Trinity CE/Methodist School scoops pioneering mental health award
A Skelmersdale school has achieved the School Mental Health Award which is delivered by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools. Trinity School were awarded a Silver standard for its outstanding mental health and well-being provision.
Trinity School provides a wide range of activities to boost the well-being of pupils and staff, including regular health and well-being days, daily creative prayer and reflection opportunities for children and staff, play leaders, reading buddies, peer mentoring as well as working closely with local agencies and the NHS's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
Through the vehicle of Christian values, Trinity children are taught how to develop resilience, perseverance, love, trust and respect. The children benefit from the fact that the teachers also share their strategies, which allows them to become more open and honest in expressing what is happening for them. A nurture room, equipped with sensory materials, provides a quiet space for children in emotional distress or who need some form of time out; staff can also use this. This space is highly valued, especially by the children in the school, and provides a safe place for them to drop in whenever needed as well as being a space for a planned intervention.
Trinity School headteacher Tony Currie said: “Trinity is such a special place to work, learn and play. It is my privilege to be the headteacher of our nurturing school … a school that is blessed by being at the heart of a caring community. The School Mental Health Award recognises the hard work of staff, children and parents, as we forge ahead, fostering and nurturing resilience and teaching the skills our children need to manage their own emotions and self-regulate their behaviour”.
A focal point of the school’s mental health and well-being provision is that the children’s voices are heard consistently throughout the school. Worry monsters in KS1 and EYFS and worry jars in KS2, provide opportunities for the children to indicate any signs or worries that they have.
As well as this, the Leadership team and staff members have focused on their health and well-being with opportunities such as additional training, prayer meetings and team building sessions.
Ian Marren, Trinity’s Mental Health and Well-being lead said: ‘’This is a fantastic accolade for Trinity! The staff have worked so hard developing their subject knowledge and implementing innovative health and well-being strategies into their lives. Our Trinity family has always recognised the importance of looking after ourselves, and each other”.
The award was established in 2017 by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools – part of Leeds Beckett University – and social enterprise Minds Ahead.
The Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools aims to strengthen pupils’ mental health by supporting schools to make a positive change at all levels of the UK's education system, improving students’ outcomes and life chances.
Doctor Steve Burton, Interim Dean of Leeds Beckett’s Carnegie School of Education, said: “Achieving this award is not just recognition of a whole-school approach to mental health, it’s a recognition of the school’s commitment to improving the life chances of children and engaging with the wider community including staff and parents/carers.
“We’re truly proud to have worked with Trinity School in this vital work and look forward to further collaboration.”
Nationally, more than 1000 schools have signed up to take part in the mental health award.
Dean Johnstone, founder and CEO of Minds Ahead said: “This award shines a light on the excellent work schools are doing to promote mental health for their community of children and adults.
“It is thrilling and humbling to learn about Trinity School and the many other schools engaged in the quality award process. I’d like to offer my congratulations on this deserved recognition.”