A Dagenham primary school has been named as a Thrive Ambassador School with three further areas of expertise for the role it plays in supporting the wellbeing of its pupils in order to prevent mental health issues.
Earlier this year, Thomas Arnold Primary School was named as an Ambassador School with Excellence in Leadership and Reparative after going through a rigorous assessment process by Thrive®, which trains teachers and other education professionals to support the emotional and social development of all children. Now, it has been recognised as an Ambassador School with three further areas of expertise – Right-time, Relationship and Environment.
- 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 wellbeing and creating an environment in which children’s wellbeing thrives.
- The Relationship award recognises schools which forge a strong connection between staff and pupils, creating a firm foundation for learning.
- 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.
- 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 Leadership award recognises extraordinary schools where senior management and governors have prioritised mental wellbeing, recognising that this is the foundation for successful learning and life skills such as resilience that will equip children, staff and the wider community with the ability to cope with life’s ups and downs.
Thomas Arnold Primary School, in Rowdowns Road, has 450 pupils and has used the Thrive Approach® to support pupils and their families in their recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Thrive Licensed Practitioner Clare Jolly said: “We’ve worked really hard to embed Thrive across the whole school because we really understand the importance of mental wellbeing and how that unlocks everything else. Over the last year we know that Covid-19 has had a massive impact on of our pupils’ lives. During the lockdowns we used Thrive to support the children who were still coming to school and those who were at home, letting all of them know that we were here for them.”
Some of the pupils also fed back on the impact Thrive has had for them: “I can really share and express myself rather than bottling up my feelings,” said a Year Five pupil.
“My time with Thrive has helped me to become more confident,” said a Year Four pupil.
“I have learned how to play with my friends and become more confident,” said a Year Two pupil.
The Thrive Ambassador Schools scheme has been launched as a way of recognising excellence in member schools. There are five areas in which school can evidence how they use Thrive to support children’s social and emotional development: environment, leadership, right-time, reparative and relationship, with a special Ambassador School of Excellence Award for schools 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, in line with coronavirus restrictions, 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.
“Thomas Arnold is a fantastic example of a school that has placed mental wellbeing at the heart of everything it does. The Thrive Approach is embedded throughout the whole school and in everything they do. They richly deserve the success they have had. It is particularly encouraging to read first-hand the impact this focus on promoting positive wellbeing has had on the pupils themselves. If children feel calm and happy they will be in a much better place to access learning and they will do well,” said Alistair Dewar, Thrive Relationship Manager for London.