Published 16 November 2023
Young people and staff at Our Lady and Saint Patrick’s High School are celebrating after the school was recognised with a national award for its nurturing culture.
Assessors from NurtureUK were impressed with the school’s commitment to place nurture at the core of the school which led to improvements in pupil development, wellbeing and attendance.
School staff undertook a robust training programme, and supported by the Council’s educational psychologist consistently promoted wellbeing and healthy outcomes and focused on pupils’ emotional needs.
The school was also praised for its inclusive approach with teachers and staff trained to focus on students’ emotional needs and development alongside their academic learning.
The Six Principles of Nurture - children’s learning is understood developmentally; the classroom offers a safe base; the importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing; language is a vital means of communication; all behaviour is communication and the importance of transition in children’s lives - are included annually as part of the School Improvement Plan, reflected in policies and are used as part of the framework for learning observations in classrooms and posters displayed throughout the school.
Assessors noted welcoming classrooms which were well decorated and laid out in child friendly ways, and teachers who greet pupils by name, creating a culture which is calm and quiet with staff showing an interest in children as individuals.
The school secured funding for ‘classroom in a box’ offering alternative outdoor learning for targeted pupils. Teachers are also trained to use the Boxall Profile, the educational psychologist-designed tool to identify children and young people who need more focused assistance or interventions to support them at school.
Councillor Clare Steel, Convener of Educational Services, said: "This is a fantastic achievement and it is very pleasing to see how the measures put in place are helping to support our young people at school, at home and within the community. As a Council we're committed to supporting our pupils’ health and wellbeing to ensure every pupil is given the opportunity to grow, develop and learn. I'd like to thank everyone in the school who has invested so much time and effort into creating a caring and nurturing environment, with the results leaving a positive legacy for pupils, their families and the whole community."
Councillor John Millar, Vice Convener of Educational Services, added: "The health, wellbeing and continued development of our pupils is vital and we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure our young people are motivated, engaged and fully prepared to learn and achieve. The school has worked extremely hard to build positive relationships with pupils and teachers who have embraced the process and value the importance and benefits of nurture within the classroom.”