A Worcester primary school has been named as a Thrive Ambassador School with four areas of expertise for the role it plays in supporting the wellbeing of its pupils, helping to prevent mental health issues arising in the future.
Perry Wood Primary and Nursery School, part of the Griffin Schools Trust, has been named as an Ambassador School with Excellence in the Environment, Leadership, Reparative and Right-time after going through a rigorous assessment process with Thrive®, which trains teachers and other education professionals to support the emotional and social development of all children.
- The Environment award recognises schools which are making a positive impact on their pupils and on the wider community by having a focus on emotional wellbeing 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 have successfully met their needs.
- The Leadership award recognises schools which are having a positive impact on their pupils and the wider community by having a focus on emotional wellbeing and are leading on making this a key factor of children’s learning and development.
- The Right-time award recognises schools which have succeeded in helping all pupils to understand their emotions and the role they play in positive mental health.
“I’m proud of all of the staff at school because everyone has worked so hard over the last year to make this happen. Thrive is something that we don’t just do as an add on, we have really committed to it and have weekly, timetabled sessions to prioritise children’s mental wellbeing. As a result, the culture at school has changed, there’s a really warm atmosphere and staff have a much greater awareness of children’s emotional needs,” said Assistant Headteacher Olivia Hennessey.
Over the last four years, Perry Wood has seen a huge drop in fixed term exclusions, from 48 to one. Attendance has increased from 93.7 per cent to 95 per cent and referrals to external agencies have dropped from seven to one.
Thrive’s Ambassador Schools scheme has been 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, before the coronavirus lockdown, 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.
“Perry Wood is a fantastic example of a school that has placed mental wellbeing at the heart of everything it does. I know that staff at the school have worked hard to embed the Thrive Approach and they richly deserve the success they have had. It is particularly encouraging to see the impact this focus on a whole-school approach to promoting positive wellbeing has had on key aspects of school life. Look at Perry Wood’s pupil attendance rate now – if children want to come to school they will be in a much better place to access learning and they will do well,” said Kay Hamilton, Thrive’s Relationship Manager for the Central West area.