A Leicestershire primary school has won an award from the National Association of Pastoral Care in Education (NAPCE) for the work it does to support the mental wellbeing of its pupils.
All Saints Church of England Primary School, in Wigston, near Leicester, won the Pastoral Team of the Year award at an online ceremony, which was held last month. The award was sponsored by Thrive® – an organisation with an innovative approach underpinned by neuroscience and child psychology that trains teachers and other education professionals to support the emotional and social development of children and young people.
All Saints C of E Primary School, which has 252 pupils, has a higher-than-average number of pupils with Special Educational Needs and a higher-than-average number of pupils in receipt of free school meals. It has a pastoral team of four (Tunde Read, Ben Cutler-Thomas, Emma Roberts and Lynne Frith) who focus on pupils’ mental and emotional health – but Assistant Headteacher Tunde Read (pictured above) mental said that wellbeing was a focus for the whole setting.
“Supporting our children and their families is a priority for everyone at our school. It’s really nice to win an award for the work we have done and to be recognised, but that’s not why we do it. We do it to help the children and to make sure that they are resilient and ready to learn,” he said.
The school has put a number of initiatives in place to support pupils who may be struggling. It has embedded the Thrive Approach®, with its robust framework of neuroscience, attachment theory and child development research to help identify areas of emotional need. It has also set up a breakfast club so that all children have access to a meal at the start of the day, as well as the chance to spend informal time with teaching staff which allows children to talk about anything they may be worried about. In addition, there are quiet areas that children can access during lessons and lunchtimes if they need a break from the noise and activity of the classroom or playground.
As a result, All Saints has seen its rate of fixed term exclusions drop from 3.7 per cent to zero. There have also been some improvements to attendance and attainment rates with the school now focusing on further progress in the year ahead.
“Things have changed a lot over the last three years and we know that our children have grown in resilience – they are amazing! But we’re not going to rest on our laurels. Attendance is our next goal. We really want to look at how we approach it, because it’s not a child’s fault if they’re poorly. We will carry on supporting them and their families because we know that if we provide a caring, safe environment with strong connections to trusted adults then improvements in other areas will naturally follow,” added Mr Read.
“Schools have an important role to play in the wellbeing of children, especially after the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s wonderful to see the hard work and dedication of teachers and support staff being recognised with this award and to know that Thrive has played a role in All Saints’ journey,” said Diana Dewing, Managing Director of Thrive.