John Taylor Free School

Wellbeing at JTFS

Taking care of staff and student wellbeing remains at the core of everything we do.

Within our JTFS community, taking care of staff and student wellbeing remains at the core of everything we do. We are proud of our whole school approach to raise awareness of the importance of taking care of our own wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of others. We use many opportunities throughout the year to do this such as house assemblies, PT activities, house challenges, specific wellbeing focused enrichment and fundraising for mental health charities such as Young Minds.

Wellbeing and support for the exam season

We know that our students and families can find it difficult to handle the pressures of exam season.

There can be a wide range of negative emotions which can make it very difficult to focus on celebrating the progress that students have made and being able to show this in their exams.

Whilst we can’t do anything to make the exams easier, we can help our students to approach them in the most positive way. If a student is struggling to manage their feelings as they prepare for exams, we are always around to listen and offer guidance.

Students can always come for a chat with their Personal Tutor, their Student Support and the Mental Health First Aiders in school.

We have also put together a pack of tools that might help students to resolve some of their worries and allow them to focus in a calm and productive way. It contains lots of practical tools you can use right now, plus links to organisations that you might find helpful.

Our Mental Health First Aiders

Mrs Mellors

Mrs Haslam

Miss Clews

Mrs Mercer

Mrs Burton

Mrs Besenzi

Mrs Ward

There are plenty of different types of support out there, and a Mental Health First Aider can help you access them. Mental Health First Aiders are a point of contact if you, or someone you are concerned about, are experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. We are not therapists or psychiatrists but we can give you initial support and signpost you to appropriate help if required.


We Can:

If you have any questions about Mental Health First Aid, please contact any of the MHFAs in person or via email.


We are pleased to welcome Paul Taylor to the JTFS team who is our school counsellor, based in our wellbeing room. Paul is in school twice per week and will work with specific students who have been identified by the Student Support Team as requiring specialist emotional wellbeing support. Paul also offers his services to support staff with counselling sessions outside of the school day.

John Taylor Free School

The Peer Education Project

The Peer Education Project is overseen by The Mental Health Foundation and consists of five mental health and wellbeing lessons, delivered to the whole of our year 7 cohort by a cohort of year 10 Peer Educators. The lessons introduce the idea of mental health existing on a spectrum that changes over time and in response to our different life experiences. The lessons also give students the skills to improve and maintain their own wellbeing, while supporting the wellbeing of their friends and peers alike.

The selected year 10 Peer Educators engage with a rigorous training process which enhances their knowledge about mental health, facilitates their planning for the lessons as well as developing skills to lead each of the sessions and teach our year 7 cohort.

Mental Health Support

Working with Parents & Carers

Here at JTFS we strongly believe in the power of a community in supporting young people in our care. Each month, we will host a Parents as Partners event to promote different aspects of school life, offering support to families through these coffee and cake sessions. We continue to promote and focus on wellbeing and mental health through important dates each year. Our work links with external partners to offer their expertise and guidance on how to support young people managing their own wellbeing.

For the latest happenings around school, read our weekly newsletter

Useful Links

Young Minds

Whether you want to understand more about how you're feeling and find ways to feel better, or you want to support someone who's struggling, we can help.
Young Minds


Helping Teenagers, Friends, Parents/Carers & Schools With Mental Health Issues Since 2011. Discover stem4's free guides to manage mental health issues at an early stage

Shout 85258

Shout 85258 is a 24/7 UK text messaging service for times when people feel they need immediate support.
Shout 85258


We're Mind, the mental health charity. We're here to make sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone.

Wellbeing Support for Staff

This is a service available to people working in education and offers free, confidential advice and support. There’s a range of resources as well as trained professionals to contact via phone or chat function.
Education Support

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid - England
MHFA England

ThinkWell Counselling

This service is available to staff within our school and you can request support via a secure, confidential log in. This is provided by the school and allows staff to access 6 counselling sessions free of charge.


Get help and advice about a wide range of issues, call us on 0800 1111, talk to a counsellor online, send Childline an email or post on the message boards.