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Anxiety – Pedagogy in practice

Chartered College of Teaching is delighted to have partnered with ACAMH to present a FREE online training series, ‘Pedagogy in practice’, exclusively for teachers and school leaders.

Anxiety is a part of life and some anxiety is essential because it helps us to act to protect ourselves and ensure our safety.  However, anxiety can become problematic when it is out of proportion to the threat in the environment, causes distress and interferes with children and young people’s everyday lives.  When this occurs it is often considered to be an ‘anxiety disorder’.  Anxiety disorders are extremely common and often start in childhood or adolescence.  They can have a significant and ongoing impact on mental health and well-being.  Anxiety disorders can affect family, school and social life, leisure activities and educational achievement.

Teachers have a role to play in supporting children and adolescents to understand anxiety as part of the new RSHE curriculum, as well as needing to feel confident that they can recognise the impact it may have on the children they work with.  This webinar brings together teachers from a range of settings to consider how they are supporting pupils in the school to understand anxiety.

Presentations by:  Shona McCann (Vice Principal, Riverside School) and Polly McMeeking (SEND Governor, Chaddesley Corbett Endowed Primary School). 

Panelist:  Jonathan Baggaley (CEO, PSHE Association)

Chair: Cat Scutt MBE (Director for Education and Research, Chartered College of Teaching).

Due to technical difficulties we were limited with the live presentations. These were be given by: Polly McMeeking, SEND Governor, Chaddesley Corbett Endowed Primary School, and Shona McCann, Vice Principal, Riverside School.  Jonathan Baggaley, CEO, PSHE Association, joined for the Q&A session, and Cat Scutt MBE, Director for Education and Research, Chartered College of Teaching, facilitated the session.



Our Presenters

Shona McCann, Vice Principal, Riverside School – Shona began her teaching career in 2010. While working in a special school in New Zealand she quickly found her passion for working with young people with special educational needs.  She values pupils as individuals and builds positive relationships with them and their families.  Equipping pupils with skills for independence is a passion of hers, including supporting emotional and social development.  Shona has recently been appointed as Vice Principal at Riverside School in Antrim.  She is currently working on an inquiry-based research project with the Education Authority in Northern Ireland and Professor Barry Carpenter.  The project focuses on the impact of Sports and Sensory Sanctuaries on engagement in learning.

Polly McMeeking MA(Ed), SEND Governor, Chaddesley Corbett Endowed Primary School – Polly is a retired executive headteacher and Director of Education from the independent special school sector who, in recent years, has served as Chair of Governors at Chaddesley Corbett Endowed Primary School and currently act as specialist SEND governor with oversight of the development of a new autism resource centre at the school. My expertise lies within the SEMH arena and I am working with staff to establish an innovative “portal” facility as part of the school’s provision for children who display acute anxiety; forms the interface between main school and resource centre, and which establishes practices to sustain low levels of staff anxiety. Drawing on a model of establishment of a “dynamic equilibrium” approach to integration, we hope to maximise the potential of our new development to enhance well being for all members of the school.


Cat Scutt MBE, Director for Education and Research, Chartered College of Teaching A former English teacher, Cat’s roles have since focused on supporting teacher development both online and through face-to-face activities, with a particular focus on development through collaboration and through engagement with research and evidence.  Cat leads on the Chartered College of Teaching’s work around teacher development and certification, including the Chartered Teacher programme, and their research activities and publications, including their award-winning peer-reviewed journal, Impact. She received an MBE for services to education in 2021 and has been a member of several government advisory groups.

Jonathan Baggaley, CEO, PSHE Association Jonathan is Chief Executive of the PSHE Association, leading efforts to ensure all children and young people receive high-quality PSHE education. Jonathan led the Association’s campaign for statutory PSHE, bringing together over 100 leading organisations to call for curriculum change. He is now working closely with government and wider stakeholders to ensure the new statutory requirements for Relationships, Sex and Health education achieve their transformative potential. Jonathan has worked in education at a national level for many years, bringing particular expertise in educating young people about risks, harms and opportunities of online technologies. Prior to joining the PSHE Association he was Head of Education at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (now part of the National Crime Agency).  He is currently a member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety Digital Resilience group and sits on the DCMS Media Literacy Taskforce Steering Board. He is Vice Chair of the National Youth Jazz Collective.

About the ‘Pedagogy in practice’ series

This is the first in a series of FREE online events exclusively for teachers and school leaders, and offer insights into best practice in supporting children and adolescents building on the latest evidence base. They are brought to you as part of an exciting new partnership between The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH) and the Chartered College of Teaching, two charities who are dedicated to supporting teachers to make a difference to the mental wellbeing of children and young people.

These sessions are designed to help close the knowledge gap in a range of topics that now form part of the statutory Relationship, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) curriculum.  We think it is important to help equip teachers with knowledge in areas that may be less familiar to them and to help them consider how they might most effectively deliver these topics to children and adolescents as part of the curriculum.

Pedagogy is the method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept. This series gives teachers an incredible opportunity to take part in interactive expert webinars looking at how to teach key topics in school. The first of these session looks at Anxiety, something that pupils, and us, at some point, have all experienced.  Please note that the event is for teachers and school leaders.

These sessions will build on the previous ‘Ask the Expert’ webinars hosted by ACAMH, and delegates for this session are strongly encouraged to watch these, and in particular the topic of Anxiety.


Full membership information and the benefits of being a member of the Chartered College of Teaching can be found here 

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