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evidence-based quality interventions, both universal and targeted, matched to pupils’ specific needs.

This section aims to provide theories, strategies and evidence-based interventions to support schools working with pupils to improve their emotional wellbeing and mental health. Please note this is not an exhaustive list. It also gives details of external providers who can offer support or advice.

Explore this section:


Did you know that 1 in 29 children aged 5-16 in the UK have been bereaved. That’s roughly one pupil per class. Grief isn’t an illness, but does increase risk. Rates of mental health difficulty are 1.5 x higher among bereaved children.

Useful websites to support you when addressing death and bereavement include:

   Creative Mentors

What are Creative Mentors?

Young people have Creative Mentors for reasons such as exclusion from school, poor school attendance, because they are struggling with behaviour difficulties or perhaps where they are experiencing a significant life challenge (e.g. bereavement, mental health problems or moving foster home).

Creative Mentors

How does it work?

Creative Mentoring offers young people one-to-one support through a carefully designed programme. Creative Mentoring is both nurturing and education-focused, seeking opportunities to help unearth where the gems of talent lie.

This is achieved by the mentor and young person working together in a practical way. Using a wide range of activities such as e.g. ecology skills, digital media, outdoor pursuits, art, science, computing, craft making, sport, music etc.. Emphasis is placed on transferable skills such as communication, planning, reflection, organisation and team work, using creative tools such as film and photography to record and share the work.

The Creative Mentor supports the child for as long as schools, professional agencies and carers feel it is needed. There is a review of progress at each PEP meeting.

Evidence and Research

Compelling evidence is emerging that, over time, it has had a positive, trans-formative impact on young people’s confidence and willingness to engage in education.

Creative mentors focus on emotional readiness for learning; and approach activity in a way that is in line with international education development – where the emphasis is shifting to work readiness skills such as empathy, leadership, teamwork, problem solving, determination, calmness and respect. All are skills that employers are increasingly requesting.

Creative Mentors encourage other supporting adults to be inspirational for the children we care for. By helping to unearth talents and reveal their often hidden ambition, we have seen young people grow in confidence. Many becoming successful in school, gaining qualifications, making friends, gaining apprenticeships and going to university.

   External Agency Support

Click below to check out our repository of useful links, contacts, and organisations that support different elements of Children's and Young People's Emotional and Mental Health. It's constantly growing so give it a go!

(Don't forget to try the search function!)

External agency support

   Meta-cognition and self-regulation

Meta-cognition and self-regulation approaches (sometimes known as ‘learning to learn’ approaches) aim to help learners think about their own learning more explicitly. This is usually by teaching pupils specific strategies to set goals, and monitor and evaluate their own academic development.

Self-regulation means managing one’s own motivation towards learning. The intention is often to give pupils a repertoire of strategies to choose from during learning activities. Teaching meta-cognition, or any other metaskill, demands the deliberate deployment of two venerable and unfashionable teaching methods; scaffolding and modelling.

A few examples:

  • The child who taught me how to spell rhythm ('Rhythm Helps Your Two Hips Move').
  • The young person who says “I wrote it this way because …”
  • The child who, until recently always crouched protectively over his work, now pushes his writing over and asks, “Is that how you spell it?"
  • Or the young person who says, “Slow down, Miss! I can’t take it all in. Can you tell me bit by bit?”

How effective is it?

Meta-cognition and self-regulation approaches have consistently high levels of impact, with pupils making an average of eight months additional progress. The evidence indicates that teaching these strategies can be particularly effective for low achieving and older pupils.

These strategies are usually more effective when taught in collaborative groups so learners can support each other and make their thinking explicit through discussion.

As cited on the Education Endowment Foundation website.

   Positive Play

Positive Play Support

We offer support for vulnerable children and young people using play to raise self-esteem and confidence, to help those young people reach their full potential in life.

What do we offer?

We offer presentations, training, and ongoing mentoring and support to schools. Our service helps school staff to deliver high quality structured support sessions for children and young people. Our service is free for maintained schools; we make a small charge for academies.

Why choose us?

Positive Play Support allows young people a space to express and communicate feelings and difficulties in their lives, through a variety of media in constructive rather than aggressive ways, and in a safe nonthreatening environment. It provides activities that look at the strengths of children and young people and values what they do and makes them special. It is non-authoritarian, safe and unconditional.

It provides the opportunity for children and young people to experience some of the early experiences that might have been missed but which are necessary for formal education and social interaction.

Young people with emotional and behavioural problems often have a negative view of school which can persist through their school career, a positive experience can change that perception.

Contact Us

Sharon Brown
Positive Play Support Programme
Pilsley Road
Tel: 01246 862854

   Social Pedagogy

Social Pedagogy is about working with children and younger adults where care and education come together.

The aim is to create a rich learning environment where they can thrive. It sees children and young adults as active and resourceful people in their own right and cares for them in a way which helps them find their own potential and connect to society.

You’ll find more information about social pedagogy and our regular social pedagogy newsletter in the related documents section by following this link.