WORK to support and champion older people in Tameside has been shared to benefit other areas.
Wild Bank Community School, Stalybridge, has been recognised with an award for its work supporting pupils’ mental health.
Their pupil council presented the AcSEED award to parents, governors and pupils at a special assembly.
The school were able to access the accreditation following support from the Population Health Team at Tameside Council.
Wild Bank is the first primary school in the borough to receive the accreditation, which is for schools that have made a substantial effort to support the mental health and wellbeing of their pupils.
They received the award following a visit from the AcSEED team who came to see what the classroom support was like for pupils.
Tameside Council provided the funding which allowed Ali Sparkes, Education and Development Services Manager at Tameside, Oldham & Glossop Mind to work directly with the school on a consultancy basis, offering support and guidance during the accreditation process.
This included supporting Wild Bank with an assessment of their wellbeing provision across all areas of the school and identifying areas that needed extra support.
To meet criteria for the award, she provided staff and parent wellbeing training, mindfulness workshops and also worked with the Pupil Council to encourage children to spread the wellbeing message around the school.
There’s a lot of work going on in Tameside around developing a whole school approach to wellbeing, with workshops being held throughout November.
Teachers at Wild Bank start each school day with an emotion register, so staff can have offer support if there are any pupils who are feeling sad or angry. Staff help pupils to understand their feelings and emotions in a way that enables them to support each other.
The school now has ‘nurture nooks’ where children can go if they need someone to talk to or have a time for reflection. There are two nurture rooms for the children to work collaboratively in a safe base.
Last year, the school held a wellbeing events where pupils could partake in a variety of activities which would help them think about their emotional wellbeing. These included mindful colouring, creating worry dolls, taking part in various sports, gardening, yoga as well as other activities.
Wild Bank has adopted a whole school approach to wellbeing, which ensures the school works in partnership with parents and carers and other agencies, while also looking after the mental health of staff as well as pupils.
Pastoral support is also available, offering support, information and guidance for both pupils and their families.
Jenny Callaghan, Head teacher of Wild Bank Community School, said: “We are delighted that we are first primary school in Tameside to receive the AcSEED award. It’s an incredible achievement for the school and recognises that the wellbeing of our pupils is important.
“We have strong and supportive relationships that support emotional wellbeing and we provide a safe and inclusive environment for our pupils to engage in learning. We want to enable our children to succeed academically and emotionally for the challenges they face not only in the classroom, but in the future.”
Cllr Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council, said: “It’s great to see Wild Bank Community School achieve the AcSEED award and offer such a great environment for pupils and staff.
“We’re focused on supporting young people with their mental health by making wellbeing support available in a school setting. There are a number of other primary and high schools which are currently working towards this accreditation.”