Rochdale primary school awarded for its commitment to student mental health
Date published: 13 May 2022
Staff from Whittaker Moss, Your Trust, Pennine Care and Rochdale Borough Council with parents and family members of Whittaker Moss School students
Whittaker Moss Primary School in Rochdale has received the AcSEED Award for its commitment to emotional wellbeing and mental health of its students.
The AcSEED assessment team were impressed with the wide range of initiatives at the school, including a dedicated mental health practitioner, parent workshops and mindful movement sessions for every class.
Sarah Cadogan, deputy head teacher, said: “This award is a fantastic achievement and recognises all the work we do to support the mental health and wellbeing of our students, families and staff.”
Since early 2021, the school has worked with the Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale young people’s mental health support team, which is delivered by Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with local charities Early Break, Your Trust, Place2Be and Youth in Mind.
Sarah adds: “Working with the mental health support team means we have developed many innovative initiatives to the benefit of all our students. We now have a dedicated mental health practitioner who visits every week and works with individual children and families. Plus, we run mindful movement sessions – which combines yoga and mindfulness for every class as well as parent workshops.”
Other initiatives set up by the school include dedicated wellbeing warriors throughout the school; a range of ‘lets talk about’ programmes focusing on self-esteem and relationships; training for all staff; and wellbeing dominoes groups set up by the school pastoral lead.
Harriet Gilson, educational mental health practitioner at Pennine Care, who visits the school every week, adds: “It’s wonderful to work with such a forward-thinking school. I provide one-to-one sessions for children who are over 8 years old and family sessions for younger children. I provide therapeutic treatment to help with mood, anxiety and behavioural difficulties.
“The support provided throughout the school is excellent, they have a whole school approach towards mental health and wellbeing that focuses on support, education and awareness. Early support is essential for children to prevent problems and issues growing.”
The school’s work around mental health and wellbeing has also helped it achieve Rochdale Borough Council’s Healthy Schools award and gain Effective School Council Platinum status.
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