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Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs

What’s on offer for children with SEND at St Matthew’s?

Emotional, Social and Mental Health needs

At St Matthew’s we have a dedicated team of Behaviour Inclusion Mentors who work hard to carefully plan provision so that children are classroom ready and feel nurtured at school. The school has a child friendly behaviour policy in which pupils receive pom poms/track-its for good work, attendance and behaviour and they earn prizes based on the number of pom poms they receive. Child behaviour is communicated regularly with parents in the form of post cards home, certificates, stickers, good work assemblies and positive diaries for good behaviour. Verbal feedback and red letters are used to communicate serious or persistent negative behaviours. Regular review meetings will be organised for those who need a greater level of support.

Some children may need additional support beyond our whole school systems. If a child is on the SEN register for social, emotional or mental health needs, they will have individualised targets. Staff members will then work with your child to help them reach these targets. Their progress will be reviewed regularly. Advice and support may be gained from external agencies for children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties such as the Social, Emotional and Behavioural Needs Specialist Teacher or Peripatetic Inclusion Mentor.

The Enhancement Room is a nurturing provision which offers a planned approach to supporting those children with social, emotional and behavioural needs. Many of our staff members are Team Teach trained. This training is around de-escalating situations when a child is struggling socially or emotionally and gives techniques to keep children safe. A planned approach is used with preferred methods of calming situations down which we share with parents. If a child has to be guided through touch by an adult, we will inform the parent and fill in necessary paperwork. A large variety of social interventions are provided at St Matthew’s. These are:

Intervention name

Intervention activities and aims

Monster magic


  • Structured routines to follow.
  • Learning to cooperate.
  • Working as a team.
  • Social skills.
  • How to deal with basic emotions such as anger.
  • Building children’s confidence by allowing the space to talk.
  • Listening skills
  • Learning to be kind to others
  • Taking turns

I feel this group benefits younger children as there is a puppet as a focal point. Children are encouraged to talk openly, via Monster.


  • Group discussions (taking turns, listening and speaking)
  • Feelings tree (taking turns, listening and speaking, articulating emotions without fear of reprisal)
  • Job time (team work, cooperating, using manners, learning responsibility)
  • Monster melt (learning relaxation techniques)
  • Monster moments (taking responsibility for negative emotions and dealing with them in an appropriate manner)
  • Art (art therapy, taking turns, cooperation, self-esteem)
  • Games (social skills, taking turns, playing fair)
  • Noisy play (learning to use different volumes for different times)
  • Quiet play (learning to use different volumes for different times)

Rainbow fish


  • Routines and learning to take turns.
  • Following the group rules.
  • Social Skills.
  • Working as a team to achieve a goal.
  • Creating Rainbow Fish puppets for a play.
  • Presenting skills to build confidence.
  • Being a role model for younger children
  • Listening skills
  • Learning to be kind to others
  • Taking turns

These sessions are ideal for children who either lack confidence or believe their behaviour would normally exclude them from activities where they could be viewed as a role model.


  • Group reading (taking turns, listening, speaking, social skills)
  • Predicting outcomes (taking turns listening to others ideas)
  • Group discussions (taking turns listening, listening, viewing things from others perspectives)
  • Puppet making (art therapy, working as a team, planning skills, social skills)
  • Bride of Frankenstein
  • Drama (confidence building, listening, following instructions)



  • To realise that being different makes us special and not strange.
  • To understand what bullies, bystanders and victims are.
  • To understand the misconceptions about bullying and what it really is.
  • I understand different types of bullying.
  • To be confident that they know what to do when they see someone being bullied.
  •  To understand what it is to be a good role model to younger children in school.
  • To recognise that people, have different gifts and talents.

These sessions and activities were created specifically with bullies in mind. This is suited to all levels as it can be adapted easily. It helps bullies understand how their victims feel.


  • We’re all #peculiar looking at well-known people who were different as children. (elicits prior knowledge and builds confidence in their knowledge)
  • Bullying quizzes (builds on knowledge, taking turns, playing fair, good sportsmanship)
  • Scavenger hunts with clues related to bullying and being a bystander (working as a team, being a good role model as they move around school, checking knowledge)
  • Bully, bystander or victim game (building in knowledge of these three, taking turns, playing fair)
  • What’s #peculiar about me and why that’s awesome! (positive reinforcement of self, social skills, giving and taking compliments)
  • My special silhouette (art and positive reinforcement)

Socially speaking


  • To help children understand how to listen properly
  • To be able to take turns and cooperate with others
  • To be able to follow simple instructions in in the group
  • To be able to sit for longer lengths of time
  • To generally improve their communication and social skills

These sessions are good for children with speech issues, confidence issues, behaviour issues and children with SEN.


  • Interviewing each other (Speaking, listening, fact-checking, social skills, taking turns)
  • The winking game (observational skills)
  • Mirroring (observational skills)
  • Role play (team work, taking turns, social skills)
  • Copycat game (observational skills)
  • TV time (speaking and listening)
  • Let’s make a movie ( speaking listening, social skills, taking turns, following instructions)

Art therapy


  • To build confidence
  • To help build relationships
  • To help build social and emotional skills
  • To build trust with adults
  • Speaking and Listening (main focus is Listening)
  • To develop/improve a skill
  • Improve coping mechanisms



  • Structured drawing (whilst holding a conversation)
  • Cutting and sticking (whilst holding a conversation)
  • Painting (Whilst holding a conversation)
  • Junk modelling (Whilst holding a conversation)

Modelled play


  • To learn how to cooperate with others
  • To be able to follow simple instructions
  • To play fairly and not get angry
  • To understand that sometimes we lose and that’s okay
  • To be able to choose an activity sensibly

This benefits children who struggle to share, play fairly with others or make friends.


  • Board games
  • Play-doh
  • Lego
  • Car’s
  • colouring



The goal of anchoring is to help identified children to change their emotional states quickly when becoming distressed in some way in the class room.

Sessions are suited to children with anger issues and children in vulnerable emotional states.


  • Guided NLP scripts


Sibling play


  • To help build a positive relationship with siblings
  • Turn taking/fair play
  • To promote equality regarding attention
  • Understanding each other’s needs
  • Respecting each other
  • To promote healthy interaction
  • To promote independent interaction
  • To build confidence



  • Sharing equipment (one space hopper between two)
  • Small games with three simple rules, pointing out if one hasn’t taken their turn/shared the equipment ect. with treat at end for good involvement
  • Reflection time to see how they played well and what improvements could be made. Praise given when positive play is shown


Awaiting resources for this group


Anger Management


  • To help child understand and deal with emotions
  • Teach coping mechanisms
  • Enable child to remain in class
  • Focus on positives
  • Conveys the importance of all emotions and how to deal with them in a health way
  • Respect for others
  • Understanding consequences
  • Reflect on actions
  • Understanding triggers for anger


  • Worksheets with discussions. Worksheets used are:
  • ‘About me’
  • I am good at’
  • Anger management quiz
  • ‘Anger volcano
  • ‘Body cues’
  • ‘Self evaluation’
  • ‘Triggers’
  • ‘What causes anger’
  • ‘Safe ways of getting angry’
  • ‘Anger and other feelings’
  • ‘Stopping and thinking’
  • ‘Consequences of anger’
  • Relaxation recipe’
  • ‘Controlling anger’
  • Feelings thermometer’
  • ‘Stop, plan, go’
  • ‘Make it better letter’

Supported bonding play, with parents.


  • To strengthen relationship between child and parent
  • To support positive interaction
  • To encourage independent interaction
  • To encourage 1 on 1 time
  • To improve confidence in each other
  • Modelling positive behaviour/interaction for mum



  • This is dependent on child as in the first session we discuss their favourite activities and toys and what they would like to do in the time spent with parent.