CPD for primary schools – ‘Learning to be well. Being well to Learn.’


Rachel Orr is a freelance education consultant, teacher, tutor and author with over 25 years teaching experience. As a former head teacher and deputy head teacher for over 17 years, Rachel has worked closely with external agencies, counsellors and national organisations to ensure children are supported with their own well-being.

Children’s emotional well-being and resilience is a hot topic at the moment. Mental health is not simply about giving children support when something crops up in their life. Mental health is about keeping well and knowing when things are changing and being able to do something about it.

Children come to school with a lot of baggage that can often be bottled up and need a way of expressing their feelings and thoughts in a very safe environment.

We all know that we find it a challenge to learn when our mind is elsewhere. This isn’t any different for children. If we want our children to be well enough to learn we need to teach them to be well.

This 1 ½ hour twilight or half day gives teachers and teaching assistants strategies and resources that can be embedded into every day teaching and learning.
Are you skilled enough to support children’s well-being?

  • How well are we supporting children’s emotional well-being?
  • Is circle time once a week enough?
  • Have you got daily strategies and resources at your fingertips to support whole class, groups and individuals?
  • How do children let you know when their world is a little upside down?
  • How do you embed whole class strategies into all lessons to support children’s well-being?

Aims of the session:

  • To explore what it means to be well to learn.
  • To explore what can prevent children being well to learn.
  • Share strategies we currently employ when dealing with children’s well-being.
  • To develop on-going strategies that can be embedded in daily lessons that give children a vehicle through which they can alert staff to problems in their lives.
  • To develop strategies for children to manage their own well-being.
  • To explore practical resources to support children’s every day well-being.
  • To explore resources that can provide more focused and targeted support for a group or an individual.
  • To explore teacher well-being and relaxation techniques.
  • Staff will receive electronic copies of any resources used.

In March 2016 the government brought out this document to support schools in promoting positive mental health, identifying and intervening where there are mental health concerns and mechanisms for referral.


As you know health is nothing to be ashamed of. Historically mental health seems to have had some sort of stigma attached to it. The reality is we all have mental health – it’s part of our every day make-up. We can have positive mental health and then negative mental health which can be very debilitating.