Bedfordshire nursery is the first in the UK to become an Ambassador School for mental health

A UK first for Early Years settings

Children as young as two are learning about emotional wellbeing at a Bedfordshire nursery school which has become the first in the UK to be named an Ambassador School for mental health and wellbeing.

Rothesay Nursery School, in Luton, has been named an Ambassador School with Excellence in the Environment after a rigorous assessment process by Thrive®, an organisation which trains teachers and other education professionals to support the emotional and social development of children.

It is the first Early Years setting in the UK to be awarded the title, which recognises schools which are making a positive impact on their pupils, and the wider community, by having a focus on emotional health and creating an environment in which children’s wellbeing thrives.  

Rothesay - Rohini, Helen, Yvonne, Liz

“The Early Years is such an important time and we believe that by embedding positive mental health at this stage, it sets a child up for success in their future education because they can be calm and ready to learn,” said Elizabeth Leer, Deputy Headteacher and Senco at Rothesay Nursery School.

Achieving the highest standard

The local authority-maintained nursery school has 98 children on its roll, who are aged from two to five, including many who have English as an Additional Language or who have complex Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. As well as a multi-sensory room, a music room and a soft playroom inside, the nursery school also has an outdoor area with play equipment and vegetable beds which it uses for forest school sessions.

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 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 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. 

'A wonderful example'

“Rothesay Nursery School is a wonderful example of an Early Years setting that is putting positive mental health at the centre of children’s lives and learning. As a result, staff are helping young children to be emotionally-ready for the next stage of their education and to develop a love of learning that will help them to fulfil their potential. The moment you walk into the nursery you can feel that there is a lovely, calm atmosphere that helps the children to feel safe and nurtured by a team of adults who are dedicated to their wellbeing,” said Mel Fisher, Thrive’s Relationship Manager for the South East, East and London. 



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