Recognition for Cramlington school's work supporting its pupils

A Cramlington special education needs school has been honoured for its outstanding mental health and wellbeing provision.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 8:00 am
Staff and pupils at Hillcrest School celebrate the Silver standard in the School Mental Health Award.

Hillcrest School has achieved the Silver standard in the School Mental Health Award, delivered by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools.

The school provides a range of activities to boost the wellbeing of pupils and staff, including time for pupils to regulate between key transition times, Emotional Literacy and THRIVE sessions, staff wellbeing events and gestures which boost morale and strengthen the team.

The school has also developed links with a range of external agencies, delivered bespoke family intervention sessions and individual support strategies for school and home.

Headteacher Andrea Mead said: “I am extremely proud of this achievement.

"We have amazing staff at Hillcrest and the silver award validates all that we do for the health and wellbeing of our community.”

Miss Miller and Mrs Pycroft have developed an Intervention Team, which consists of Occupational Therapy, Emotional Literacy Intervention and Speech, Language and Communication Therapy.

The team work closely with individuals, small groups and parents/carers as well as developing staff training.

It allows them to identify when young people are at risk or are experiencing mental health problems and how to intervene early and appropriately, when there are problems.

Mrs Mead said: “Mental health and wellbeing is at the heart of everything that we do at Hillcrest.

"Working towards the award has enabled us to talk openly about Mental Health & Wellbeing and had embedded an open-minded culture throughout school benefitting our whole school family.”

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.

Professor Damien Page, 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 Hillcrest School in this vital work and look forward to further collaboration.”

Dean Johnstone, founder of Minds Ahead said: “It is thrilling and humbling to learn about Hillcrest School. I’d like to offer my congratulations on this deserved recognition.”