Fixed term exclusions have dropped and staff morale has improved at a North Somerset primary setting after it placed the mental health of its pupils at the heart of school life.
St Andrew’s Primary School, in Congresbury, has been named as a School of Excellence after going through a rigorous assessment process with Thrive®, an organisation which trains teachers and other education professionals to support the social and emotional development of children and young people. The award recognises extraordinary schools which are making a positive impact on their pupils, and on the wider community, by prioritising mental health and creating an environment in which children can thrive.
Headteacher Fran Martin said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been accredited as a School of Excellence. It recognises our commitment to promoting positive mental wellbeing. Our relationships with pupils are strong and the Thrive Approach® has supported us to strengthen these connections, creating a positive and nurturing school. Focusing on our pupils’ good mental health has supported us to ensure they are emotionally-resilient, engaged and ready to be successful with their learning.”
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 member schools. 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 to observe and assess the way that teachers and other staff implement the Thrive Approach to help build the emotional resilience of children— so they can better manage the ups and downs of life and be more open to learning.
“It was such a pleasure to see first-hand the way that staff, pupils and families at St Andrews have come together to prioritise mental wellbeing. From the moment you set foot in the school, you feel that there is a nurturing and positive atmosphere where every child is seen as special and is given the tools to unlock their academic and wider social potential,” said Eva-Marie Ford, Thrive’s Relationship Manager and Trainer for Wales and the South West.
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