Dagenham primary school named as a School of Excellence for mental wellbeing
A primary school in Dagenham, in London, has been named as a Thrive School of Excellence for the role it plays in supporting the wellbeing of its pupils in order to help prevent mental health issues.
Hunters Hall Primary School was named as a School of Excellence after going through a rigorous assessment process with Thrive®, an organisation that trains teachers and other education professionals to support the social and emotional development of all children.
The award recognises extraordinary schools which are making a positive impact on their pupils, and on the wider community, by prioritising emotional wellbeing and creating an environment in which children’s wellbeing thrives.
Co-Headteacher, Michael Kaitell, said: “As school leaders, we have got to finely balance meeting the needs of the children, providing high-quality education and achieving national expectations, whilst remaining accountable to parents and carers, our governing body, the local authority, and Ofsted.
“With the Thrive Approach®, we are able to measure progress in ways other aspects of the curriculum are not measured. This focus on pastoral development is hugely important to our ethos and vision.
“We have seen first-hand the impact that Thrive has had on children, their families, and the staff at our school due to awareness of attachment, neuroscience, and behaviour as a means of communication and play. We are proud to be a School of Excellence and will continue to ensure that everyone thrives.”
The School of Excellence award is the highest level of achievement in Thrive’s Ambassador Schools scheme, which was launched last year as a way of recognising excellence in schools using the Thrive Approach.
There are five areas in which schools can evidence how they use Thrive to support children’s social and emotional development: Environment, Leadership, Right-time, Reparative, and Relationship, with the School of Excellence award reserved for schools that achieve the highest standard across all five categories.
As well as submitting an in-depth evidence and impact application form, the school was visited by Thrive staff, when allowed under 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.
Alistair Dewar, Thrive relationship manager for London, said: “Everyone at Hunters Hall has worked hard to achieve this award which recognises that mental and emotional wellbeing is well and truly at the heart of life at the school. It’s fantastic to see the journey the school has been on and the pride that staff and pupils take in its success.
“Whenever I visit Hunters Hall, I am blown away by seeing the helpful and supportive relationships that staff have built with the children they work with. Students always stop me in the corridors to tell me the difference that Thrive sessions with their staff are making to their lives.”
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