Putting health and wellbeing at heart of school earns award
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
OAKLEY Cross Primary School has received an award for the way if promotes positive mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Presented by Optimus Education, the Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS) aims to put mental health and wellbeing at the heart of school life. The West Auckland school’s WAS co-ordinator and deputy headteacher Charlotte O’Neil said: “We are having to step in and provide frontline support because of the pressures on the NHS.”
The school was accessed for the award after staff received training and a vision and strategy was worked out for the school.
Avisor Andy Tailor said the school’s vision encompasses the importance of emotional wellbeing.
“It is a core value of the school. The school is a very welcoming, nurturing and happy school. It is an organised and very effective learning environment.
“Very strong relationships exist between staff and pupils. Should they have any worries, anxieties or concerns, pupils know that staff will support them.”
He also recognised how the school worked effectively with outside agencies and there was a strong network of support available to parents and pupils.
In an extension on the award the school held a coffee afternoon with local support agencies on Monday last week and invited parents to attend.
Ms O’Neil said: “Although we have the award we want to continue and develop on that. The coffee afternoon ensures parents are aware of what services are around.”
The day was arranged in conjunction with local support agencies such as Durham County Council’s adult learning service, Bishop Auckland College, Home group and Little Chefs Big Chefs.