Children are typically able to show understanding and compassion towards children with physical disabilities, yet this same understanding and compassion cannot always be seen towards children with an ‘invisible disability’, such as poor mental health.

Which is what makes it so important to not only make children aware of poor mental health, but to also make children aware of how poor mental health can affect a child’s behaviour – so they can know to show understanding and compassion towards them.

Which is why Brilliant Publications is giving away one of the 50 assembly stories from the popular Modern Christian Assembly Stories volume, to whomever is interested.

This particular assembly story is entitled Scott’s story: tackling child mental health, and shows the struggles and behaviours of a young boy who is dealing with poor mental health.

Alongside the assembly story we have also provided some teacher notes which include links to PSMC and propose a range of questions that you can ask your pupils to get them involved. There is also a short explanation as to what the Christian view is on the topic, as well as a link to a passage from the bible (Matthew 25:35) and a prayer that you can incorporate into the assembly, if you choose.

Click here for the FREE assembly story and accompanying teacher notes

For more information or to order Modern Christian Assembly Stories for £18.50 as a printed book, £12.99 as an e-book or both for £22.40,please visit

Alternatively, you can contact us by phone on 01449 766629 or by email at

What is the easiest way of making cricket ever more popular at school?

We make choices.  All of us, all the time.  And as we get older, so most of the time our choices become increasingly rational.  And that fact emphasises the reality that teenagers in particular are highly emotional beings.

Quite simply they can choose x rather than y for reasons that are, quite often, unfathomable.

We may notice this when a pupil or student chooses to focus on (for example) athletics or volleyball, or even disco dancing, rather than say, cricket, even though he or she is potentially one of the best cricketers the school has had in the past ten years.

It is clearly not talent that directs such a person away from his/her natural talent and into something else.  Rather it normally is emotion, feeling, friends, gossip, parents, TV programmes, what someone said on Facebook…

So how can we challenge such pressure?

One approach which has been adopted by a growing number of schools is to ensure that these young people feel good about themselves each time they practise and each time they play cricket.

In this regard, having the opportunity to wear professional cricket teamwear both when training and when playing a competitive game is singularly helpful.  True, it doesn’t directly affect their performance, but it does affect their mental attitude towards the game.  And that can and will affect performance.

Such an approach also encourages those with more modest levels of natural ability to extend themselves, and this is why Chiltern Leisure exists – to bring cricket teamwear to schools in which quality of presentation is deemed important.

The range includes wide choices of cricketwear, in-house personalisation, with delivery on-time, every time.  It even includes training and leisurewear designed to be worn on the way to and from matches and on tours.

Our online catalogue runs to 24 pages of cricket wear; there is an index on page two.  Plus, bottom right the zoom button, for a close-up view of anything that grabs your attention.  For a printed copy of the catalogue or if you have any questions about any of the products we offer, please do call 01844 338941 or email

You can make an appointment to meet at our showroom near junction 8a (Oxford Services) of the M40, where we can show you samples of cricketwear and discuss your precise needs.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Simon Lambourne
Owner/Director, Chiltern Leisure Limited

How many provisional items do you have in next year’s budget?

There should be some items in a budget that are provisional – money that will only be spent if there is evidence that it will be very worthwhile.  One of the most important should be to prove the effectiveness of play therapy, if you are not already using it.

Play therapy not only helps pupils with emotional, behaviour and mental health issues, it reduces stress on teaching staff caused by disruptive or ‘difficult’ pupils.  It also improves their learning capabilities: better listening, better concentration, etc.

Our trainee placement scheme could help with your budget because your school can have up to 100 hours of therapy for your pupils at virtually no cost.  This will show you how well the Integrative Holistic model works in your school.

About 1700 primary schools are already using Play Therapy UK therapists to support pupils with emotional, behaviour and mental health issues.  Between 75% and 84% show a positive change.

Is there a snag?  Of course, there always is.  We have about 300 trainees from 13 training centres in all parts of the UK this year. So it depends upon one being available in your area.  But it’s worth applying.

If you have any budget left over this year for training, a good investment would be to fund a member of your staff to train as a Registered Certified Practitioner in Therapeutic Play Skills. You’ll recover the cost very quickly.

Email me personally at  for details of both opportunities.

More information on play therapy at:

Kind regards

Monika Jephcott – Chief Executive Play Therapy UK