Spring 2021 CPD Course:

Understanding Anxiety in Children

What is anxiety?
When should we be concerned about it?
How can we increase children’s resilience to reduce the possibility of them becoming anxious?
How can we best support children with anxiety?

Welcome to the hidden web page of the spring 2021 CPD Course. The aim is to provide all the necessary slideshows, handouts and resources to enable delegates to deliver, share or cascade the information to colleagues back in school; indeed, a number of delegates have successfully done this with our Forum materials. Furthermore, it makes accessing resources and web links much easier, with everything stored in one place. Our copyright terms are that attending delegates are free to use the materials within their own school only. We hope you find this helpful!


Preparation for taking part in the online session

Before you take part in the interactive online session, please ensure you have the following resources prepared.

  • PC or Mac with internet access, speakers, microphone and web cam
  • Printed handout OR e-handout downloaded onto your tablet


e handout

Links to use

  • Course evaluation form here


Slides and handouts


e handout

PowerPoint Slides


Resources and links

Resources & programmes

Whole-school programmes : Mentally Healthy Schools  

                A curated list of evidence-based whole-school programmes


Targeted small group programmes  

                A curated list of evidence-based targeted small group programmes, including those for children with SEND


Anxiety | HandsOn –

                Excellent resource from Fife CAMHS service, supporting teachers, parents and carers – a helpful link to have on your school website for parents


Anxiety Resource for education staff | HandsOn –

                Excellent resources and activities for primary schools to educate pupils about anxiety


Coping with anxiety | Childline  

                Another great resource for the school website that supports pupils but can also be used in school with adult support


Living. Learning. Together. – Primary curriculum for pupils in N. Ireland  

                Northern Ireland has a very well developed social and emotional curriculum available freely online with accompanying activities


ELSA Support  

                Some great free resources and downloads


Thrive Approach  

                A whole school community approach to well-being including screening, identification and intervention for universal, targeted and specialist provision.


Social Stories

                Reachout ASC regularly provide training on Social Stories  

                Stories that explain: Social stories for children with autism in primary school  

                8 Ways to Help Autistic Pupils Manage Anxiety 


Circle of Friends  

                Circle of friends is an approach to enhancing the inclusion, in a mainstream setting, of any young person, who is experiencing difficulties in school because of a disability, personal crisis or because of their challenging behaviour towards others. The ‘circle of friends’ approach works by mobilising the young person’s peers to provide support and engage in problem solving with the person in difficulty. ‘Circle of friends’ is not the same as ‘circle time’ but many of the skills and techniques used by teachers in ‘circle time’ can be used to support the ‘circle of friends’ process.


Nurture Group  

                Nurture groups are a short-term, focused intervention for children with particular social, emotional and mental health needs which are creating a barrier to learning within a mainstream class. Each group consists of between 6 to 10 children, led by a nurture group teacher and  assistant. Children attending the nurture group remain an active part of their main class, spending appropriate times within the nurture group according to their need, and typically return full time to their own class within two to four terms.


Nurturing [email protected]  

                This is a targeted and flexible intervention programme to develop children’s language and thought processes, helping them to talk effectively with other children and adults. It is designed to be used with children with social, emotional, and mental health difficulties, initially on a one-to-one basis but moving on to partner work and then being able to operate successfully in small groups. Each child will have a different time scale working with the programme depending on their personal needs and developmental stage.



                The SEAL initiative aims to support children aged from 3-16 years to develop the personal and social skills of: self-awareness, managing their feelings, motivation, empathy, social skills. Wave 2 of SEAL involves small group interventions for children who are thought to require additional support to develop their social and emotional skills (DfES, 2006). The purposes of these brief, early interventions include helping children by: facilitating their personal development, exploring key issues with them in more depth, allowing them to practice new skills in an environment in which they feel safe, can take risks and learn more about themselves, developing their ways of relating to others, promoting reflection (DfES, 2006).


Emotional Literacy 7-11  

                A standardised assessment measuring pupils’ emotional literacy and providing ideas for intervention. Emotional Literacy involves having self-awareness and recognition of your own feelings and knowing how to manage them, such as the ability to stay calm when angered or to reassure oneself when in doubt. The assessment is designed to discover where pupils’ strengths and weaknesses are in the area of emotional literacy, in order to provide a better understanding of these competences and, where necessary, to highlight areas for intervention.

Emotional Literacy covers five key areas of emotional literacy: Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Motivation, Empathy, Social skills.


Books for schools

       Tina Rae is an excellent author on this subject. She has recently published three new and highly relevant books.

A Toolbox of Wellbeing: Helpful strategies & activities for children, teens, their carers & teachers  

              It’s OK Not to Be OK: A Guide to Wellbeing

Understanding & Supporting Children & Young People with Emotionally Based School Avoidance 


Stories for children

The Huge Bag of Worries 

The Worrysaurus 

Don’t Worry, Be Happy: a Child’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety 

Other storybooks on the theme of worries and anxiety 

CCEF’s ‘Good news for little hearts’ series of stories featuring emotions including anxiety, failure, anger 



Coping with anxiety | Childline 

                Contains a video on yoga to reduce anxiety

How to Prepare a Calming Box for your Kids or Students  

                A lovely example of how to create great calming boxes, many teachers now provide class calm boxes for all children to access when they need to.

Grounding techniques


Specialist and medical support

British Association of Play Therapists

British Association of Art Therapists

Counselling – Place2Be

The official register of Accredited BABCP CBT and AREBT therapists


Working with parents and carers

Parent and carer workshops | HandsOn (

Mental Health Family Hour – Sam Tyrer and Mindset by Dave

                Young People’s Mental Health in 2021 

                Mindfulness and Visualisation Techniques

                Understanding Anxiety 


Understanding Anxiety

Free downloadable booklet


Further reading and references


Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, 2021. Anxiety. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 13th January 2021].

Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, 2021. Risks and Protective Factors. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 13th January 2021].

Anxiety UK, 2021. Anxiety UK. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 9th January 2021].

Bernard, S., Lovell, M. & Bowler, J., 2017. Worry and Anxiety Matter. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 9th January 2021].

British Association of Play Therapists, 2014. Info for Professionals and Employers. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 27th January 2021].

Fife CAMHS Primary Mental Health Workers, n.d. Professionals -Understanding Anxiety and the Development of Positive Coping Strategies, Fife: Microsoft Sway.

Maharajah, S. G., 2017. Anxiety Disorders Sourcebook. 1st ed. s.l.:Omnigraphics, Incorporated.

MindEd & NHS, 2016. The Worried Child. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 24th January 2021].

MindEd & NHS, 2016. This session is aimed at a universal audience and describes anxiety and worry in children and teens and discusses how to react to them., s.l.: e-Learning for Healthcare.

NHS, 2020. Counselling. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 27th January 2021].

NHS, n.d. Art therapist/art psychotherapist. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 27th January 2021].

Public Health England, 2016. The mental health of children and young people in England, s.l.: Crown.

Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2021. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 23rd January 2021].

Weare, K., 2012. Evidence for the Impact of Mindfulness on Children and Young People, s.l.: Mindfulness in Schools Project.

Weare, K., 2018. The Evidence for Mindfulness in Schools for Children and Young People, s.l.: Mindfulness in Schools Project.

Wikibooks, 2014. The Stress System: Adrenaline and Cortisol. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 13th January 2021].

Zeedyk, S., 2017. The Biology of Attainment. Scotland, Association of Heads and Deputies.

Coming up next!

Summer Term 2021

We are hopeful to be able to deliver our summer Inclusion Forums in venues (together with an online option available), however we do also have the option to deliver them via our online, interactive format (Zoom) if C-19 restrictions still dictate.

For venues, dates & to book please visit here





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January 2022