Epsom Downs Primary School & Children's Cnetre

Mental Health Provision

Promoting Positive Mental Health at Epsom Downs Community School

Wave 1 Provision for all

Promoting positive mental health runs through the core of our school ethos. 



PSHE (Personal Social and Health Education)

PSHE is taught throughout the school discretely via circle time, discussions, whole class lessons and whole school assemblies. It is also embedded throughout other subjects and in all that we do. It promotes fundamental British values, social, moral, spiritual and cultural understanding and prepares children and young people for the next stage in their lives.

Positive Behaviour Management

We promote a nurturing ethos and believe children learn best when they feel happy and secure. The school strives to develop an ordered, trusting, supportive and caring school that bases its practice upon a shared understanding of others. Our whole school relationship policy is underpinned by restorative approaches and our three rules are to be 'Ready, Respectful and Safe'

Growth Mindset

We recognise the importance of creating classrooms and teaching experiences that enable pupils to develop growth mindsets. When students have a growth mindset, they take on challenges and learn from them, therefore increasing their motivation, abilities and life-long love of learning. 

A person with a Growth Mindset: 

· is open to constructive criticism; 

· takes on new challenges; 

· (crucially) believes they can get more intelligent by working hard; 

· shows resilience and perseverance; 

· and learns from their mistakes. 


All the children in KS2 receive the Mindfulness in Schools 12 weeks of lessons. All teaching staff have received the mindfulness training so they are able to provide daily mindfulness slots in their timetables. We use a range of resources such as 60 mindful minutes, Growing Mindful, Sitting Still like a Frog and Go noodle.  The children in RU and Key Stage One are introduced to mindful principles and receive short mindful sessions at least once a week. There is also a mindfulness lunchtime club once a week.



Lunchtime Provision

We offer a range of indoor and outdoor provision for children who struggle to cope with the lack of structure at lunchtimes and who need support in developing positive peer relationships.


Safety Survey

Every year, children from Year 1 to Year 6 complete a survey which captures pupil voice about bullying and how safe they feel around the school.  Embedded within this is a HIFAMS (How I Feel About my School) questionnaire, which measures the happiness and subjective wellbeing of children in school.  Any children who identify as being sad in any of the areas are identified and supported accordingly.

Healthy Mind Healthy Body Enrichment

Led by a trained ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant), small groups of children from Year 1 to Year 4 take part in a range of activities including, worry circles, building positive self image, tackling bullying and understanding positive friendships.  They explore how healthy eating and exercise positively affects our mental health, take mindfulness breaks and work on recognising emotions and feelings. 

Farm enrichment and lunchtime club

We encourage the children to take part in caring for the animals at our small farm.  Animals, and caring for them, can develop empathy and emotional regulation in children.  Observing, caring for and enjoying time spent with an animal can instil a sense of responsibility and respect for life.  Animals can increase sensitivity and awareness of the feelings and needs of others—both animals and humans. Pupils experience directly how their behaviour and actions affect others in a very physical way, if a child is noisy and pushy the animals will retreat but once quieter, calmer children are immediately rewarded with the animals immediate attention.  There are very few tensions during the farm enrichment and club, children cooperate very well in the area.


Gardening enrichment and lunchtime club

As an area where creativity is encouraged, students can feel real achievement in a practical way. Communication and thinking skills can be developed as well as encouraging children to mix socially through shared experiences in a secure area. Gardening improves physical health which in turn improves mental health.

Wave 2 Additional Interventions

Our Wave 2 provision includes targeted small-group intervention for pupils who can be expected to catch up with their peers.   This type of intervention is designed for children for whom a well-structured short-term programme, delivered by either a teaching assistant, teacher or ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant), is all that is needed to enable them to make accelerated progress.



Expected Outcomes

Entry and Exit Level Data / monitoring

Year Groups


Small group provision delivered by trained, qualified and experienced ELSAs (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants) to help children cope with a range of social and emotional difficulties. 

Please see below for further information.

Improvement in the area of emotional literacy being targeted, with a positive impact on learning progress as a result.  Fewer incidents resulting in Warnings.

HIFAMS (How I Feel About my School)

Reception to Year 6

Social Skills Groups

Small group provision delivered by TAs, designed and monitored by ELSAs to help children cope with a range of social and emotional difficulties. 

Improvement in the area of emotional literacy being targeted, with a positive impact on learning progress as a result.  Fewer incidents resulting in Warnings.

HIFAMS (How I Feel About my School)

Reception and KS1

Therapy Dog (Ebby)


Research has shown that petting a dog can raise the levels of hormones that make us feel better, such as oxytocin and seratonin. Other research has shown that it can lower blood pressure and decrease the level of cortisol, the stress hormone.  

We have Ebby who is in training to be our therapy dog.

Pupil voice


Case studies  

Reception to Year 6


Wave 3 Highly Personalised Interventions

Our Wave 3 provision is for children for whom Quality First teaching and Wave 2 catch-up programmes are not enough. It may need to be a more intensive programme, involving more individual support or specialist expertise.



Expected Outcomes

Entry and Exit Level Data / monitoring

Year Groups

Lunchtime Support

Individual or small group provision by a TA to facilitate positive play in Fun Club or the playground.

Improved behaviour at lunchtime from targeted children. Fewer incidents resulting in Warnings.

HIFAMS (How I Feel About my School)

Reception to Year 6

Home School Link Worker

Individual children or siblings are supported alongside their families.

Improved access to the curriculum through homework and increased parental engagement.  Improved emotional wellbeing.

HIFAMS (How I Feel About my School)

Nursery to Year 6

ELSA Support

Tailored support programmes are run to support individual children with a range of social and emotional difficulties, including peer relationships, transition and self-esteem. 

Improvement in the area of emotional literacy being targeted, with a positive impact on learning progress as a result. Fewer incidents resulting in warnings or yellow / red cards.

HIFAMS (How I Feel About my School)

Year 1 to Year 6

Draw and Talk

Weekly 1:1 therapy sessions delivered by a qualified Draw and Talk therapist

This allows children to communicate their emotions in a non-directive way. Working with children who have been through and emotional needs. 

Child's Voice

Year 1 to Year 6 

Play Therapy

Individual or small group therapy delivered by a qualified play therapist

Individualised outcomes based on children's needs


Parent and Child interviews

Reception to Year 6



The Nurture Room is an invaluable resource at Epsom Downs Community School & Early Years Centres. It provides a welcoming, safe environment where children can explore their emotional and social wellbeing, learn about themselves, develop and grow.

Our specially trained and highly experienced ELSAs (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants) who are trained by an educational psychologist, work with individual children or small groups to address socialisation issues that are common in some primary school children. The sessions are fun and informative, using activities and resources designed to motivate, engage and support the children.


  • To understand each individual child's needs
  • To help each child realise their potential
  • To provide strategies to help each child now and in the future

Children are referred to the Nurture Room via our triage system after discussion between our SENCo and the relevant teacher, and in some instances concerned parents.

The topics covered in support sessions include: emotional wellbeing, life skills, behaviour, anger management, learning skills, self esteem, bereavement support, friendships, bullying, cooperation, social skills, independent thinking, transition between year groups or to secondary school.

Nurture sessions


Sessions are tailored to individual needs and usually run for six weeks with the child coming for half-hour weekly sessions. The intervention may continue for longer if necessary, depending on circumstances.

At the beginning of the child's first session, the reason for their referral is explained to them and the desired outcome is discussed.

A written record is made of each session, which is largely confidential between the child and the ELSA.


Group sessions usually comprise of children from the same year group and usually run weekly in half-termly blocks. The sessions can last from 30 minutes to one hour depending on the age of the children. A structured programme is followed covering the social and emotional aspects of learning and behaviour.


Parents will be sent a letter informing them that their child has been chosen for sessions in the Nurture Room. This should not be a cause for concern as sessions often focus on learning and life skills. At the end of the programme, parents receive a letter which includes a short questionnaire to be completed. Parents may also get in touch with the ELSAs via the main school if they have any questions or concerns.  

How can parents help support the Nurture programme?

  • Find time to listen to your child
  • Regularly have fun playing together
  • Help your child to see things from another point of view
  • Encourage your child to develop a positive approach
  • Promote 'peaceful problem solving'
  • Discuss any concerns about emotional wellbeing with your child's class teacher or the SENCo.


 10 ways to lift a low mood