SMILE Emotional Health and Wellbeing

SMILE is a whole school ethos based approach for wellbeing.

It was developed at Forest Oak School, Solihull by adapting and utilising the NHS 5 Ways to Wellbeing. Its aim is to empower a whole school community to become architects of their own emotional health and wellbeing. SMILE provides a simple and positive framework for schools to adopt; applying restorative practice, solution-based thinking and Mental Health First Aid training through the nhs  5 Ways to Wellbeing. 10 primary and special schools are trialling the approach in their settings through a research project led by Professor Barry Carpenter, CBE, PhD.

Butterfly Print worked in close collaboration with the school Wellbeing Lead to create this range of quality visual and practical resources to support the SMILE Wellbeing approach in schools. These feature illustrations from a year 11 pupil at the school and will appeal to pupils and teachers alike across a range of settings.

For more detail about SMILE including how to use these resources, training or school to school support opportunities contact Issy Jerrard, Forest Oak school and see the SMILE Emotional Health and Resources pages at


The Emotional Health and Wellbeing (EHWB) of young people is central to their ability to learn and achieve yet the current shape of children & young people’s mental health or their lack of mental wealth is a major concern. In 2014, in response to this need, Forest Oak, an all age school for pupils with moderate learning difficulties, took part in a Mental and Emotional Health & Wellbeing focused project.

The outcome in was the development of SMILE: an ethos based approach to supporting school community mental emotional health and wellbeing. We achieved Enhanced Healthy School Status by telling our school story and SMILE has been the subject of a systematic research study to evaluate the effectiveness of the approach in promoting positive ways to improve wellbeing and mental health in school communities. Working with 10 primary and special schools, the project is led by Barry Carpenter, Professor of Mental Health at Oxford Brookes University with Jo Egerton, Schools Research Consultant and Educational Writer.

Forest Oak have created resources in collaboration with Butterfly Print Ltd featuring amazing illustrations from a year 10 pupil and incorporating logo designs by Emma Curzon from Haywood Sener in consultation with a group of KS3 pupils.

Professor Barry Carpenter“There has never been a more crucial time to support our schools and equip our teachers, to build emotional resilience in our children & young people. The mental health of our children is eroding before our eyes…we need to bring back their SMILE.”
 – Professor Barry Carpenter, CBE, PhD. Professor of Mental Health in Education, Oxford Brookes University. (January 2020)


For more information regarding resources, please visit:

Or contact

Amanda Mordey
Forest Oak School & Merstone School

0121 717 0088

You can find out more by visiting the Forest Oak School Smile Resources pages and watching Amanda Mordey’s forthcoming podcast on