Ambassador School status joy for 'fantastic' primary

Zeegan Warne, Sarah Wood, Abi-Louise Bale and Jade Laurence-Barker.

L-R: Zeegan Warne (Deputy Headteacher and Thrive Licensed Practitioner Lead), Sarah Wood (Teaching Assistant and Thrive Licensed Practitioner), Abi-Louise Bale (Teaching Assistant and Trainee Thrive Licensed Practitioner) and Jade Laurence-Barker (Teaching Assistant and Thrive Licensed Practitioner). - Credit: Red Oak Primary School

Staff at a Lowestoft area primary school are celebrating after being honoured with awards for its focus on pupils’ mental wellbeing.

Red Oak Primary has been named as a Thrive Ambassador School, with two areas of expertise, for the role it plays in supporting the wellbeing of its pupils.

The school on Southwell Road, Kirkley has been named as an ambassador school with excellence in the environment and excellence in leadership after being assessed by Thrive.

With 470 pupils, the school has seen its attendance rate improve from 96.5 per cent to 98.5 per cent with no permanent exclusions in the last four years.

Headteacher Heather Madsen said: “We are really excited to have been named as a Thrive Ambassador School and it’s something that all of our staff have worked hard to achieve.

"As a school we’re committed to the mental health and wellbeing of our pupils, our staff and the community we serve because we know that if our children don’t have their social and emotional needs met then they won’t be ready to learn and access the curriculum.

"We are really gratified to see the direct impact Thrive has had on attendance, and also the huge improvement in relationships with the pupil’s parents and carers.”

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As well as submitting an in-depth application form, the school was visited by Thrive staff to observe and assess the way that teachers and other staff implement the Thrive Approach. 

The environment award recognises extraordinary schools which are making a positive impact on their pupils and on the wider community by having a focus on emotional wellbeing and creating an environment in which children’s wellbeing thrives.

The leadership award recognises extraordinary schools where senior management and governors have prioritised mental wellbeing, recognising that this is the foundation for successful learning and life skills that will equip children, staff and the wider community with the ability to cope with life’s ups and downs.

Mel Fisher, Thrive relationship manager for the east, said: “Red Oak Primary is a fantastic example of a school that has really embedded the Thrive Approach and put mental wellbeing at the heart of everything they do.

"All of the staff have worked hard and richly deserve this Ambassador School status and it’s inspiring to reflect on how much has changed at the school over the last few years."