Published 06 February 2020

Dumbarton Academy has become the first school in West Dunbartonshire to receive a national award celebrating its nurturing ethos.

The National Nurturing School Award is granted to schools who have implemented an exemplary nurturing culture to support pupils.

As part of a three-year programme to achieve the title, Dumbarton Academy staff focused on improving knowledge of the emotional needs of learners and the impact of their early childhood experiences.

This led to updated approaches to behaviour support and tracing and monitoring the support offering to pupils with their health and wellbeing.

Work included introducing Nurture groups within the school, and ensuring a wider range of staff were available to offer support.

On receiving the award, the school were commended for making an outstanding chance to building positive relationships with pupils and the school community.

The programme was completed with nurtureUK, who presented the Head Teacher with the award recently.

Head teacher, Alison Boyles said; “I am delighted that Dumbarton Academy is the first school in West Dunbartonshire to be given this accolade, it is wonderful to see the amazing work going on in our school being recognised. When I joined Dumbarton Academy recently, it was obvious to see the focus on providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all our pupils and supporting their health and wellbeing. That focus continues, and it is our top priority to provide every child with every opportunity to thrive in our school.”

Councillor Karen Conaghan, Convener of Education, said; “It is fantastic to see schools in West Dunbartonshire going above and beyond to ensure our pupils’ wellbeing is a priority while they are learning. High School is a really important time for young people, and it is vital that we do all we can to provide them with not only with academic opportunities, but also equip them with social skills like confidence and self-belief which together will ensure they have the right tools to succeed in their future.”

Councillor Ian Dickson, Vice Convener of Education, added: “A big congratulations to all at Dumbarton Academy who have worked so hard to implement such a wonderful and nurturing culture for their pupils. Ensuring our young people feel supported during what is such a transitional time of their lives is extremely important, so it is pleasing to know we continue to look for ways to improve and make sure every child who comes through our school system is given the same opportunities to flourish, both during their school years and beyond.”