Sandal Castle VA Community Primary School

A Church of England school serving the Community since 1686

Headteacher: Mrs Nichola Russell
Telephone: 01924 303525
Address: Barnsley Road, Sandal, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF2 6AS

Diocese of Leeds

‘Together we grow: Together we give’. Ezekiel 47:2

We are a school community and we are a family. We learn together, we support each other, we give our time, our kindness, our love and our compassion to those around us in our school and wider community. We help each other to be ourselves and to be proud of it and to grow in to the unique individuals we are, and as a result, we grow into the respectful and accepting community we all value so much- we are there for each other on each step of our journey.

Welcome to our Mental Health and Well-Being page

Mental health and well-being and the Church of England vision for education.

The core of the Church of England’s Vision for Education is underpinned by the belief that education should support human flourishing, or ‘fullness of life’. This should equip children and young people in their understanding of who they are, why they are here, what they desire and how they should live. The vision also puts emphasis on a rounded education which should equip young people with strong foundations that will carry them through into adulthood.

Our school values and vision statement mirrors the Church of England's vision for education, ensuring an holistic approach to nurturing the whole child, our staff, families and community. Our aim is to put well-being at the heart of school life.

Vision and Values

Mental Health and Well-Being Policy

We aim to develop resilience, nurturing confidence and self esteem within our school and wider community:

  • Belonging – encouraging good relationships: concentrating on positive times and places, remaining hopeful about new connections and having people in your life you can count on.
  • Learning – having opportunities in and outside of school to develop interests, talents and life skills, including mapping out or having a view to the future.
  • Coping – embedding the skills needed to manage the knocks of everyday living like problem solving, staying calm and leaning on others if needed.
  • Core self – developing those things that help children and young people to develop a strong sense of themselves, including ways to build and nurture their confidence, self- esteem and character.
  • Accepting – starting with exactly where a child, young person or family are at, even if it means being at a very sore point, returning to ‘unconditional positive regard’, which means trying not to judge people and appreciating them or their basic humanity come what may.
  • Conserving – holding on to anything good that has happened up until now and building on it. When there is so much difficulty around, ‘preserving’ the little positive that there is becomes even more precious.
  • Commitment – staying in there and being explicit about what your commitment can be. Being realistic about what’s doable and not giving up or expecting things to change overnight.

Homepage - WF-I-Can


WF- I CAN is an online resource for young children and young people in WAkefield.

Follow the link below to access the resource...

Inclusion Quality Mark Centre of Excellence 2021/22

We are delighted to have been awarded the IQM and CoE again.

Follow the link to view the IQM celebration of our achievements.

Achievement for All Well Being Pilot 2021/2022

We are extremely fortunate to have been successful in securing a place on the National Wellbeing pilot in September 2021 and will receive the National Wellbeing Award oncompletion.

The practical strategies and guidance in this pilot are of significant benefit given the challenges facing schools due to Covid-19 and post-lockdown.

This pilot offers schools a comprehensive set of practical strategies and approaches to unlock academic achievement and accelerate progress by improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of an education setting. The high impact school improvement model allows the education setting to address the critical link between emotional wellbeing and progress and attainment.

“…If we are to meet the needs of all children touched by the Covid-19 crisis, and support the emotional wellbeing and mental health of every teacher, non-teacher and leader in our dedicated and committed education workforce spanning colleges to early years, we need to put wellbeing at the heart of learning NOW..."Professor Sonia Blandford

The pilots main aim is to remove barriers to progress by:

  • addressing the climate and culture of the classroom
  • building core strength and resilience within cohorts of identified learners
  • developing professional understanding of the impact of attachment, childhood trauma and neglect

Why have we chosen to take part in this pilot?

Simply put, an anxious, frightened, or angry mind simply will not learn. This pilot will support professionals to understand what they can do to create an inclusive learning environment that supports and nurtures the highest possible levels of emotional wellbeing, and thus progress and achieve.

AfPE - Level 4 Qualification in Supporting Pupils' Wellbeing Through PE

As a school, we know that the wellbeing of children and young people is just as important as their physical health. Good emotional wellbeing enables children and young people to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and to grow into well-developed, healthy adults.

The Mental Health Foundation states that “going to a school that looks after the wellbeing of all its pupils” will help to keep children and young people mentally healthy. Research and trusted sources, such as the World Health Organisation, Public Health England and the Sport and Recreation Alliance, clearly articulate that emotional distress makes us more vulnerable to physical illness by affecting our immune system; additionally it is important to note that education and health are inseparable.

The Association for Physical Education (afPE) and Sports Leaders (SLQ) strongly believe that those teaching physical education are key to supporting the emotional wellbeing of our pupils through the curriculum. Its importance is a high priority; therefore together afPE and SLQ have developed a qualification that will increase the knowledge and understanding of the workforce at such a critical time.

Now, more than ever, we must place physical education, sport and physical activity at the heart of school life to ensure that all children and young people have access to a high quality offer that supports their physical health and emotional wellbeing. This, in turn, will result in a positive impact on their social and cognitive development.

This accredited professional learning opportunity is not only timely, it will also support the profession to be a proactive part of the solution, which is to support all children and young people to achieve the best outcomes, in and beyond school.

We are delighted that Miss Stansfield is undertaking the qualification..

World Mental Health Day – Hello Yellow - South Wirral High School

Hello Yellow - World Mental Health Day - 8th October 2021

YoungMinds on Twitter: "Today is #HelloYellow! Together, let's show young  people they are not alone with their mental health. 1/ Wear yellow 2/ Post  on social media 3/ Donate Use #HelloYellow and


In EYFS have been celebrating Hello Yellow day . We spoke about how to keep our bodies and minds healthy and how important this is. The children told us what they knew about keeping healthy and then we looked at an information PowerPoint together and made mind maps to show our greater understanding.
One way of staying healthy was exercise and having mindful moments. We got into pairs and gave each other a massage. During this time the children were quiet and listened to some calming music. Some of the children closed their eyes and relaxed. After the massage the children said thank you to each other.
We took part in forest school activities enjoying being close to nature on our barefoot walk and some outdoor yoga . We made friendship trees and talked about the importance of togetherness and friendship to support our own wellbeing.

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Year 1

We used the book, The Colour Monster by Anna Llenas as the stimuli for our day. The colour monster is all mixed up and confused. He's made up of all the colours of the rainbow and his friend helps him to put all his colours into jars and look at the different feelings they represent. Each colour represents a feeling: Happy, sad, scared, calm, angry and love. We filled our own colour jars with what makes us feel a certain way and then talked about what we can do to help each other.

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Year 2

In Year 2 , we read the story 'Ruby's Worry' and considered how we would help Ruby shrink her worry if she was a member of our class. We then made badges to display our advice and messages of encouragement for Ruby and decided we would use these in our own classroom to help us when we feel worried.

We also watched the short animation 'Lucy's Blue Day' which highlighted that sometimes we can feel sad or anxious without knowing the reason why. We reflected on times in our own lives when we have had 'blue days' and discussed how we can start to overcome them by talking to a trusted adult and our friends.

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Year 3

We made bunting with positive phrases and thoughts to remind us how great we all are!.

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Year 4

In year 4 we had a discussion about well-being and what ‘mental health’ actually means. The children wrote down ideas to look after our well-being and we talked about the difference between positive and negative feelings. We created our own superheroes who were going to come when we feel sad and turn our negative feelings into positive ones. To do this, we used our sketching and drawing skills to draw a portrait of our superhero, we will then transfer these over to a collage background.

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Year 5

For Hello Yellow Day Year 5 explored the meaning of wellbeing and talked about ways we could improve our own wellbeing. We then created a self soothe box to take home and fill with items to help us calm down and feel happy.

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Year 6

In year 6, we learnt all about Floella’s campaign to support young people’s mental health and digital resilience- she is supporting young people to deal with the negative effects of social media.

Black History and Hello Yellow

Relationships Education - September 2020Top tips for successfully introducing the new statutory changes to Health and Relationships Education (PSHE) in 2020 - Council of British International Schools

The focus in primary school is on teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships, with particular reference to friendships, family relationships, and relationships with other children and with adults.

This starts with children being taught about what a relationship is, what friendship is, what family means and who the people are who can support them. From the beginning of primary school, building on early education, children will be taught how to take turns, how to treat each other with kindness, consideration and respect, the importance of honesty and truthfulness, permission seeking and giving, and the concept of personal privacy.

Establishing personal space and boundaries, showing respect and understanding the differences between appropriate and inappropriate or unsafe physical, and other, contact – these are the forerunners of teaching about consent, which takes place at secondary.

Respect for others will be taught in an age-appropriate way, in terms of understanding one’s own and others’ boundaries in play, in negotiations about space, toys, books, resources and so on.

From the beginning, teachers will talk explicitly about the features of healthy friendships, family relationships and other relationships which young children are likely to encounter. Drawing attention to these in a range of contexts should enable children to form a strong early understanding of the features of relationships that are likely to lead to happiness and security. This will also help them to recognise any less positive relationships when they encounter them.

The principles of positive relationships also apply online especially as, by the end of primary school, many children will already be using the internet. When teaching relationships content, teachers will address online safety and appropriate behaviour in a way that is relevant to children’ lives. Teachers will include content on how information and data is shared and used in all contexts, including online; for example, sharing pictures, understanding that many websites are businesses and how sites may use information provided by users in ways they might not expect.

Teaching about families requires sensitive and well-judged teaching based on knowledge of children and their circumstances. Families of many forms provide a nurturing environment for children. Families can include for example, single parent families, LGBT parents, families headed by grandparents, adoptive parents, foster parents and carers amongst other structures. Care will be taken to ensure that there is no stigmatisation of children based on their home circumstances and needs, to reflect sensitively that some children may have a different structure of support around them; for example, looked after children or young carers.

A growing ability to form strong and positive relationships with others depends on the deliberate cultivation of character traits and positive personal attributes, (sometimes referred to as ‘virtues’) in the individual. In a school wide context which encourages the development and practice of resilience and other attributes, this includes character traits such as helping children to believe they can achieve, persevere with tasks, work towards long-term rewards and continue despite setbacks. Alongside understanding the importance of self-respect and self-worth, children should develop personal attributes including honesty, integrity, courage, humility, kindness, generosity, trustworthiness and a sense of justice. This can be achieved in a variety of ways including by providing planned opportunities for young people to undertake social action, active citizenship ‎and voluntary service to others locally or more widely.

Relationships Education also creates an opportunity to enable children to be taught about positive emotional and mental wellbeing, including how friendships can support mental wellbeing.

Through Relationships Education (and RSE), schools will teach children the knowledge they need to recognise and to report abuse, including emotional, physical and sexual abuse. In our school, this will be delivered by focusing on boundaries and privacy, ensuring young people understand that they have rights over their own bodies. This will also include understanding boundaries in friendships with peers and also in families and with others, in all contexts, including online.

Children will know how to report concerns and seek advice when they suspect or know that something is wrong. At all stages it is important to balance teaching children about making sensible decisions to stay safe (including online) whilst being clear it is never the fault of a child who is abused and why victim blaming is always wrong. These subjects complement Health Education and as part of a comprehensive programme and whole school approach, this knowledge can support safeguarding of children.

By the end of primary Children should know:

Families and people who care for me

that families are important for children growing up because they can give love, security and stability

the characteristics of healthy family life, commitment to each other, including in times of difficulty, protection and care for children and other family members, the importance of spending time together and sharing each other’s lives

that others’ families, either in school or in the wider world, sometimes look different from their family, but that they should respect those differences and know that other children’s families are also characterised by love and care

that stable, caring relationships, which may be of different types, are at the heart of happy families, and are important for children’s security as they grow up

that marriage represents a formal and legally recognised commitment of two people to each other which is intended to be lifelong

how to recognise if family relationships are making them feel unhappy or unsafe, and how to seek help or advice from others if needed

Marriage in England and Wales is available to both opposite sex and same sex couples.

Children should know:

Caring friendships

how important friendships are in making us feel happy and secure, and how people choose and make friends

the characteristics of friendships, including mutual respect, truthfulness, trustworthiness, loyalty, kindness, generosity, trust, sharing interests and experiences and support with problems and difficulties

that healthy friendships are positive and welcoming towards others, and do not make others feel lonely or excluded

that most friendships have ups and downs, and that these can often be worked through so that the friendship is repaired or even strengthened, and that resorting to violence is never right

how to recognise who to trust and who not to trust, how to judge when a friendship is making them feel unhappy or uncomfortable, managing conflict, how to manage these situations and how to seek help or advice from others, if needed

Children should know:

Respectful relationships

the importance of respecting others, even when they are very different from them (for example, physically, in character, personality or backgrounds), or make different choices or have different preferences or beliefs

practical steps they can take in a range of different contexts to improve or support respectful relationships

the conventions of courtesy and manners

the importance of self-respect and how this links to their own happiness

that in school and in wider society they can expect to be treated with respect by others, and that in turn they should show due respect to others, including those in positions of authority

about different types of bullying (including cyberbullying), the impact of bullying, responsibilities of bystanders (primarily reporting bullying to an adult) and how to get help

what a stereotype is, and how stereotypes can be unfair, negative or destructive

the importance of permission-seeking and giving in relationships with friends, peers and adults

Children should know:

Online relationships

that people sometimes behave differently online, including by pretending to be someone they are not

that the same principles apply to online relationships as to face-to-face relationships, including the importance of respect for others online including when we are anonymous

the rules and principles for keeping safe online, how to recognise risks, harmful content and contact, and how to report them

how to critically consider their online friendships and sources of information including awareness of the risks associated with people they have never met

how information and data is shared and used online

Children should know:

Being safe

what sorts of boundaries are appropriate in friendships with peers and others (including in a digital context)

about the concept of privacy and the implications of it for both children and adults; including that it is not always right to keep secrets if they relate to being safe

that each person’s body belongs to them, and the differences between appropriate and inappropriate or unsafe physical, and other, contact

how to respond safely and appropriately to adults they may encounter (in all contexts, including online) whom they do not know

how to recognise and report feelings of being unsafe or feeling bad about any adult

how to ask for advice or help for themselves or others, and to keep trying until they are heard,

how to report concerns or abuse, and the vocabulary and confidence needed to do so

where to get advice, for example family, school or other sources

RSE (Primary)

The Relationships Education, RSE, and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019 have made Relationships Education compulsory in all primary schools. Sex education is not compulsory in primary schools and the content set out in the guidance therefore focuses on Relationships Education.

The content set out in the guidance covers everything that primary schools should teach about relationships and health, including puberty. The national curriculum for science also includes subject content in related areas, such as the main external body parts, the human body as it grows from birth to old age (including puberty) and reproduction in some plants and animals.

It is important that the transition phase before moving to secondary school supports childrens' ongoing emotional and physical development effectively. The department for education continues to recommend therefore that all primary schools should have a sex education programme tailored to the age and the physical and emotional maturity of the children. It should ensure that both boys and girls are prepared for the changes that adolescence brings. School will consult parents before the final year of school about the detailed content of what will be taught. This process will include offering parents support in talking to their children about RSE and how to link this with what is being taught in school.

Mental Health Awareness Week

Foundation Stage

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Year 6




Hello Yellow - October 2020

Foundation Stage

As part of 'Hello Yellow' day EYfS read stories about friendship and kindness and talked about how they help to make us happy and keep our minds healthy

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Year 1

During Hello Yellow Day we discussed what mental health is, and why it is important. We talked about how some people struggle to see the happiness in every day, and that we need to be there to help them. We decided to be mental health super heroes and chose a super power that we could use to help people see the positives in the small daily actions that actually mean so much to us!

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Year 2

The children in Year 2 have been learning about feelings during 'Hello Yellow Day'. They thought about things that make them smile and things that make them sad and talked about who could help them feel happy again. We looked at different emotions and how they make you feel and the children played a miming game about emotions. They enjoyed mindfulness colouring and massage to help calm down.

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The children enjoyed sharing the stories 'feelings' and 'The Colour Monster'. We had a go at acting out some feelings for our friends to guess and created a mind map thinking about how we could cheer people up and make them feel better .

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Year 3

For Hello Yellow day, we discussed how we could help those around us that are suffering with their mental health. The children used a previous discussion we had in a Collective Worship session to gather ideas for what they do when they are feeling down. These ideas were then used to create bunting to decorate the corridors with advice for anyone coming into school that may be struggling.

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Year 4

In Year 4 we talked about ways we could improve our mental health and how to help others who might be struggling before designing some bunting with positive messages for the year 4 corridor.

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Year 5

Year 5 marked Hello Yellow Day by primarily focusing on Digital Wellbeing. We began the day by exploring the term 'wellbeing' before investigating YoungMinds; watching a film clip about a child who had struggled with her mental health and how she was supported by this fabulous charity. As a class, we then devised a mind map of ideas about what and/ or who can influence our wellbeing - the children were so impressive with their thoughtful and deep responses, clearly explaining and justifying them to each other. After further discussion, we then established that everyone has different feelings and emotions - even about the same situations - and not everyone can feel comfortable, happy and healthy all the time. Children read a variety of scenarios about online experiences and wrote down a range of feelings people could have towards them. Finally, we created speech bubbles with activities which made us feel proud, relaxed and happy or which we had fun and enjoyed doing online. These were then illustrated ready to display in school.

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Year 6

We read the story 'The Memory Tree' by the author, Britta Teckentrup and discussed the different emotions we feel when we lose somebody or miss somebody that we care about. Inspired by this, we created our own memory trees with messages to our loved ones to go with them. As well as these, we created some pictures in the style of Suzanne Millius - she uses patterns and thinks of our loved ones as birds who watch over us.

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We shared this story to explore how we might feel when we are without our loved ones. Then we chose buttons to represent different emotions and memories linked to someone we love and then used these buttons in our artwork.

We found out about different beliefs people have when they lose a loved one. Suzanne Millius, the artist, imagines our loved ones as birds who watch over us from the tree tops. We created our own pictures of this using our button memories and we also made memory trees to keep the memories of our loved ones safe in our hearts and growing forever.

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Mental Health First Aid - September 2020

We currently have 2 Youth Mental Health First Aid trained staff in school; Andrew Carter and Rachel Wadsworth.

By the end of the Spring term we will have trained 3 further staff in this vitally important area of school life.

- Andrew Carter

- Rachel Wadsworth

- Vanessa Greaves

- Nic Parish

- Brooke Russell

Inclusion Quality Mark and Centre of Excellence re-accreditation - July 2020

After an intense day, we are delighted that our IQM and CoE review day has been highly successful! The feedback received was outstanding! We have secured the accreditation for another year and this is down to the fantastic contribution from staff during interviews, evidence from the website, celebration of our ofsted report, analysis of our above National outcomes and evaluation of 2019 objectives and targets.

'The school team should be congratulated for their hard work in relation to thinking about the needs of their children and community. They have responded to the impact of COVID-19 and worked tirelessly to ensure vulnerable families have been contacted, home study has been supported and that individual needs have been addressed. That same pastoral and supportive care has been extended to the whole team in school, which is to be applauded. The SLT are acutely aware of issues that could occur as a result of the pandemic and are quite rightly looking to introduce a target for 2020-21 which focuses on mental health and well-being.'

Children's Mental Health Week - FEBRUARY 2020

Foundation Stage

For Mental Health week in Foundation Stage the children focussed on mindfulness. They loved taking part in Cosmic Yoga and mindfulness moments including snake and bear breathing. They also found mindful colouring and massage a good way to relax.

Year 1

Year 1 took part in a mindfulness activity with parents during the morning session. This was followed by a FIND YOUR BRAVE activity in class

Year 3

Year 3 used the text 'Ruby and the Rubbish Bin'. They looked at an image and discussed how it made them feel and what message it might be giving. The children then took part in a class discussion about the morals and lessons we could learn from the story.

Year 6

Year 6 looked at how we can talk positively to ourselves when feeling down and which qualities we can focus on when things feel hard and we need to be brave. We created this beautiful art work.

MHFA On the 13th and 14th February, Mrs Wadsworth will be attending a 2 day adult mental health first aid training course established by MHFA. It qualifies attendees as adult mental health first aidersJanuary 2020On the 20th and 21st January, Mrs Wadsworth is attending a two-day youth mental health first aid training course established by MHFA England. It qualifies attendees as youth mental health first aiders. Attendees will get a deep understanding of what mental health is and what factors can affect wellbeing. The course teaches delegates practical skills to spot the signs of mental illness and gives them the confidence to step in and support a person who needs assistance.
Young Minds

#HelloYellowOn the 10th October we will Say #HelloYellow and support children and young people’s mental health on World Mental Health Day. We will be wearing

yellow for a day of activities raising awareness about and supporting young

people’s mental health.

WE RAISED A FANTASTIC £361.65 FOR YOUNG MINDS - WELL DONE EVERYONE.Year 1In year 1 we read The Colour Monster by Anna Llanas. One day, Colour Monster wakes up feeling very confused. His emotions are all over the place; he feels angry, happy, calm, sad and scared all at once! To help him, a little girl shows him what each feeling means through colour.

Using collage we each made our own colour monster. We then discussed our own feelings linked to colour and put our ideas of what makes us feel a certain way into jars; happy, sad, loved, scared and peace. Our jars and colour monster form part of our whole school #helloyellow display.

Year 2In year 2 we read a book all about emotions called 'Feelings' and discussed our own experiences of different emotions. Children wrote and illustrated ideas based on what makes them happy and what their idea of 'happiness' is. We also talked about sadness and times when we need to be brave as well as how we can make others happy and things we might do or say to show our people that we care about them.Later on we put on some relaxing music and lay down for a short meditation and then did some massage.

Year 4

Year 5

To acknowledge the importance of mental health in year 5, we discussed the meaning of the term "mental health". We analysed the differences between mental and physical health, and how they can affect each other. We then went on to read the book "My Strong Mind" which discusses the importance of being positive and resilient in the face of adversity. For our practical task we then created some of our own positive quotes to support people, who may be facing difficult times. This will be transformed into bunting displayed in year 5 to support positive well-being.

Staff Training
On the 10th October, we have 3 members of staff attending training on ' How to build emotional well-being in adults and children. We are looking forward to using and applying the knowledge gained;Learning Outcomes:

•Take the opportunity to reflect on your own energy levels and to develop a personal care plan.
•Discover how to enhance self-esteem and morale of all staff, and to check if adults are using positive language with each other and the children.
•Explore the importance of developing emotionally safe classrooms and playgrounds.
•See how the innate wisdom of children can be harnessed as a powerful forum for change.
5th July 20193RW visited St Helen's Church grounds to trial use of the area for future whole-school Forest School sessions starting in September 2019. The session began by orientating the children by heading round the whole four acre site, appreciating the sights and sounds and respecting our surroundings. It was an 'exploration-discover-create-reflect' session, which 3RW have practiced during their Forest School sessions in school this half-term. We then found a quiet spot in the memorial garden to practise some basic meditation and yoga which the children thoroughly enjoyed and engaged in. Next, children were set the task of collecting natural materials before creating pieces of art in their chosen groups. Finally, children were given time to explore the den-building area through play and adventure. Forest School session at St Helen's will not only further strengthen community links, but will also provide children with a range of cross-curricular learning opportunities and promote positive mental health and well-being. A truly fabulous morning!