Wilberforce Primary in Queen’s Park has been recognised for providing its pupils and staff with a happy, inclusive and supportive environment in which to learn and work. The primary school has achieved the prestigious Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS) after demonstrating a commitment to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of its pupils and staff.
The Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS) is a national accreditation, developed in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau. It recognises schools who can demonstrate their commitment to promoting mental health as part of school life.
Wilberforce Primary was given the award after proving that it has a successful Action Plan in place for safeguarding the wellbeing and mental health of pupils and staff. The school was visited by an external WAS verifier who was impressed by the way in which the school has fostered a positive culture where mental health is treated with importance and viewed as a whole-school responsibility.
The verifier, Judith Nelson, described Wilberforce Primary as a ‘warm, caring and welcoming school’. During her visit, parents told her that the school feels like a ‘second home’ and that ‘they feel part of a family’. Likewise, pupils told her that they ‘enjoy coming to school’ and that ‘teachers make learning fun’. Staff at the school also said they were happy at the school and that their ‘wellbeing is well supported’.
Ms Nelson credited the school’s focus on wellbeing for being a ‘central driver of school improvement’ and for enabling ‘significant change’ in recent years.
Claire Macfie, Head Teacher at Wilberforce Primary, said:
“We are thrilled to have achieved this award. Whilst we have a strong focus on academic attainment at Wilberforce Primary, we know that our children will not succeed unless they are learning in a happy, supportive and inclusive environment. Likewise, we know that our staff need to feel well-supported in order to give our pupils the best education possible.
“We are delighted that the inspectors noticed how kind, welcoming and loving our entire school community is. Wilberforce Primary’s recent transformation is a credit to our cohesive community and how our pupils, staff, governors and parents work together.”
Annabelle Clarke, Well-being Lead and Year 5 teacher at Wilberforce Primary, said:
“At the heart of all schools is their ethos and culture. Targeting wellbeing as the key driver of our ethos has allowed for classrooms to feel calm, open and purposeful. It enables children to flourish both inside and outside of the classroom. We are delighted that Judith noticed this during her visit.”