We believe that social and emotional well-being of our children at Willowbrook is a crucial part of helping children to be the best that they can be.  All the staff are committed to supporting children’s happiness and developing character traits that will help them be successful both at school and in life.  Our 5Rs and growth mindset ethos runs throughout our curriculum and we are building on this further this year through the Route to Resilience project.  All staff and children are learning about the power of vocabulary and choosing our words carefully to help the children ‘exercise  these character muscles’.

Our Whole School Offer

Route to Resilience

What’s it all about?

Route to Resilience is an exciting whole school project that were are taking part in this year.  Led by Steve Harris, Wellbeing Education, we are developing ways to develop strong character muscles in the children that prepare them well for learning and for life.

Teaching Character


Before character can become an integral part of teaching and learning the basic concept must first be taught. Guy Claxton’s metaphor of seeing these characteristics as ‘muscles’ is very helpful as it conveys a number of key points that the teaching phase needs to help children understand…

  • We all have all of these qualities to a greater or lesser extent.
  • Though conscious exercise and focus they can be made stronger.
  • A characteristic that is built through one exercise is transferable to a different context.
  • The correct combination of muscles applied to the task at hand is the route to success.
  • If we have areas that are perceived as weaker-the best response is not to avoid this ‘muscle’ but to make yourself exercise it (confidence, self-control etc.)
  • Successful people are a combination of these basic muscles. Whilst it may not be possible to play football all day, there are plenty of opportunities to strengthen teamwork, creativity, self-control,perseverance and the many other qualities that combine into success. These are then transferred from one activity to another.

It is important that children internalize the idea that we each possess the full range of characteristics celebrated, and that they can strengthen all of these capacities through sustained effort. School is a great opportunity to explore new ways to develop these transferable, and valued, human traits.

Practical Steps

  • Explain that at different times (and for different tasks) we need to draw on different aspects of our personality to achieve. This is true socially, academically, and in terms of self-belief.
  • Help pupils explore their own strengths, and those of others. Be careful not to allow children to think that their current strengths and weaknesses are fixed. Areas of weakness are made stronger through practice. Pupils may draw an avatar of themselves listing their existing strengths on the inside of this figure, and identifying areas they would like/need to further strengthen on the outside.
  • Deconstruct the characteristics needed to succeed in various fields-author, footballer, hairdresser,anything pupils admire. There is a lot of common ground, and whilst we cannot play football all day,we find many ways to strengthen teamwork, perseverance, imitation, communication etc.
  • Build self-belief. Where pupils feel they have a weakness ask them to think of times they have evidenced that characteristic. Can’t concentrate? What’s the longest you ever played a computer game for? This shows children that these skills are transferable to different contexts—and that they do have the capacity to improve.

Is It a National Priority?

Department for Education

“We can all recognise the attitudes, traits and values that are so sought by employers, parents and educators: persistence, integrity, curiosity, resourcefulness and so on.

These character traits not only open doors to employment and social opportunities but tend to underpin academic success and young people’s happiness and wellbeing as well.

The country’s leading state and independent schools demonstrate how a concerted focus on instilling these kinds of character traits throughout school life is the most effective model.” -DfE Stategic Plan

DfE Strategy 2015-2020

12 – Build character and resilience

Support schools to develop pupils into well-rounded, confident, happy, and resilient individuals to boost their academic attainment, employability and ability to engage in society as active citizens.

11 – Support & protect vulnerable children

Support schools to help children and young people build good mental health and access support where they need it.

5 – Embed rigorous standards, curriculum, and assessment

Ensure schools help all pupils progress, particularly stretching the most able pupils and supporting low attainers.

Future in Mind

  • Promoting resilience, prevention and early intervention
  • Improving access to effective support– a system without tiers
  • Developing the workforce

“Many schools are developing whole school approaches to promoting resilience & improving emotional wellbeing, preventing mental health problems from arising and providing early support where they do. Evidence shows that interventions taking a whole school approach to wellbeing have a positive impact in relation to both physical health and mental wellbeing.”

Services and Resources

Public Health Nurse – School Nursing Service
Weekday service.
How to access:
Child’s teacher or school staff
Healthcare professional involved in your family care
Families can contact directly and self-refer

Tel: 0300 3000 007

Local NHS text messaging service (9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, response within 24 hours) providing confidential advice.

For young people ages 11-19 years
Tel: 07520 615 386 (Leicester City)
Tel: 07520 615 387 (Leicestershire County and Rutland)

For travelling families
Tel:07520 615 384

For parents of children and young people
0 – 19 years
Tel: 07520 615 381 (Leicester City)
Tel: 07520 615 382 (Leicester County
and Rutland)

  • Online counselling, webchats, self-help resources available
  • For young people ages 11yrs – 25yrs to children and young people from Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland
  • Counsellors available
  • Monday – Friday: 12noon – 8pm
  • Weekends: 6pm – 10pm
  • www.kooth.com
  • UK Charity committed to improving the wellbeing and mental health of children and young people
  • Helpline for parents

Tel: 0808 802 5544

  • Confidential support for young people under 25
  • Online, social and mobile
  • Resources, information, films, discussion boards
  • Free phone
  • Tel: 0800 808 4994
  • Eating disorder charity
  • Support with emotional overeating, difficulties with food, weight and shape.
  • Helpline Tel: 0800 801 0677 Youthline Tel: 0800 801 0711 Studentline Tel: 0808 801 0811
  • Message boards, information and resources
  • Charity offering advice, support and information for bereaved people
  • National helpline 0800 808 1677
  • Website for children and young people
  • www.hopeagain.org.uk
  • Charity offering advice, support and information for bereaved people
  • National helpline 0800 808 1677
  • Website for children and young people
  • www.hopeagain.org.uk
  • Counsellors
  • Confidential helpline
  • Tel: 0800 0562561
  • Information and resources
Local NHS website that brings together interactive and informative content for primary school children, their parents and teachers, including content on health and wellbeing.


An award winning website with content produced by school nurses, health and wellbeing experts and young people. This website is for young people aged 11-19.


  • Educational resources on children and young people’s mental health
  • Modules for professionals on mental health topics and conditions including stigma. Training is recommended on our accreditation tool
  • Area for families with resources
  • You will need to register (for free.)
  • https://www.minded.org.uk
Time to Change.

Tackling the stigma of mental health problems.

Many people feel ashamed or isolated because they have a mental health problem.  Time to change aim to change that.

Resources, videos, information etc.

Covers all age ranges, including adults.

Time to change is lead by Mind and ReThink Mental Illness.

Scroll down the homepage to find schools.


STOP Stigma has been produced on behalf of the Governors of the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to help raise awareness of mental health problems and to tackle stigma.

It has been a collaboration between the governors, mental health professionals and the Cornwall Healthy Schools Team.

Scheme of work, lesson plans, and resources aimed at Y9 but adaptable for younger or older age groups.


Nationally recognised researchers and pioneers of character education.  Lots of resources for teachers, parents etc.  Videos, schemes of work etc.

Could compliment and develop R2R work.


  • Website for primary schools
  • Advice and resources to help schools understand and promote children’s mentally health and wellbeing
Huge range of PSHE short videos and resources.

Well organised and from a trusted source.

Easy to access at home.

Sorted by Key Stage.