Penywaun Primary School, Aberdare the School Of Excellence

A Rhondda Cynon Taf primary school is first in the UK to be named as a ‘School of Excellence’ for mental wellbeing.

Penywaun Primary School, Aberdare, has been named as the first Thrive School of Excellence in the UK for the role it plays in supporting the wellbeing of its pupils in order to prevent mental health issues.

The school has received its national recognition after going through a rigorous assessment process by Thrive, a leading provider of support for children and young people’s social and emotional development.

Councillor Joy Rosser, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Inclusion Services, said:

“Congratulations to all of the staff, students and others associated with Penywaun Primary School on gaining this national recognition award.

“We take great pride in all that our pupils achieve across Rhondda Cynon Taf, which is why we support the emotional and social development of all of our learners as a critical aspect of their academic journey.

“This award recognises extraordinary schools which have had a positive impact on their learners and the wider community by putting emotional wellbeing high on the agenda and creating an environment in which children’s emotional health and wellbeing thrives.

“I applaud the great work at Penywaun Primary School and look forward to visiting when circumstances allow. The staff and pupils richly deserve this award because everyone has a part to play in creating such a positive environment.”

Craig Prichard, Headteacher at Penywaun Primary School, said:

“As a school, we decided about five or six years ago that we would prioritise the mental wellbeing of our children.

“This is an ethos that everyone has bought into and I think it’s apparent when you walk through our doors because there is a sense of calmness and community.

“For me, the results are what I see in school every day – it’s about raising children’s self-esteem and confidence and seeing them learn to manage their own emotions and to help friends to do the same.”

The School of Excellence award is the highest level of achievement in the Ambassador Schools Scheme, which was launched last year as a way of recognising excellence in member schools.

There are five main areas in which schools can evidence their excellent work supporting the mental health and wellbeing development of their pupils – 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.

Posted on Monday 15th February 2021
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