A celebration of mental wellbeing has been held at an inspirational Worcestershire setting to mark its achievement in becoming a Thrive School of Excellence.
MP Sajid Javid presented Hagley Primary School, near Stourbridge, with the award during Mental Health Awareness Week. He urged other settings to follow Hagley’s example in putting good mental health at the heart of school life so that pupils are ready to learn and can fulfil their potential.
“Congratulations to everyone involved at Hagley Primary School. It is an honour to have a school that is recognised for their fantastic work on mental wellbeing, here, in Bromsgrove. I hope that schools up and down the country will follow their lead on this in the near future,” said Mr Javid.
Specialist training for staff
Hagley Primary School, which has 630 pupils, was named a School of Excellence after going through a rigorous assessment process with Thrive, an organisation which trains teachers and other professionals to support the social and emotional development of children and young people. Last week, the school invited Mr Javid, education experts and nearby schools in to find out more about how it uses the Thrive Approach, which provides specialist training for school staff and a unique online platform which tracks and monitors pupils’ mental wellbeing.
“Thrive is embedded throughout school life at Hagley Primary School. Our focus and determination to prioritise the wellbeing of pupils is significantly enhanced and supported by the Thrive Approach which is interwoven throughout our curriculum. Thrive has had a demonstrable and incredible impact on our pupils from Reception to Year 6,” said Headteacher Vanessa Payne.
Pupils are ‘polite, engaged and passionate about learning’
“When you walk into Hagley school it is immediately clear it is a Thrive School of Excellence. The atmosphere is caring, calm and industrious. Children of all backgrounds and abilities participate in Thrive activities every week and describe how this helps them build social connections and engage in learning. Children with complex needs are placed at the heart of the school, supported, and encouraged to mentor younger children. As a result, pupils are polite, engaged and passionate about learning – a remarkably high number of children I spoke to told me how much they love maths and coding,” said Anna Smee, Managing Director of Thrive.
Thrive’s School of Excellence award recognises extraordinary schools which are making a positive impact on their pupils, and on the wider community, by prioritising emotional wellbeing. The School of Excellence award is the highest level of achievement in Thrive’s Ambassador Schools scheme, which was launched in 2020 as a way of recognising excellence in member schools. There are five areas in which schools can evidence how they use Thrive to support children’s social and emotional development: Environment, Leadership, Right-time, Reparative and Relationship, with the School of Excellence award reserved for schools that achieve the highest standard across all five categories.
As well as submitting an in-depth evidence and impact 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 they can better manage the ups and downs of life and be more open to learning.