Since April 2021, nine schools across England and Wales have been awarded the title of Schools of Excellence by Supporting Education company Thrive. This is the highest level of achievement in Thrive’s Ambassador Schools scheme, given to schools who have made exceptional efforts to support children’s emotional and social development.
Thrive provides tools and training courses to help educational settings promote better standards of emotional wellbeing. Over 2,400 schools to date have embedded the patented Thrive Approach to meet their pupils’ developmental needs. The Ambassador Schools programme recognises those schools’ successes in creating learning environments that cultivate happier, more resilient young people.
To win the scheme’s top accolade, schools must show that their pupils are receiving the best possible support in five areas of their emotional development: Environment, Leadership, Right-time, Reparative and Relationship.
The Thrive Approach’s versatility shines through in the variety of settings that have received this title in the past 12 months, from inner city academies and mainstream primary schools to special independent schools catering for pupils with the most complex learning difficulties. These eight Schools of Excellence are:
- Thomas Arnold Primary School, Dagenham
- Fortis Academy, Birmingham
- Heath Farm, Kent
- Hunters Hall Primary School, Dagenham
- Herbert Thompson Primary School, Cardiff
- Perseid School, Merton
- New Road Primary School, Chatham
- Hillcroft Primary, Surrey
- Liskeard Hillfort Primary School, Cornwall
In the words of Perseid’s Assistant Headteacher, Thrive provides schools with a ‘golden thread’ that ‘filters down through everything we do in terms of the curriculum and the relationship we have with our pupils’.
For the leadership team at Hunters Hall, the Approach’s synthesis of different disciplines has been invaluable in measuring their success in pastoral development. Co-headteachers Michael Kaitell and Selina Frazer praised Thrive’s impact ‘on children, their families and the staff at our school due to awareness of attachment, neuroscience and behaviour as a means of communication and play’.
The government’s latest report on children’s mental health and wellbeing starkly demonstrates how some of the pandemic’s most deleterious effects were reserved for those least equipped to cope with them. Between 2017 and 2021, rates of probable mental disorder among 6- to 16-year-olds rose by almost 6%. Research in the BMJ paints a similar picture, with an 81% increase in CAMHS referrals between April and September 2021 compared with the same period in 2019.
Supporting Education Group’s mission of improving children’s educational outcomes is inextricably tied to the general health and happiness of our young people. Against this bleak backdrop, we are proud to see Thrive’s work help so many schools empower their pupils to move beyond this moment of adversity.
We congratulate all nine schools for their remarkable work in nurturing emotionally robust and contented young people.