Top marks for school's mental health commitment
2 March 2018
Leeds Beckett University has awarded the first national award to a school in recognition of its work on promoting mental health.
Eyres Monsell Primary has been given gold status after picking up the Carnegie Centre of Excellence Mental Health Award for Schools.
Established by Leeds Beckett and social enterprise Minds Ahead, the mental health quality kitemark recognises schools that ensure the wellbeing of pupils and staff.
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 a school’s commitment to improving the life chances of children.
“We’re truly proud to have worked with Eyres Monsell Primary School in this vital work and look forward to further collaboration.”
At Eyres Monsell in Leicester, a wide range of activities have been put in place for all pupils, including yoga, meditation and mindfulness classes.
Every child also takes part in character-building programmes and “mindful moments” – a time to reflect, be calm and be ready to learn.
Greater support has been introduced for staff wellbeing, with training in mental health first aid, yoga and meditation.
Eyres Monsell’s headteacher Kerry Hill said: “We are delighted to have had our hard work and commitment to mental health and well-being recognised through achieving the gold status with the Carnegie Centre of Excellence Mental Health Award for Schools.
“We actively promote and champion positive mental health amongst our pupils, staff and the school community.
“As part of the wider school, children learn to look after their mental health – just like they have been taught to look after their physical health.
“By focusing on building resilience, self-esteem and problem-solving skills, children develop vital skills which support them to be successful in their learning and wider relationships.”
Mrs Hill said taking part in the award had further raised the profile and importance of mental health and wellbeing at her school, and highlighted further opportunities to develop practice across their community.
“Our pupils deserve an excellent education that prepares them academically and emotionally for the challenges that they will face inside of the classroom, and for the wider world beyond the school gates,” she added.
“By rebalancing academic learning and emotional wellbeing, we believe our pupils are better prepared to meet these challenges.”
Nationally, more than 300 schools have signed up to take part in the new mental health award.
Dean Johnstone, founder and CEO of Minds Ahead said: “This award shines a light on the excellent work schools are doing to promote mental health for their community of children and adults.
“It is thrilling and humbling to learn about Eyres Monsell Primary School and the many other schools engaged in the quality award process. I’d like to offer my congratulations on this deserved recognition.”