A Croydon primary school has been named as a Thrive® Ambassador School with three areas of expertise for the role it plays in supporting the wellbeing of its pupils, helping to prevent mental health issues arising in the future.
Applegarth Academy, which has 464 pupils, has been named as an Ambassador School with Excellence in the Environment, Reparative and Right-time after going through a rigorous assessment process with Thrive, an organisation that trains teachers and other education professionals to support the emotional and social development of children and young people.
- The Reparative award recognises schools that have excelled in helping children who have gaps in their social and emotional development and are successfully meeting their needs.
- The Environment award recognises schools which are making a positive impact on their pupils and on the wider community by having a focus on emotional health and creating an environment in which children’s wellbeing thrives.
- The Right-time award recognises schools which have succeeded in helping all pupils to understand their emotions and the role they play in positive mental health.
Applegarth Academy has a number of initiatives and facilities to help pupils’ wellbeing. There is an area called Apple Tree House where children can come to talk with a trusted adult about how they are feeling. Each class has a worry box where children can write about their emotions and children are encouraged to understand and be aware of their own emotional wellbeing by talking about the neuroscience that underlies the Thrive Approach® with their peers. Creative play and time in the school’s wildlife garden are also emphasised as important ways of fostering wellbeing.
Senior Learning Mentor Karen Harwood (pictured above with Lawrence Nanu) said: “This is a really proud moment for us – everyone at the school is part of Thrive. We really want to build our children’s resilience and we encourage them to share how they feel and to have a voice. Thrive is an amazing approach because it doesn’t just support the children, it supports their families and it’s something that is at the heart of everything we do at our school.”
Thrive’s Ambassador Schools scheme was launched as a way of recognising excellence in the way schools use Thrive to promote positive mental wellbeing. There are five areas in which a school can evidence how they support children’s social and emotional development: Environment, Leadership, Right-time, Reparative and Relationship, with a special School of Excellence Award for settings that achieve the highest standard across all five categories.
As well as submitting an in-depth application form, the school was visited by Thrive staff to observe and assess the way that teachers and other staff implement the Thrive Approach to help build the emotional resilience of children, so that they can better manage the ups and downs of life and be more open to learning.
“Applegarth Academy is a fantastic example of an inclusive school with a real sense of community where everyone has come together to embed the Thrive Approach throughout the school day. The school knows each individual child’s needs and the staff work hard as a team to meet these needs. If children know they are safe and supported at school they will be in a much better place to access learning and they will do well,” said Lee Prichard, Thrive’s Head of UK Regional Development.
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