Heatherlands Primary School

Enjoying Learning Together

Pastoral Care

Dealing with Apprehension or Anxiety on Return to School


In this eight minute film, Dr Jess Richardson. principal clinical psychologist (National & Speciliast CAMHS and Maudsley), provides straightforward, important suggestions for parents and teachers to deal with any potential apprehension or anxiety children may experience on returning to school.

Triple P Parenting Top Tips During COVID-19

Why not complete the online positive parenting course for free by clicking on the link below. The training has some top tips linked to COVID-19. 

10 Tips on How to Maintain a Routine of Kindness


The top tips below have been written by The Random Act of Kindness Foundation


One of the things we know about times of crisis is that sticking to a routine is crucial to our own mental health. Here are 10 tips on how to maintain a routine of kindness during difficult times:


  1. Maintain a sleep schedule and manage your hygiene. This may be difficult for those working on the front lines, but remember that sleep is critical to wellness. Getting enough (continuous) sleep is so important! Keep up with your hygiene habits. Get showered, brush your teeth, wash your face, wear something other than pyjamas (even though they are so comfy!) and include bright colours in your daily wardrobe.
  2. Do good for others! When we help others and increase altruistic behaviour, we are doing good for ourselves. There is a LOT of evidence about the science of doing good and why it benefits our own health. Make sure that while you’re taking care of yourself, you’re doing what you can to support others.
  3. Get outside. Go for a walk. Play frisbee. Plant some flowers. Try to go for at least 30 minutes. If you can’t go outside, open the windows. Get fresh air and sunshine. Vitamin D is so important to our physical and mental health. Soak up some rays!
  4. Connect with others. Use your phone or platforms like FaceTime, Skype or Zoom to talk with family and friends. Share how you’re feeling and actively listen to others when they share how they are feeling.
  5. Spend a little extra time with your children and/or pets. They may be confused and/or scared. This is a great time to build stronger connections with those around you. Looking for ideas for things to do with your children? Keep children on a schedule as well. Let your children help with creating a daily schedule that includes academics, exercise, creative time, quiet time and time to connect with friends.
  6. Drink lots of water! Eat healthy. Often, during stressful times we over-indulge and don’t maintain a healthy diet. Use this time to re-evaluate your diet and try new recipes!
  7. Develop a self-care plan for yourself. Consider strategies that are proven to work well for many. Listen to music you love, burn a candle that smells good, write in your journal or read a book. When was the last time you coloured something? Get out the crayons and coloured pencils and colour a picture! Take a long warm bath. Start a craft project. Organise a room. Whatever feels good to you… do it and pat yourself on the back for taking care of yourself.
  8. Be kind. Everyone is doing their best right now. It is easy to be judgemental of how others are handling this challenging time, but know that we all operate a little differently. Offer a bit of grace to others during this time. Notice all the good things happening in the world right now. There are a ton of great things… just do a search online for “good news during Covid-19” and you’ll find a lot!
  9. Find a reason to smile every day. In fact, find a way to generate a good hearty belly laugh every day. It does a body good.
  10. Be grateful. There is SO MUCH to be grateful for right now. Practising gratitude builds resilience and helps us through the toughest times. Find three things every day that you are grateful for and write them down. Put the lists in a jar and look at your lists months from now to remind you of all the little reasons you were able to get through this period.

Additional support for vulnerable families receiving free school meals during self isolation


As an additional layer of support, BCP Council have set up the ‘Together We Can’ initiative to support the most extremely vulnerable in our communities.


Some of our families, because of Covid 19, are unable to access their FSM because of isolation and illness. In order to ensure these families are not disadvantaged in any way, BCP Council have a ‘Together We Can ‘ helpline which went live on Friday 27th March 2020. If you are eligible for FSM but your family are in isolation or unwell, please contact the Helpline. Together We Can will do their best to support the family if at all possible. 


The helpline is not a replacement for the FSM offer. There is limited capacity and they will be filtering the needs quite specifically to prioritise medically vulnerable individuals. 


Together We Can Helpline Number 0300 1237052

Talking to your Child about the Coronavirus

Children look to adults in their life for comfort when they are distressed and will take a lead on how to view things from you. Please see the 10 tips taken from the Young Minds website to support your family and you during this unsettling time.


  1. Try not to shield your child from the news, as it’s likely they will find out somehow from school, being online or from friends.
  2. Talk to your child about what is going on. You could start by asking them what they have heard.
  3. Try to answer their questions and reassure them in an age appropriate manner. Remember, you do not need to know all the answers but talking can help them feel calm.
  4. Reassure your child that it is unlikely they will get seriously ill and, if they do feel ill, you will look after them. Your child might be concerned about who will look after you if you catch the virus. Let them know the kind of support you have as an adult so that they don’t feel they need to worry about you.
  5.  Give some practical tips to your child about how they can look after themselves. For example, show them how to wash their hands properly and remind them when they should be doing it.
  6. Keep as many regular routines as possible so that your child feels safe and that things are stable.
  7. Spend time doing a positive activity with your child (e.g. reading, playing, painting, cooking) to help reassure them and reduce their anxiety. This is also a great way of providing a space for them to talk through their concerns, without having a ‘big chat’. 
  8. Encourage your child to think about the things they can do to make them feel safer and less worried.
  9. Be aware that your child may want more close contact with you at this time and feel anxious about separation. Try to provide this support whenever possible.
  10. Remember to look after yourself too. If you yourself are feeling worried, or anxious about coronavirus, talk to someone you trust who can listen and support you.


Websites and Numbers


Here are some websites and numbers that may be helpful to you as adults during this difficult time: -



Samaritans - Call 116 123 -  

Steps to Wellbeing - Telephone: 0300 123 1120 -



Please also visit the stay safe section under the children tab on our school website, for some helpful stories and further advice to share with your child/children.


ELSA support


At our school, we have two ELSAs supporting the children. These members of staff are Emotional Literacy Support Assistance who help the children to make sense of their emotions. Sessions may include a focus on: -


- Self-Esteem and Confidence Building

- Growth Mindset

- Friendships

- LEGO Therapy


Pupil Voice


These is what the children at Heatherlands think about our ELSA sessions: -


"I feel a lot more confident because I was in the group 'self-esteem and confidence'. It has made me speak out more and just be me. It has helped me a lot. Happily, I'm not so shy anymore like I was." (Year 5 Pupil).

Parent Feedback from Stress Workshop


Feedback from workshop held autumn term 2019: -


"This course helped to remind me of the mindful ways I can take care of myself and how to adopt it for my children."


"This course has been very helpful to take time out for myself, to refocus on my own stresses and my children's, to find ways in a non-judgemental and confidential environment to change negative ways into more positive ones."


"I would highly recommend this course to any Mum and Dad. This will give you a 'step back' from situations that you have to deal with on a day to day basis. The workshop has given me 'strategies' to be able to cope with scenarios and be my own coach."


"A fun course full of small tricks that you can easily fit into life that really work. We are so lucky to have this on offer at our children's school. A proper course with a holistic approach. I really feel the benefit for myself and my family. The teachers were lovely. A lovely opportunity to take time for myself."


"Thoroughly enjoyed the course. Thank you."

Parent Courses

Trick Box


As part of our school well-being approach, we are using Trick Box, which is a fun and effective personal development programme to help children: -
-    build confidence
-    manage emotions and anxiety
-    develop communication skills
-    make positive choice about actions
-    coach themselves through challenges.


Children initially in EYFS and Year 1 will be introduced to 24 ‘tricks’ and a simple self-coaching model called Letter Box, designed to give them positive habits for life. In EYFS they will begin by learning 6 tricks and in Year 1 they will learn 9 tricks. They will be practising the tricks at school.


The tricks will help the children to build their confidence and communication skills, manage emotions and find solutions to challenges.

Primary Mentor Programme


Our Primary Mentor


‘My name is Nicole Carroll and I am a Primary Mentor for BCP Council; my role is to support Primary School children with their emotional health and wellbeing within school. I run weekly groups during school time that aim to help children gain valuable skills to support their emotions, friendships, worries, self-esteem and confidence including a group called ‘Relax Kids’. The groups teach children strategies in creative and fun ways whilst creating a safe space for them to learn and talk about their feelings.’

Play Therapy


Our Play Therapist



'My name is Claire Dorling and I am a trainee play therapist at Heatherlands Primary School. Play therapy uses a variety of play and creative arts techniques to help children with behavioural and emotional difficulties to recognise and regulate themselves. Referrals can be made through the child’s class teacher. If the referral meets the criteria, I will then arrange play therapy sessions weekly with the child where they have access to a variety of items in the play therapy tool-kit including paints and toys. Parents and staff at the school are kept regularly informed about the child’s progress throughout the therapy sessions.’

Information for Parents