Teaching and learning about mental health and wellbeing

Schools can help children develop strong social and emotional skills and knowledge.

Learning these skills promotes good mental health and acts as a key preventative strategy which can impact on all pupils, from the youngest child in the school through to those who are about to face the potentially significant challenge of transitioning to secondary school. For children to effectively learn these skills, opportunities should be identified across broader curriculum work to reinforce knowledge and learning.

Resources to promote children’s mental health

  • The whole-school programmes included on this website have been evaluated to ensure that they result in improvements in children’s social and emotional skills and knowledge.
  • The targeted, small group teaching programmes included on this website are for children who may need a little extra help to promote good mental health. They have been evaluated to ensure that they result in improvements in children’s social and emotional skills and knowledge.

  • PSHE modules and activities promoting social and emotional knowledge and skills:
    • These linked lesson plans on personal development and mutual understanding are each designed for a specific age range and are from Northern Ireland.
    • PSHE SEAL resources include many modules catering for early years’ children right up to transition to secondary school.
    • Sesame Street in the Communities includes a range of worksheets, resources and advice for both parents/carers and professionals such as early years practitioners, to help build strong social and emotional skills in younger children.
    • The PSHE Association’s lesson plans for primary schools as well as teaching guidance and supplementary linked teaching resources.
    • Anna Freud Centre’s You’re never too young to talk lesson plans, resources and primary school toolkit.
    • YoungMinds range of lesson plans from the Resilient Classroom.
    • Anna Freud Centre has also created some lesson plans focused on managing emotions. Although for secondary school children, these could be usefully adapted for older primary school children or those transitioning to secondary school (with parental consent if children are to access the portal directly). 
  • Books and other resources included on this website promote children’s social and emotional skills and their mental health and wellbeing; can be used to reinforce key knowledge and skills.


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