Welcome to our blog

A blog dedicated to the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children.

Here we will share news on current issues that are affecting children and young people, ideas for how we can respond and support them and news on new resources we are developing to support you in your precious work with children. Please make contact, follow us on social media and keep in touch as we will be delighted to hear from you too!

  • This year’s ERA award winners were announced at an awards ceremony on 18th April 2024 at The National Conference Centre Birmingham and we were very proud finalists.

  • We are thrilled to be recognised by IFIP, the International Forum of Inclusion Practitioners with an IFIP Global Inclusion Award announced at UNESCO HQ this week for the work we're doing.

  • We are extremely proud to announce that Hamish & Milo Wellbeing intervention resources have been shortlisted for the Wellbeing Award at the ERAs 2024 alongside such well-renowned and established organisations.

  • This years theme is 'My Voice Matters'. Helping children talk and express their feelings about what is happening in their lives share experiences, develop empathy and friendships in a small group environment of safety, value and belonging is central to our whole approach.

  • We are absolutely thrilled and honoured to announce that we won ‘Wellbeing Resource or Support of the Year 2023’ at the Education Today School & Supplier Awards!

  • Free fun children's festive activities - children can design their own crackers, party hats for their sock puppet pals, plus design their own Christmas jumper!

  • Free fun children's festive activities - children can design their own Christmas jumper!

  • Nominate your local school, who you think would truly benefit from the Hamish & Milo intervention programme, as we are gifting over £1,335 worth of wellbeing resources!

  • In education it is often said that what gets assessed gets addressed and whilst we know measuring social and emotional learning (SEL) and SEMH can be tricky we believe that evaluating the impact of interventions is vital.

  • Anti-bullying week which aims to encourage and celebrate diversity. Celebrating differences and acknowledging similarities is powerful in allowing us to be true to ourselves and to value who we are. Free activity!

  • “Hamish & Milo is a wonderful emotional wellbeing programme that sits alongside Trauma Informed incredibly well. It is easy to follow and the enjoyment that the students and myself feel during the sessions makes us feel extremely uplifted.”

  • Transition day activity for getting to know each other - 'All about me' activity template is a great way to get to know new pupils by letting them tell you about themselves in their own words.

  • Compass is a tool and checklist to identify individual child strengths and areas of need for social and emotional skill development.

  • For Mental Health Awareness Week 2023, the focus is Anxiety. The reality is desperate when we see exceptionally high numbers of children and teenagers that are struggling with their mental health and, in particular, different forms of anxiety. A record number of more than 400,000 children a month are being treated for mental health problems.

  • In this webinar Clare discusses the need for a whole school culture in making a difference for children, particularly those with SEMH needs, how to support children to manage in a learning context when they're struggling with their social and emotional development and mental health and how we create a culture built on the principles of wellbeing and relationships.

  • Fun coronation activity sheets for the children to design their own royal cypher and colour their own St Edward's coronation crown!

  • There are at least 50,000 children who are deaf in the UK and sadly deaf children are at far higher risk of developing mental illness than their hearing peers. The theme for Deaf Awareness Week is Deaf Inclusion, exploring the entire theme of inclusion within communities...

  • “Hamish & Milo has been a remarkable new resource for Wordsworth, which has changed the school provision in meeting the SEMH needs within the school... Moving forward, we are training more staff and increasing the number of groups we are running so that we can target even more children’s needs.”

  • In honour of Autism Awareness Month and the importance for all children to develop a comprehensive social and emotional vocabulary, have the capacity to put words to feelings and experiences, and to express or make sense of the social and emotional world around them we focus on our Sensation & Emotion cards.

  • "Hamish & Milo has supported a real shift towards consistency and focus on the social and emotional needs of our children. The resource is manageable with the planning and progression done so that the time is focused on being with the children. There is now more of a robust organisational process in how we target and support need with the flexibility for group or one-to-one intervention.”

  • In honour of Neurodiversity Celebration Week we share our ‘Celebrating me’ - helping children with difference and diversity programme to support schools in creating an inclusive culture that celebrates differences and empowers every child.

  • "Not only do you get the 10 intervention programmes with Hamish & Milo you get so much more. It is extremely well supported by a wealth of easily accessible extra tools and resources, quality supervision opportunities and a team of knowledgeable and passionate people on hand to answer any queries. We are truly excited to continue our Hamish & Milo journey."

  • “A therapeutic story can enable a child to see, hear, know and feel more clearly, by providing a deeper truth and empathy than is possible through literal words. In so doing, it can bring hope to a child that ‘I can be understood. It is worth telling someone about my feelings. At last, I’ve got through.”

  • Supporting children to notice, recognise and begin to express how they are feeling is a vital part of social and emotional development. Our article in Speech and Language Link Magazine looks at the power of wrapping language around feelings and experiences.

  • This Children's Mental Health Week 6th-12th February, the theme is ‘Let’s connect’ and it’s a lovely way to celebrate the importance of connections, friendships and the human need for belonging. Celebrating connections - paper chain activities.

  • 'Taught and caught' - The importance of Social and Emotional Learning in schools Social and emotional learning (SEL) is a vital part of life and education and describes the ability [...]

  • “We know we are making a difference. Our Head is fully behind me...It is a game changer for our school, a gift!” Jill Wilcock, St John with St Mark CoE Primary School, Bury, Greater Manchester.

  • Children’s Grief Awareness Week is held from 17 – 23 November 2022 in both the UK and the USA, and it presents a powerful opportunity to come together and highlight the voices of bereaved children and young people.

  • Today marks the final day of Anti-Bullying Week 2022 and we acknowledge that learning to understand and manage conflict is an important part of healthy emotional and social development. Our final article includes tips and a template to create your own Anti-Bullying Charter!

  • Today is day four of Anti-Bulling Week and here at Hamish & Milo we believe that relationships are at the heart of every learning environment. One of our activities 'Conflict resolutions scripts', uses sock puppets and the adult as a mediator to demonstrate how resolution after conflict can be reached.

  • As a great exercise for Anti-Bullying Week, and encouraging the children to think about the expression of feelings and wellbeing ask your children to create an emotions story. Download our activity template.

  • To mark the first day of Anti-Bullying Week, millions of people around the country will be wearing odd socks to encourage people to express themselves and celebrate their uniqueness and individuality.

  • As a handy record of your children and their unique codes for the data submissions, we have created a checklist for you to use and keep for easy reference.

  • We are delighted to share with you our new Hamish & Milo Wellbeing Champions logo and would like to invite you to display it on your website as a celebration of your school’s involvement in the University of Bath research project.

  • Fact File activity sheets for the children to find out all about the Hamish and Milo characters - their personalities, their likes, their favourite food, drink, treats, toys, activities and much more. Some colouring and questions for the children are also included!

  • Mental Health and wellbeing is at the top of the agenda in terms of ethos, policy and implementation across the whole of Wales. A comprehensive new curriculum has been launched, with Health and Wellbeing as one of the ‘Core Areas of Learning’ and highlighted as a key priority for developing whole school approaches and a wellbeing culture...

  • Most children will be aware of the Queen's death; so it's important to talk about it. Children may be feeling worried, they may just be curious or have questions and a range of feelings that they will need help with, to begin to make sense of what is happening around them.

  • The 9th day of the 9th month is International FASD Day, and September is International FASD Awareness Month. In this blog, we draw attention to what primary schools can do to support children with this condition, and how our Hamish & Milo Wellbeing Resources can help.

  • We’re very proud to have been nominated for the Education today School & Supplier Awards for Wellbeing Resource or Support of the Year – category criteria being that we’re helping schools address the mental health and wellbeing issues among pupils and/or staff.

  • Our top 12 tips for teachers to support healthy transitions as children return to school! Research shows that transition from parents and caregivers to the classroom can activate a child’s stress response system in their bodies. Read our suggestions and strategies infographic.

  • We are absolutely thrilled to announce that we are a Finalist in the Mental Health and Wellbeing Wales Awards in the category of 'Best Education Product or Service'. This award is to recognise and celebrate a product or service designed to provide mental health and wellbeing support to the education sector.

  • Having friends and a network of support is a vital factor in our emotional wellbeing and self-esteem. Being with friends and feeling secure in friendships, has a significant impact on children’s learning and engagement at school.

  • Giving children a voice and opportunities to feel heard and valued is essential in creating wellbeing cultures in our schools, as well as being vital for mental health, our relationships and social and emotional development.

  • Children need to know that it is safe and that it is important for them to express their view... An important part of measuring the outcome of the Hamish & Milo wellbeing intervention, the ‘child voice questionnaire’ shows the experience from the child’s perspective.

  • Lytchett Matravers Primary School, Dorset is a relatively large primary school whose ethos centres around children being valued, happy and confident. “I didn’t realise quite the level of impact but now thinking about all we have done and the impact on all the children, I’m really thinking we are making such a difference.” Hazel said smiling with the realisation.

  • Rowanfield Infant & Junior Schools are part of the Gloucestershire Learning Alliance. “We wanted Hamish & Milo to be used within Rowanfield due to the high levels of deprivation within the school community and to have this focus on wellbeing with an innovative resource was so important, these children absolutely deserve it.”

  • A little fun around the subject of changing classes, years and even schools. We find joy in making new and unexpected friends just like Hamish & Milo are doing in this colouring page.

  • Our author Clare Williams was delighted to speak with the SENsible SENCO last week on creating a culture of wellbeing and providing targeted intervention within schools.

  • 1.7 million children, thats a huge 1 in 4 are consistently absent from school states a new report by the Children’s Commissioner.

  • Any orders placed before the end of June 2022 that are for two or more emotion theme packs will qualify for a FREE pack of our Sensation and Emotion Cards.

  • As the end of the summer term looms and the end of the academic year, there is a huge focus on transition and change within schools as children are changing teacher, changing class or even changing school. When things around us change, there is anticipation and uncertainty. Managing change can be worrying, exciting and sometimes painful.

  • This year is a landmark occasion marking 50 years of pride and in honour of the Pride movement and celebration of diversity and freedom to be ourselves, we want to highlight our ‘Celebrating me’ - Helping children with difference and diversity programme.

  • To celebrate Pride Month 2022 we would love to invite all children to design and create their own Pride 50p coin and to enter our competition! Simply download our easy-to-use coin template.

  • Saltersgate is an infant school in South Yorkshire that strives to place wellbeing at the centre for its 350 children. “We have never really found anything before Hamish & Milo that is bespoke enough and where we can see this level of impact. We now have developed the role of our support staff to be able to deliver this across the school and to do more of this work.”

  • We've recently had Mental Health Awareness Week with the theme and focus on loneliness and the impact social isolation has on our mental health. Loneliness affects millions of people every year and is a critical issue for our society.

  • Our Sensation & Emotion Cards are a beautiful resource that children can relate to, connect with and begin to recognise and talk about their feelings and the experience and sensation of those feelings in their body.

  • We are extremely proud to announce that we are working with the prestigious Department of Psychology, University of Bath on a research project that will explore and exemplify the impact of our intervention programme on children’s wellbeing.

  • 11 million people in the UK are deaf or hard of hearing. There are at least 50,000 children who are deaf in the UK and sadly deaf children are at far higher risk of developing mental illness than their hearing peers. The theme for Deaf Awareness Week 2022 is Deaf Inclusion, exploring the entire theme of inclusion within communities...

  • We designed this Anger Iceberg poster and activity in response to feedback to help with connected conversations about children's feelings and experiences to help children understand that it can be difficult to see the underlying feelings the anger is masking.

  • Talking with one pastoral member of staff I hear about a child in crisis, sadly not an unusual story, but a child who has suffered multiple losses, including bereavement resulting in him living in care and struggling to manage in school and to stay in class and to engage in learning.

  • Kingsleigh Primary is a large four form entry school in Dorset. Hamish & Milo is being used for small group work, some 1-1 intervention and as part of the emotional curriculum for the children and is now being developed for further small group work and targeted intervention led by the ELSAs.

  • We designed this poster for Stress Awareness Month 2022 in response to feedback to help with conversations about feelings and experiences to help children understand that they are not alone and that we can all feel stressed sometimes.

  • We have created Individual Child Profile Records to support pastoral staff in collating information about each of the children in their intervention programme; record detailed information about each child; the context and background and space for ongoing observations for the duration of the intervention programme.

  • On #NationalDayofReflection a day that honours and reflects on every life taken too soon we suggest an activity to help any children to reflect and celebrate the memory of a lost loved one. Simply download the template.

  • We've only just begun to see the light at the end of the tunnel with covid restrictions lifting in schools and the delicate hope of things beginning to improve. Then suddenly, we are hit with shocking, frightening and devastating news about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

  • We have created a template with cutout marks and space for the children to write their message, affirmation, poem or quote inspiring kindness, compassion and friendship and place it into a book in the school library for someone to find to brighten their day.

  • A mentally healthy school is one that adopts a whole-school approach to mental health and wellbeing and should involve a targeted element making sure that teachers and other staff can recognise pupils with emerging mental health needs and provide early support.

  • Children’s Mental Health Week coincides with the shocking NHS referrals data analysed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists for the BBC that saw a 77% rise in the number of children needing specialist treatment for severe mental health crisis.¹

  • As we shine a spotlight on Children’s Mental Health Week we highlight our activity ‘nature gardens’ from our ‘Amazing me’ programme great to do with your children in celebration of the theme of 'Growing Together'. Download this activity.

  • Bedales comprises three coeducational independent schools located within a 120-acre estate on the South Downs of Hampshire. “Hamish & Milo is magical. For me as a teacher, it has changed my style. It is allowing me to empower the children and allow them to grow through the conversations and sharing of experiences through the sessions. It is becoming our emotions curriculum.”

  • The therapeutic benefits of sock puppets to help children express what is troubling them when they are not able to find the words to express their feelings.

  • Hazlehurst Community Primary School is a one form entry primary school where there is a focus on wellbeing and enabling children to reach their potential and thrive. "It is our primary go-to resource now for all our SEMH and wellbeing intervention." Diane French, SENCO.

  • Current research presents a stark landscape across the country in light of the pandemic and the impact on mental ill-heath. Children are at disadvantage because of where they live. Equality in outcome and provision is disproportionate and dramatically underfunded.

  • Ofsted has said it’s following public health guidance but will be ‘carefully’ considering requests from schools to defer inspections. But Tes reports¹ that one in three requests from schools to defer inspections has been turned down. How can we ‘carry on as usual?’ and shouldn’t the focus be on support and a focus on emotional wellbeing and care so that stress is alleviated, minimised and reduced?

  • How has it crept up on us, deemed acceptable and in fact policy, that we have moved to a way of telling children they are ‘working towards’ or need ‘catch up’ or are ‘working below expectation.’ There are “alarming rates of stress and anxiety” in our high-performing students, as well as the impact on children who are forever being told they are not ‘good enough.’

  • Whilst children need to have the structure, the routines, and the opportunities to engage again in learning post covid, they also need greater opportunities for a broad, creative and expressive curriculum that is embodied as a whole school approach that really holds wellbeing and children’s current and long term mental health at the heart.

  • Young minds #HelloYellow campaign has never been more relevant to shine a bright light on children and young people’s mental health and to shout for what is needed to prioritise support and early intervention. Let's make sure every child gets the mental health support they need.

  • It was a fun-packed day when we visited Barefoot Barns and took our Hamish and Milo sock puppets to visit the alpacas, sheep and ducks. It is becoming increasingly recognised now how much animals can really benefit children’s mental health and being outside with nature is incredibly powerful for mental health and wellbeing.

  • The now statutory subject of PSHE is vital to prepare children with the life skills and knowledge to equip them for the wider world. With a focus on mental wellbeing, is there enough focus on the complexity of emotion, opportunity to feel heard, listened too and given a language of emotion?

  • The unexpected announcement of a new education minister as part of the cabinet reshuffle has caused a wave of interest, relief and yet further uncertainty and anticipation as we await the implications of new leadership for our schools and the children and young people in education.

  • So, it’s a welcome reshuffle, out with Gavin Williamson and in with Nadhim Zahawi. This significant change comes amidst a backdrop of uncertainty, disillusion and lack of confidence. There is a desperate call for schools to feel listened to, consulted and for them to be led with clarity, care and a focus not just on academic success for children, but the heightened awareness for mental wellbeing to be prioritised.

  • After the summer break, schools have opened their doors again to welcome children back with an even greater need for a wide and diverse curriculum with a focus on wellbeing and mental health. The senior mental health leads are the driving force to lead the provision and to champion wellbeing, to identify and target approaches and programmes at early intervention level and ensure that every child’s wellbeing is at the heart of the school ethos, culture and values.

  • With the increasing focus on mental health and wellbeing in schools following on from and exacerbated by the pandemic, there are the beginnings of a strategic approach and the start of funding to support it. The initial stages saw the launch of a ‘recovery curriculum’ to get children back into schools but this is only the tip of the iceberg and the need for an informed, strategic and cohesive framework has never been more evident.

  • For many children, having a pet is the first time they begin to take care of another living being and to understand what it needs to be able to thrive and grow and be healthy. The life skills that come with looking after animals are not only enriching but show children their role in caring for others, developing empathy and responsibility in ensuring the pet's needs are met.

  • Having animals and pets in school provides great opportunities for enhancing wellbeing and creating a culture of wellness within educational settings. We are only beginning to recognise the powerful role that animals can play and how they can be a source of nurture, fulfillment, and enrichment in children’s education and life experience.

  • The gorgeous Honey, Florence and Archer! Creating a culture of wellbeing with animals in schools During a recent visit to a primary school in North Dorset, I [...]

  • Recovery curriculum for mental health Over the last 18 months schools have been riding a tidal wave of multiple changes. Children and adults alike have been swept through [...]

  • Partnership with parents It has been widely recognised that schools working with parents in partnership is important for children’s academic learning and achievement. It is often part of a [...]

  • Celebrating the special role of pastoral teams in schools The mental health needs of our children and young people have never been so high and we, [...]

  • Why we are launching Hamish & Milo - a little background We are so excited to meet you and to share Hamish and Milo with you. [...]