Tackling Anxiety in Schools : Lessons for Children Aged 3-13 book cover
1st Edition

Tackling Anxiety in Schools
Lessons for Children Aged 3-13

ISBN 9780367620974
Published August 3, 2021 by Routledge
194 Pages 91 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Anxiety is the biggest mental health problem in children, and research tells us it’s on the rise. Modern life creates many challenges and pressures for them and the COVID-19 pandemic has only added to this growing problem.

Tackling Anxiety in Schools supports all children to get into good habits of recognising their feelings of anxiety and equips them with a repertoire of coping strategies they can use in their day-to-day lives.  

This book explains how schools can create a safe climate for children and introduces a course of interactive lessons for all ages of primary school and the years beyond. It uses evidence-based preventative strategies, which are suitable for the whole class, based on the needs of children at each stage of development. The intervention programmes include lively activities, resources and courses of lessons which emphasise positivity and are engaging and enjoyable for pupils.

With over 55 years’ combined experience teaching and working on mental health issues in schools, the authors of this book have focused on providing practical advice and lesson plans that schools can use directly in the classroom. Being able to recognise and deal with anxiety is a vital skill for good mental health and will benefit children for life. The insightful and structured lessons in Tackling Anxiety in Schools teach children the coping skills they need to develop emotional resilience and thrive.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Introduction
Who we are and why we wrote the book

Chapter 2 - Anxiety

Chapter 3 - The Emotionally safe School
Staff Anxiety

Chapter 4 - The Emotionally Safe Classroom
Emotional Literacy
Listening to Children

Chapter 5 - This Anxiety Curriculum

Chapter 6 - The Theory Behind the Activities

Chapter 7 - How to Run the Sessions

Chapter 8 - Engaging Parents and Carers

Chapter 9 - Anxiety in the Early Years

Chapter 10 - Anxiety lessons for children aged 5 -7
Delivering the sessions
Overview Grid

Lesson Review Sheet

Chapter 11 - Anxiety Lessons for Children aged 7 – 13
Delivering the sessions
Overview Grid

Lesson Review Sheet

The No Worries Game

Chapter 12 - Helping Children to manage their Transition

Chapter 13 - Resources
Calming Strategies
Breathing Exercises
Yoga Poses

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Chris Calland and Nicky Hutchinson are teachers, education consultants and qualified counsellors and coaches. Specialists in children’s behaviour, mental health and body image, they work nationally in schools, universities and corporate settings. They advise the government on these important topics and received a parliamentary award in recognition of their work. Chris and Nicky offer training and advice and can be contacted at: www.notjustbehaviour.co.uk.


"Brilliantly written to enable easy and confident delivery of a sensitive subject. Our Y6 children fully engaged in the sessions, openly sharing experiences and, now, have a deeper understanding of anxiety as well as more coping strategies to draw upon when needed"

Louisa Munton, Headteacher of Shirehampton Primary

‘Doing the lessons and making my worry monster have helped me to manage my thoughts better’.

Maisie, Yr 6

‘The children really enjoyed the sessions. They really helped them to make sense of their anxiety, to be able to recognise the changes it makes in their bodies and use the strategies to reduce the panic. They have tried things they would have previously have been too anxious to consider’

Sarah, Learning Mentor

"A treasure trove of lesson plans, activities and resources for supporting children’s understanding and skills when it comes to anxiety and worry. As well as being evidence informed and founded in best practice, the authors’ ideas are all safe, fun and ready to go, minimising your planning time whilst maximising the impact of your lessons."

Dr Pooky Knightsmith, director of Creative Education and former chair of Children and Young People's Mental Health Coalition

'This is just what I've been looking for!'

Laura Connors, Inclusion manager at Easton Academy

'Really excellent material. So much thought, experience and wisdom contained within those lessons.'

Senior leader Early years