St Luke’s primary school has become one of five schools in Salford to be recognised for looking after their pupils and staffs emotional wellbeing.
The ’emotionally friendly school’ award is a whole school project, supported by the Salford Educational Psychology team, which aims to take steps to improve every aspect of school life, ranging from specific pupil needs and the mental health of teaching staff.
— Emotionally Friendly Settings (@emotionfriendly) October 15, 2019
Headteacher Mr Tim Delves and deputy headteacher Mrs Nula Heslop explained the importance of the award.
Mr Delves added: “This award is the first step for St Lukes and we want to keep the award moving forward, we are not experts yet but we want to eventually be experts on being an emotionally friendly school.”
The school has made special adaptions to ensure that the mental health of all students is a priority. Singular working desks are placed outside classrooms so children who become easily distracted have a place they can work and each classroom is set up differently to benefit the learning style of that class.
Mr Delves said: “Another important thing for our students is making sure they have food throughout the day, so our classes have snack boxes outside all day with food such as bagels, fruit and vegetables.”
Alongside supporting teachers and pupils, St Luke makes sure that all parents are involved with the emotionally friendly scheme, creating ‘Better Together’ classes where parents can become involved in learning and understand how to support their children’s learning outside of school.
Currently, over 2,000 children in Salford struggle with mental health issues and a difficult school environment can be detrimental to wellbeing.
St Luke’s are now working towards their silver award and have begun focusing on how to improve the mental health of teaching staff.
Mr Delves said: “I don’t want to arrange zumba classes or organised exercise, I’d rather give teachers time out of class to lesson plan where they know their class will have guaranteed cover. I want to give them opportunity to mark and prepare in school time, taking the strain away from busy weekends.”
The school will keep their award as long as they continue to make improvements to better the schools emotional well-being.
Image Credit: Maddy Bateson