Personal Development and Wellbeing at St John’s

Whilst it is important to provide children with an excellent academic education, at St John’s, we recognise that it is equally important that we equip children with the skills they need to use this education in the real world around them. 

Personal Development is designed to help pupils gain the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to lead healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens. It focuses on safety, well-being and enriching pupil’s educational experiences so that they are able to fully flourish. Children learn about the role they play as part of a local, national and international community and about the challenges and risks they may face outside the classroom and in turn prepares them so they know how best to deal with these.


Wellbeing at St John’s




What is wellbeing and why is it so important? 

The Department for Education (DfE) recognises that “in order to help their pupils succeed, schools have a role to play in supporting them to be resilient and mentally healthy”. 

Here at St. John’s Primary School we embrace a whole school approach where all staff value and recognise the need to promote positive mental health and wellbeing in every child and adult. We place great importance on developing the whole child academically, socially and emotionally. The skills needed throughout life can be taught and learnt at any age; all aspects of a child and young person’s experience in and out of school contribute to their personal and social development and, as a school, we feel that it is essential that we share this role with parents, carers and families.

At school, we encourage the children to recognise their mental wellbeing.  Evidence suggests there are 5 steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing: 

Connect – connect with the people around you: your family and friends. Spend time developing these relationships.  

Be active – take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find a physical activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life. Exercising makes you feel good. 

Keep learning – learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence, as well as being fun. This includes hobbies and interests as well as academic learning.   

Give – even the smallest act can count, whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Do something nice for another person or group/class.

Take notice – be mindful of feelings, sensations, surroundings and nature. Be curious, catch sight of the beautiful and remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. 


St John’s has a multifaceted, proactive approach to supporting our children and their families. Here are some of our current personal development and wellbeing provisions:

Wellbeing Team – A team of trained Safeguarding Leads and identified adults in school to talk about any concerns or worries they may have.

Who are the Wellbeing Team? 

  • Mrs Gemma Stone – Wellbeing Lead, Thrive Practitioner & PSHE Lead

  • Mrs Janes - Wellbeing Mentor & Thrive Practitioner

  • Jayne Barton  - Play Therapist

  • Mrs Haigh – Wellbeing Mentor & ELSA


How do we provide wellbeing support at St. John’s Primary School? 

  • The Wellbeing Team helps to coordinate a range of wellbeing activities and resources accessible for both pupils and staff - Real Time Learning.

  • Family support is offered in school to parents/carers.

  • Our aim is to help in signposting pupils and families to appropriate support, agencies and professionals outside of school.

  • Wellbeing information is shared, where appropriate, to relevant members of staff weekly.

  • Individual reparative work and group interventions for pupils around issues such as;

    • behaviour

    • self-esteem

    • anger management

    • bereavement

    • family breakdowns

    • anxiety

    • social communication

  • Designated spaces that act as a sanctuary for pupils and offer them a safe environment where they can talk about their worries or concerns.

  • All staff are kept up to date with training such as mental health, safeguarding and protecting vulnerable children.

  • Playground Pals are used to support their peers during the play and lunchtime breaks.

  • Thrive groups and 1:1 sessions to support children’s emotional development

  • Citizenship & Character award - designed to encourage our children to develop their own personal skills that will help them to lead healthy and happy lives.  The award has been created to develop five main character strands:

          ‘Developing Me’ – To explore personal skills and interests.

          ‘Physical Me’ – To encourage physical activity, including healthy eating.

          ‘Wellbeing Me’ – To develop positive mental health and wellbeing.

          ‘Local Me’ – To discover and celebrate the local area.

          ‘Global Me’ – To learn more about their place as a global citizen.

  • PSHE Scheme - JIGSAW PSHE promotes a ‘mindfulness’ approach to lessons.  See PSHE documents under curriculum tab for more information.
  • RSHE – Relationships, Sex and Health Education. Relationships and health are explored within our RSHE lessons, as well as the wider curriculum. Areas covered are families, friendships, relationships and being safe. See PSHE documents under curriculum tab for more information.
  • Collective Worship - Whole school assembly themes to promote and support SEMH
  • SMSC Overview - Each year we plan our a rnage of opportunities to improve the children's social, moral, spiritual and cultural understanding. See SMSC Overview under Character Development tab.
  • Workshops - Annual workshops, events and assemblies run by NSPCC and other outside agencies
  • After School Provision - A comprehensive range of health and sporting activities across the curriculum and in after-school clubs
  • Play Therapy - To support children to express their thoughts and deal with their emotional problems, using play and creative arts as the main communication tool, rather than relying on words.  
  • HeadStand PE – to support children struggling with anxiety and provide them with strategies to cope with life’s challenges. Uses sport and physical activity to provide the support and steps to help children leap over life’s hurdles.  
  • Lunchtime club – a calm space for children who may find a busy playground challenging.
  • Forest school – to develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on experience in a natural setting.
  • Forever Sport - A huge variety of sports lessons and clubs.
  • Transition – extra support for pupils joining us and those moving on to secondary school.
  • Zones of Regulation – A programme which teaches us to recognise and regulate our feelings.
  • Trained Mental Health First Aiders 

Thrive at St John’s


Thrive provides a way of understanding and addressing the emotional and social development of all children. It offers right time interventions to meet the social and emotional needs of children at the developmental stage for their age, as well as reparative interventions to support children with gaps in their development.

Children with gaps in their social and emotional development, can find it difficult to engage with academic learning. Thrive enables us to identify those gaps and to address them using relational strategies and arts based activities.

Children may attend individual or small group sessions for specific reasons which may be a barrier for learning for example

Quiet, shy, withdrawn,

Find it hard to listen to others and join in

Disrupting own and others learning

Find it difficult to share and take turns

Find it tricky to settle and focus in class

Low self-esteem

Friendship difficulties


The Blossom room is a designated Thrive space. It’s a calm, and cosy room where individuals and small groups can spend time with a Thrive Practitioner engaging in activities from an action plan. Pupil profiles are undertaken in order to identify the area of need. A whole class, small groups and individual action plans support pupils' development and a series of activities and interventions are put in place.

Activities may include: –

Story telling

Circle games

Arts and crafts

Sand play

Movement and relaxation


Sensory play


Puppet work


Meet your Wellbeing Champions:

Wellbeing Champions - Wellbeing champions are used to support and promote the wellbeing in each and every class.