At Waterside Primary School, we are committed to supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff. We know that everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable and at times, anyone may need additional emotional support. We take the view that positive mental health is everybody’s business and that we all have a role to play.  

“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 Organization, 2014).

Two key elements to support good mental health are:

  • Feeling Good – experiencing positive emotions like happiness, contentment and enjoyment. Including feelings like curiosity, engagement and safety.
  • Functioning Well – how a person is able to function in the world, this includes positive relationships and social connections, as well as feeling in control of your life and having a sense of purpose.

Our role in school is to ensure that children are able to manage times of change and stress, and that they are supported to reach their potential or access help when they need it. Children are taught when to seek help, what help is available, and the likely outcome of seeking support so that they have the confidence and knowledge for themselves or others. We also have a role to ensure that children learn about what they can do to maintain positive mental health, what affects their mental health and how they can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues. As part of our targeted provision, we have and continue to access, outside help and support for pupils when required.

At Waterside, we believe that teaching about mental health and emotional wellbeing as part of a comprehensive PSHE education curriculum is vital. PSHE  is central to the curriculum across the whole school. The concepts covered in PSHE include keeping safe and managing risk, identity, equality, managing feelings and emotions, relationships, change, resilience and being healthy, which includes physical, mental, emotional and social well-being. We aim to promote pupils’ wellbeing through an understanding of their own and others’ emotions and the development of healthy coping strategies.

Good mental health and wellbeing is just as important as good physical health. Like physical health, mental health can range across a spectrum from healthy to unwell; it can fluctuate on a daily basis and change over time. Children at Waterside have two lessons of PE each week. A range of sport-related after school clubs are run by teachers and external coaches.

We include World Mental Health Day and Mental Health Awareness Week in the school calendar and plan activities for the whole school.


At Waterside, we use a programme called Red2Blue where children will develop the mental skills and resilience needed to perform under pressure. We understand that pressure comes in all different forms and this is why the Red2Blue programme is so effective with our children. 

The Red2Blue programme provides an immediate accessible link between mindset and performance, enabling pupils to recognise when they are diverted, and access tools in the heat of the moment to get back on task.

As a Red2Blue School, all staff and pupils will develop and coach the mental skills and resilience needed to perform under pressure, while also building a sustainable performance culture. 


Red2Blue Key Points: 

1. In the Red Doesn’t Stop You Completely: Being in the red doesn’t always bring things to a halt (though sometimes it can), but it does impact the quality and enjoyment of what you do, potentially affecting others. 


2. Shift Attention to What You Can Control: When it feels like everything is closing in, shifting your attention to the one thing you can control changes the dynamic. You start working on the problem.


3. Find the Blue Dot Under Pressure: The goal is to find that blue dot under pressure, but it doesn’t guarantee everything will feel pleasant. Accepting discomfort is part of freeing up your attention. 


4. Acknowledging Discomfort for Better Management: Acknowledging discomfort doesn’t make it vanish, but it does empower you to manage it more effectively than pretending it isn’t there. 


5. Shift Attention, Not Avoid Thinking: It’s not about avoiding thoughts; it’s about redirecting attention to something else. 


6. Keep Attention Fluid and Keep Moving: Like a kayaker navigating rapids, keep attention fluid. The kayaker knows what to do, scanning the scene, making decisions, and applying their process. 


The key is to keep moving!