Cramlington school praised for its mental wellbeing work

A school which celebrated record exam results last summer has now been recognised nationally for its work supporting the mental wellbeing of staff and pupils.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 7:55 pm
Updated Friday, 7th February 2020, 7:55 pm
Cramlington Learning Village has received a Wellbeing Award for Schools.

Cramlington Learning Village is only the sixth North East secondary school to receive the Wellbeing Award for Schools and becomes just the 56th in the UK.

The award is run by Optimus Education, one of the country’s top education providers and part of the Shaw Trust Charity.

Colin Noble, a lead advisor and verifier for the Wellbeing Award who visited the school, said: “I have the pleasure and privilege of observing outstanding practice in schools throughout the north of England, and abroad. Cramlington Learning Village is up there among the best.”

During his assessment, Mr Noble interviewed staff, students and parents. “One of the most effective ways in which any school, any organisation, can promote the emotional wellbeing and positive mental health of the people who work and learn there is to make them feel that they belong,” he said. “Cramlington does that superbly well."

Zoe Clay, the school’s lead for Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education, said: “Our school has always considered emotional development and well-being as an important part of school life.

“We want to embed a culture that values the happiness and emotional welfare of all our pupils and staff.

“We wanted to develop a strategy for improving the wellbeing of our community in order for us to provide a more holistic approach to education in school.”

The school has recruited two full-time counsellors for students and staff and one of its teachers has become a mental health first aider for staff.

Students are given time every fortnight to discuss a range of issues – from the dangers of drugs, alcohol, smoking and unhealthy eating to employment prospects – and four Wellbeing Days are held each year.

Speakers visit the school to talk to older teenagers about topics including sexual health, cancer and gambling addiction, and – because of the environment created in the school – students themselves volunteer to speak to their classmates about sensitive or personal subjects.