A Wiltshire primary school which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year has been recognised for the role it plays in supporting the mental wellbeing of its pupils.
Walwayne Court School, in Trowbridge, has been named as an Ambassador School with Excellence in the Environment and Reparative after going through a rigorous assessment process with Thrive®, an organisation which trains teachers and other education professionals to support the emotional and social development of children and young people.
Thrive’s Environment award recognises extraordinary schools which are making a positive impact on their pupils and on the wider community, by having a focus on emotional health and creating an environment in which children’s wellbeing thrives. 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 school, which has 271 pupils, opened in November 1991 and is celebrating its anniversary with a series of events across the academic year. As well as two rooms dedicated to Thrive wellbeing sessions, children can also access Walwayne Court’s forest school and pond to spend time in nature and enjoy therapeutic and educational activities outdoors.
"Everyone has been thrilled to hear about the awards – the feedback has been lovely, especially during our anniversary year. The children say that when they walk into school, they are walking into a happy place because there is a warm and calm atmosphere in the classrooms,” said Thrive Practitioner Kirsten Madden.
“Teachers here know that the most important thing is for the children to be happy so that they are in the right place for learning. It’s very rewarding to see them become more engaged and to really want to be in class to learn,” added Thrive Practitioner Sonya Burrows.
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 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 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.
“Walwayne Court School has embraced the Thrive Approach and created an environment where the mental wellbeing of pupils and staff is at the forefront of all they do. All staff have united to support pupils’ social and emotional learning and are able to meet the needs of pupils’ ever-changing emotional journeys. The school’s dedication deserves to be recognised and celebrated,” said Eva-Marie Ford, Thrive’s Relationship Manager for Wales and the South West.
Over to you
Are you leading the way in developing happy, emotionally-resilient children or young people? Are you feeling the impact of embedding the Thrive Approach throughout your setting? You too may be eligible for Thrive Ambassador School status. Click here to find out how to apply.
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