


Developing (Academic) Resilience

Resilience, Mental Health and Behaviour in schools: DfE advice, March 2015- download advice from this DfE page.

Resilience Framework– from Young Minds, an interactive resource- EXCELLENT!

YoungMinds Academic Resilience Resources–  Help any school establish systems to build ‘resilience approaches’ that support disadvantaged pupils over time through a whole school approach. EXCELLENT Resources- browse all pages- some great videos.  NOTE: there are pages for Parents and Young People.


Supporting Mental Health

Mental Health difficulties:

  • may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained.
  • Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.

Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools- DfE– Advice to schools from the DfE on supporting mental health and behaviour- 2015

TaMHS Project– (Targetted Mental Health in Schools Project). Guidance for implementing TaMHS (dropped by this government?).  Page 35 onwards gives information and support for many mental health difficulties, and works well with the Resilience Framework from Young Minds.

MindEd– site sponsored by DfE, Young Minds etc for everything to do with Behaviour and mental health.  Includes On-line e-learning for mental health issues and counselling and lots of other stuff- EXCELLENT!

THRIVE–   Thrive helps adults prepare children and young people for life’s emotional ups and downs.    The Approach teaches you how to be, and what to do, with children’s differing and sometimes challenging behaviour.   As a result, children become more self-assured and ready to engage with life and learning.  EXCELLENT Training.

Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire– The DfE cite this as a main useful resource for identifying mental health difficulties. (American, YouthInMind hosted). This is paper version and scoring explanation.  There is an Online version, Click the following link: YouthInMind online questionnaire.  Paper materials below:

SDQ 4-17– the questionnaire

SDQ Record Sheet– the record sheet

SDQ 4-17 Scoring– scoring sheet

Teacher Guidance: Preparing to Teach about Mental health and Emotional Well-being– EXCELLENT Resource if you wish to teach students about SEMH.


Attachment Theory and Impact on Learning

Attachment theory is concerned with the relationships between humans. One of the theory’s most significant strands is the importance of the relationship between infants and their primary caregivers.

Attachment Behaviour and Learning– Young Minds. EXCELLENT. This section covers the links between attachment, behaviour and learning and offers strategies to be implemented in schools to support attachment. See Video at bottom of page with John Bowlby.

Introduction to Attachment– EXCELLENT ppt from Bath SPA University.


Supporting Staff SEMH

The Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group reported in “Mindful Nation UK” (December 2014) that “high levels of stress in many workplaces are contributing to mental health problems”.  So it is important to consider SEMH for staff as well. (especially new staff, one third of whom are reported to be leaving the profession within 3 years).

Mindfulness uk– will deliver mindfulness training.

Mindfulness Teacher website- mindfulness courses for Teachers etc.

Education Support Partnership– FREE Resources, Approaches to Behaviour Management

Teacher Support Network– Very Comprehensive -Lots of Advice EXCELLENT


Positive Behaviour Support

See my webpage SEND and Challenging Behaviour

Behaviour and Discipline- DfE– Guidance- Departmental advice for school leaders and school staff on developing a school behaviour policy.