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Whole School Mental Health & Well-Being.

Penmaes focuses on the importance of good emotional and mental health and emotional well-being.


Education and mental well-being are closely linked and promote the health and well-being of pupils. Penmaes positively promotes pupil cooperation, commitment, learning and engagement in order to boost positive mental health and well-being.


This means we have a school culture, ethos and environment that nurtures pupils’ health and well-being which in turn can improve pupils’ educational outcomes. Equally, the relationship between physical and mental health cannot be understated – physical health problems significantly increase the risk of poor mental well-being, and vice versa. Good emotional and mental well-being allows pupils to develop the resilience to cope better with the challenges they face, and grow into well rounded, healthy adults.

Things that can help keep pupils of all ages mentally and emotionally well and resilient include:

• being listened to, feeling valued, respected and known as individuals

• being in good physical health, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise

• having time and the freedom to play, indoors and outdoors

• being part of a family that gets along well most of the time

• a learning environment such as Penmaes that looks after the well-being of all its pupils

• taking part in local activities for young people. Other factors are also important, including:

• feeling loved, trusted, understood, valued and safe

• being motivated and interested in life and having opportunities to enjoy themselves

• being hopeful and optimistic 

• being able to learn and having opportunities to succeed

• accepting who they are and recognising what they are good at

• having a sense of belonging in their family, Penmaes and community

• feeling they have some control over their own life

• having the strength to cope when something is wrong or challenging (resilience) and the ability to solve problems.


There are certain risk factors that make some pupils more likely to experience problems than other children and given the special school context of Penmaes and the complexity of pupil’s needs there are some factors many experience. These factors do not occur in isolation and an individual may experience several at any given time; they carry varying degrees of risk, can be short- or long-term, and some are more common than others. They include (the following is not an exhaustive list):


• having a long-term physical illness or disability

• having a parent/carer who has had mental health problems, problems with alcohol, substance misuse or is/has been within the criminal justice system. In addition to affecting the young person’s own well-being, this could also lead to stigma and discrimination

• having parents/carers who are in conflict

• having been bullied

• having been physically or sexually abused

• living in poverty

• being homeless

• experiencing domestic violence and neglect

• experiencing discrimination, perhaps because of their race, sexuality, gender or religion

• having an additional learning need

• acting as a carer for a relative, taking on adult responsibilities

• having long-standing educational difficulties as a result of being in care or on the edge of care

• being subject to many changes, trauma or ACEs

• experiencing loneliness and isolation

• experience of care

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