Primary school years 5 & 6 mental wellbeing survey report

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Sutton set up a Project Steering Group to develop a Primary School project. Membership included head teachers, SENCO leads, local authority commissioners and representatives of voluntary/community sector organisations that have an interest in this area.

A survey was developed to investigate the wellbeing of students in years 5 and 6. A total of 909 students from ten schools completed the survey between October 2019 and March 2020.

Key Findings:

  • A majority reported feeling either happy or very happy over the previous four weeks. Boys felt slightly happier than girls, and no difference existed between year 5 and year 6 pupils.
  • Most commented that friends made them happy (56%), whereas students worried most about school and homework (37%).
  • Girls and year 5 students were the least happy about taking school tests.
  • Boys were more relaxed than girls about attending secondary school.
  • A majority attended at least one club (83%), either in or outside school. Club membership was not associated with a higher mood.
  • Boys reported exercising for significantly longer than girls. There was a very weak correlation between the amount of daily exercise and mood of the previous four weeks.
  • Most pupils had access to an internet-enabled device (96%), and a majority had some form of supervision when online (77%).
  • Roughly two-fifths had at least one social media account (78%), and more had been spoken to about online safety (88%). Almost all said they knew how to stay safe online (99%).
  • Students said they felt significantly more listened to by adults at home than at school.


The Covid-19 pandemic has immensely affected primary school education. In light of this, it is likely that the mental health of pupils will have been impacted. Key stakeholders feel that while this does reflect on the potential accuracy of the current report findings in the new circumstances, it does provide the opportunity to carry out a pre and post Covid-19 comparison as the existing data creates a strong baseline comparator.

As such, Healthwatch Sutton’s recommendation is to investigate the potential to repeat this survey, possibly with additional questions that reflect the pandemic’s impact, in order to publish a comparative report of pupils’ mental health prior to and following the Covid-19 pandemic.

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General details

Report title 
Primary school years 5 & 6 mental wellbeing survey report
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Sutton
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 31 March, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 28 October, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 29 March, 2020
Key themes 
Holistic support
Lifestyle and wellbeing

Methodology and approach

Primary research method used 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Community services 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
1-15 years
Does the information include public's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.