Whole-school SCARF: Embedding and Extending

Key elements

"The new focus on children’s mental health, though, serves as an important reminder to us that we must couple support for school staff with the ambitions we have for children’s wellbeing. if we don't we will be letting down all school staff.

If we want our school staff to do what’s asked of them, then we need to make sure that their mental health and wellbeing is effectively supported.” Professor Peter Fonagy, CEO of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. Supporting Staff Wellbeing in Schools, Anna Freud, June 2021

Teacher wellbeing is an essential element of building a whole-school approach to emotional health and wellbeing. 

Each school needs to consider how best to support its staff, depending on circumstances. But there are some things that every one of us can do to help strengthen our emotional health and wellbeing. 

Tools to support staff wellbeing

You'll find a variety of options and starting points on our Practical Guide to Looking After Your Own Wellbeing.

Additional information and guidance

A good starting point is The wellbeing wheel - a simple and quick tool for checking and improving your wellbeing in five easy steps, from the NHS.

Supporting staff wellbeing in schools - health and wellbeing guidance, from Anna Freud organisation.

Taking care of teachers - wide range of guidance and support from Education Support organisation.

Whole-school approach to supporting staff wellbeing - a toolkit aimed at school leaders and including guidance about supporting a member of staff with mental health difficulties, from Anna Freud organisation. The Wellbeing Measurement for Schools - Staff Survey within this toolkit provides step-by-step guidance, including a staff questionnaire in Appendix B.

A whole-school approach - key insights and a summary planning framework from Young Minds.

SCARF community network

Join the growing number of teachers using SCARF who've joined our closed SCARF PSHE facebook group. For SCARF schools only, this group provides a forum to share ideas and get advice and guidance from other teachers in addition to the support you receive from your SCARF specialist. Go to our facebook page to sign up.

“The family plays a key role in influencing children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing… well-implemented interventions supporting parenting and family life that offer a combination of emotional, parenting and practical life circumstances have the potential to yield social as well as economic benefits.” PHE Promoting children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing – p.18 Working with parents/carers.

“The role of parents in the development of their children’s understanding about relationships is vital. Parents are the first teachers of their children. They have the most significant influence in enabling their children to grow and mature and to form healthy relationships. All schools should work closely with parents when planning and delivering these subjects. DfE statutory guidance for RSHE para. 40-41

Parents are a major influence on a child’s success in life. While the quality of schools and the nature of the child’s peer group matter significantly, it's from the home that young people derive lasting effects on their character, mindset and attainment. 

An effective partnership with parents and carers can impact greatly on children's emotional wellbeing and attainment.

SCARF support for parental engagement 

Our SCARF at Home resources provide family learning opportunities and activities that children and parents/carers can do together to maintain and enhance wellbeing, as well as supporting children's learning in this subject. There are SCARF at Home resources for 5 of the 6 SCARF suggested half-termly units. View the SCARF at Home resources.

Your curriculum planning and intent need to show evidence of tailoring content to the specific needs of your children and the wider community. 

A single resource is unlikely to have all the teaching resources that will ensure you meet your school's unique needs and your school may sometimes have specific issues or needs that need extra attention. We've created a library of additional, quality-checked resources to save you time.

We also provide resources for special calendar events – e.g. Children's mental health week – and SCARF assemblies to help launch and embed each unit's theme.

View the Calendar of Special Events.

View the SCARF Assemblies.

Resources that provide additional visual reminders that contribute to embedding your school values and the values of SCARF across your school, including:

  • The 5 SCARF letters (full colour)
  • Key questions
  • Pictures of Harold and his friends
  • The Wellbeing Wheel
  • Information about Wear your Scarf to School day

View all the SCARF around school resources.

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