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Mental Health & Wellbeing

What people say about us:


Year 5 pupil: 'Meadlands makes us feel safe to talk about anything that worries us and here we can share our feelings with anyone we want to.'  .


Meadlands' parent: ‘We are so very grateful for everything you did. It was just amazing, and really just like everything that the class talked about in their presentation - compassion, humanity, care for each and every one. Thanks for all your care. You could not do more.’


Year 5 pupil: 'At Meadlands if any child is worried, their teachers will help them with it and deal with the worry. The teacher’s don’t force you to do anything; they only encourage you and help you to face your fears. The children can talk to any of the teachers as they all care. The teachers will always let Mrs McGeoch (the Headteacher) know how you are feeling and sometimes she might get other adults to come in and work with you or your family. Meadlands is a very caring school.’ 

Mental Health & Wellbeing at Meadlands


The Pastoral Team at Meadlands include:


Mental Health Senior Leaders: Mrs Sophie McGeoch (Headteacher), Miss Jessica Bunker (SENDCo) & Mrs Dani Wolfreys (Deputy DSL and Early Years Leader). 


Dedicated Pastoral Lead: Ms Claire Davies


Dedicated Governor Link: Mrs Chloe Walkom


School Nurse: Mrs Maureen Branagan- Freeman



We are an attachment aware school and are currently part of Achieving for Children's Attachment Aware School Award. Throughout the year 2020-21 the school will be part of an exciting CPD project training all staff in attachment aware and trauma informed approaches. 


Mental Health for our Children

Please click here for Ms Davies' Happiness Half Hour lessons and advice on wellbeing during school closure


Why do we care about mental health?


At Meadlands, we feel strongly that no stigma should be attached to the term 'mental health', and we recognise the importance of supporting and educating children to look after their mental health and wellbeing, just as we would their physical health. Although there is no single accepted definition, the following one proposed by the World Health Organisation is frequently used:


Mental Health is a state of wellbeing in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her own community.


We understand that a person’s mental health may encompass a range of strengths as well as difficulties, and these can range from mild to severe. According to the NHS 2017 survey, there has been an increase in overall rates of mental disorder. The area with the highest increase is emotional disorders, about one in 10 5-10 year olds had at least one disorder. In an average primary school of the same size as of Meadlands it is expected that:  


  • 3 children will be seriously depressed
  • 11 children will be suffering from significant distress (which may include a divorce or separation or a bereavement)
  • 12 children will be affected by phobias
  • 15 children will have a conduct disorder (such as selective mute)


With this in mind, we take our responsibility to nurture and educate your children very seriously, and it is important to us that all pupils at Meadlands feel secure and happy, and that they have the ability to recognise, name and appropriately manage the many different emotions they will experience as they grow up. We are, after all, preparing future citizens of the world!


How do we support children to have a healthy mental wellbeing?


We invest heavily in pre-emptive work, which includes:

  • The PATHS PSHE curriculum, which is embedded in all of our classes (including the Early Years) This enables children to develop a better understanding of themselves personally and socially, including their own and others’ feelings, and a shared vocabulary for describing these in class, in the playground and in assemblies. Please read more about our PSHE curriculum on our dedicated PSHE page here
  • Dedicated Pastoral Lead link   
  • Worry boxes in each class
  • Warrior boards celebrating resilience and determination seen in our children across the curriculum: Be a warrior not a worrier!
  • Peer massage lessons
  • Weekly dance, boxing and yoga sessions (in addition to PE) with external specialists, teaching children a wide range of strategies for regulating breathing, keeping calm or letting their energy loose!
  • Dedicated assemblies, with guest speakers from charities such as RUILS, Childline and Mind
  • Parent workshops, led by our SENDCo and School Nurse, on a range of health and wellbeing issues e.g. anxiety and healthy diets/eating disorders
  • In Safe Hands – an annual event for school families and the local community link In advance of planning this event we always survey our families to find out what is affecting you, living in Ham and Richmond-upon-Thames and what are the worries and struggles you face. In the past three years, the event has focused upon mental health and support from social care, online behaviour and attachment disorders.


We also prioritise interventions for groups or individuals who might need further support, such as:


  • 1:1 and group ELSA (Emotional Learning Support Assistant) sessions
  • Boy Talk, a group facilitated by Welcare and Meadlands, supporting boys in Key Stage 2 to manage anxiety
  • Work with Richmond Support Groups such as RUILS, Young Carers, Man & Boy
  • Zones of Regulation intervention for targeted individuals and groups
  • Our PAT (Pets As Therapy) dog, Sika, and school dog, Chaplin, who visit us once a week
  • Individually tailored approach to mentoring or support
  • An art therapy student, working with targeted individuals in EYs and KS1


In addition to this we are committed to ensuring our staff team are well qualified and trained in supporting our children

  • All Senior Leaders are trained to Safeguarding Level 3 and all other staff Level 2
  • The ELSA, SENDCo, Designated Safeguarding Leaders and Headteacher are all qualified Mental Health First Aiders. 
  • PATHS curriculum training for all staff
  • Restraint training for all staff
  • Peer massage training for all staff
  • Inspirational Speaker, Dr Nick Bayliss, teaching staff how to look after their own wellbeing!


Mental Health Research Project at Meadlands


We are delighted to be part of a Mental Health research project, a piece of joint work with a sample of schools in AfC and NHS CAMHs clinicians.  The project started with a Mental Health Audit - please see below.

What can you do if you have a concern?


If you are concerned about your child, we can both support them in school and support you in understanding which services are available, guiding you through the process of getting support. We work very closely with social care, the NHS, Educational Psychologists and CAMHs (Children Adolescent Mental Health Services), as well as local charities such as RUILS, Man & Boy and Welcare.

If you are worried about your child or about the impact a family member’s mental health may have on them, and you would like to speak to a member of staff about your concerns, please do make an appointment to see Mrs McGeoch or Miss Bunker. 

Further Reading

For parents and carers looking for more information to help understand their child's, or their own, mental health, we recommend the following websites: 


Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, click here

Papyrus, prevention of young suicide, click here

Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, click here 

Richmond-upon-Thames, MIND, for better mental health, click here


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