A CUTE little purple dragon is helping children to relax, increase their self-esteem and gain confidence.

The furry toy called Burt, which stands for breathe, understand, regulate and think, has become an emotional literacy mascot at St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Winsford.

The character is part of a comprehensive programme of emotional wellbeing and resilience work which teachers have developed over several years.

Northwich Guardian:

Pupils at St Joseph's Catholic Primary School can use Burt stops as a safe place to go if they are experiencing any difficult feelings. The school council who helped to launch the Burt model pictured here with headteacher Martine Gum

The school now has four emotional literacy support assistants who support pupils on a one-to-one basis and in group activities.

Sessions focus on self-esteem, social and friendship skills, anger management, loss and bereavement.

Another scheme called Thrive develops social and emotional wellbeing, helping pupils to engage with life and learning.

Theraplay promotes active emotional connection and Forest Schools give pupils the chance to learn in a natural environment.

Loving terrier Teddy and Belle, a Teacup Chihuahua, also support children's emotional wellbeing.

Teddy provides a listening ear without any judgement and loves children to pet him, listen to them read and confide in him.

Burt stops have been introduced at the school on Woodford Lane to give pupils a place of sanctuary if they are feeling anxious, worried or stressed.

Northwich Guardian:

St Joseph's pupil Joel Saji models positive thinking glasses which help children to view things from a different perspective

Children are being encouraged to wear positive thinking glasses to encourage them to view things from a different perspective or look for the positives to help them in moving forward.

Headteacher Martine Gum said: "The children can use the Burt stops as a safe place to go if they are experiencing any difficult feelings or dysregulation. They can then be identified and supported by peers or adults to work through the Burt steps to help in regulating themselves.

"Each class has a Burt plush supported by a Burt cool bag which contains a selection of visual strategies and sensory resources for children to access which helps support them with their emotions.

"Children can access these resources independently or with the support of an adult.

"We are very grateful to the Friends of St Joseph's Parent Teacher Association who have raised funds for the Burt stops."