Brightside Nursery Infant School

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Healthy Mind Champions

At Brightside NI School, we have been engaging with the Healthy Minds Project in Sheffield. Healthy Minds puts emotional resilience at the heart of children’s health and wellbeing and recognises its impact on learning, behaviour and attainment. By providing a stable, nurturing and protective environment, we can help children learn how to regulate their emotions and develop healthy relationships with peers and school staff. These abilities will have a huge impact on their emotional resilience and satisfaction with their lives.

Sally Hornsby is our Education Mental Health Practitioner and is in school on Tuesdays between 11:45am - 2:45pm. She will be supporting the children in an emotions group as well as supporting the school with Healthy Minds.

Mrs Danielle Jenkins-Omar is our Designated Safeguarding Lead who supports the schools Healthy Minds Champions and meets with them regularly.

For more information about the Healthy Minds Project please click here.


Autumn term

October During the month of October our classes spoke about what Healthy Minds is and the children put themselves forward to become a Healthy Minds Champion

November - Our Healthy Minds Champions have met to talk about what makes a good Healthy Minds Champion, what makes a good friend and how we can support each other during lunch and playtime. The children came up with some great suggestions about how we can be kind, caring and helpful to one another. This month the Healthy Minds Champions will monitor lunchtimes to see how we can make these even better! So far the children have supported others to use our friendship bench and be games mentors. Great job Healthy Minds Champions!

December - on the 1st of December our Healthy Minds Champions started talking about coping strategies and learnt about finger breathing and 5 senses grounding techniques. Our group practiced these and spoke about different times we might use them such as feeling angry or worried. Throughout this month we are going to continue learning about different coping strategies and linking these with the zones of regulation.

Spring Term

January - This month our Healthy Minds Champions are focusing on the zones of regulation to help us identify our feelings and look at different strategies to manage these. We have been talking to each other about the different zones- red, blue, yellow and green. The children have been fantastic so far at discussing different feelings and putting these in the correct zones. This half term we are running a health minds lunch club for different children to access and support each other.

FebruaryThroughout February our healthy minds champions have been discussing what makes a good friend and how we can help keep each other happy and safe in school. Our healthy minds champions have been working together with our lunchtime games mentors so everyone has a friend to play with during unstructured times. Well done everyone.

MarchThis month we are focusing on friendships in school. We are exploring what makes a good friend, how we can help others when they are sad and how we can better our playground friendships, including designing our friendship bench. Keep your eyes peeled!

Summer Term

April- After returning from the Easter break our healthy minds champions have been focussing on emotions and how different feeling affect our bodies. In May school Education Mental Health Practitioner, Sally Hornsby, will be running an emotions group and our healthy minds champions will work alongside this.

May-  This month our Healhy Minds Champions have been looking at who and what is important in our lives. The have discussed who is important in their world, the emotions we feel about them and how others can impact how we feel. Next half term we will be preparing for transitions exploring the different emotions in this process and strategies we can use to support ourselves and each other. 

Here is what our Healthy Minds Champions did last academic year!


Autumn term

September - Miss Parker lead an assembly to remind everyone what 'Healthy Minds' mean, and to invite children to apply to become a Healthy Minds Champion (HMC). Lots of children were keen and after sharing their interest with their classes, two children from each class were elected. 

October - The HMC have met every each week with Miss Parker and Oliver (our mental health practitioner) to discuss what they think children at Brightside might need help with, and how they can help as a HMC. We have spoken about the Friendship Bench in the playground, helping younger children, and how to look out for friends who might be feeling different emotions.  

November - We have continued to meet regularly and have been learning some strategies to help when we might not be feeling ok. We are excited to share these ideas with our friends on the play ground.

December - We have been recording a video to show everyone in school how to use the strategies above.

Spring Term 

During this term Mrs Jenkins-Omar, our Designated Safeguarding Lead, has taken over helping and supporting the Healthy Minds Champions in school. Mrs Jenkins-Omar has been getting to know all the children and learning about the amazing support they have been giving to others in school.

During the Summer Term the Healthy Minds Champions will be looking at Random Acts Of Kindness, Worry Boxes and Friendships.


Summer Term


Our Healthy Minds Champions have been discussing what makes a good friend. They shared that a good friend should be kind, help others, play together and look after one another. The Healthy Minds Champions are all going to be Lunchtime Monitors for the next two weeks to ensure everyone is being a good friend to each other during unstructured times. We are due to meet again before half term to talk about how we can make our lunchtimes even better than what they are now.



This month we are looking at feelings. We are focusing on what we can do and how we cope when we feel worried or anxious. We are planning, designing and then making a worry box which the children will use to put objects in that make them feel safe and happy. One of our Healthy Minds Champions suggested that we rename these "Happy Boxes" which the group thought was a lovely idea, so that is what we are going to call them! 

Stay tuned!



We have been working on our Happy Boxes this month and our Healthy Minds Champions have been designing their boxes and planning what they would like to put in them. The children all did some lovely designs and made their boxes last week. You'll have noticed the children came home with their Happy Boxes last week.

This years Health Minds Champions have done some amazing work and support around school as well as learning strategies to cope with their own worries. Well done everyone!

We continue to use 'the Zones of Regulation' in school.  It's working really well and helping children realise when they are ready to learn or need help to get them in their learning zone.  

Children use colours to let us know how their feeling: 


Red - feeling really big emotions - angry, really upset or really scared.

Yellow - feeling excited, wriggly or worried.

Green - just right - where we want children to be - feeling calm, ready to learn, ok, content, in their thinking brain.

Blue - feeling slow, bored, poorly, sad, tired, switched off or in their own little world.

We've also been using some mindfulness techniques to help children calm down and return to GREEN and be ready to learn.  Please see pictures below for more information.