01 April 2021

Kintore School picks up wellbeing award

Kintore School has been recognised for its commitment to promoting emotional wellbeing and mental health across the school and with the wider community.

The Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS) is delivered by Optimus Education in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau and sets a national standard for promoting positive mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Kintore is the first school in Aberdeenshire to have received this recognition which highlights the team’s efforts to ensure emotional wellbeing is a responsibility for all, to actively promote positive mental health among staff and pupils and embed this within learning experiences, and to raise awareness in and have a positive impact upon the wider community. 

In a recent survey, 100% of the school’s staff team agreed their wellbeing has been impacted positively as a result of the school focus over the last two years. They are also able to show through pupil engagement activity over time that the number of skills children know about to support their emotional wellbeing has increased from 0 to more than 5.

They began by engaging pupils, parents and colleagues on school values: Kindness, Respect, Wonder, Wellbeing and Community. They continue to develop resources and opportunities to develop awareness and understanding among colleagues and they’ve weaved wellbeing through daily activities as well as everything from World Book Day to their Promoting Positive Behaviour Policy. They also promote a staged intervention process so all colleagues have a clear understanding of how best to engage with young people when a wellbeing or learning concern is raised.

The school has invested in training to bring colleagues up to speed on The Decider Life Skills, a tool developed by Good2Go, and continue to work in partnership with a number of other organisations including Aberdeen Football Club’s Community Trust to ensure health and wellbeing is a priority for everyone.

Head Teacher Scott Anderson explained: “A big thank you to my wonderful staff team, our parents and carers and of course our young people for really embracing our focus on mental health and wellbeing and getting us to where we are today. The children learn how important it is to talk about our feelings and emotions through focused wellbeing activities, assemblies, promotion and use of decider skills and class discussions. The team has developed so many fun learning opportunities and I think a personal highlight for me was seeing the pupils applying their skills independently to a variety of situations, especially during the recent period of remote learning.”

Laurence Findlay, Director of Education and Children’s Services for Aberdeenshire Council added: “The lengths Scott and the team at Kintore School have gone to to connect with children and young people and have a positive impact upon their health and wellbeing is exemplary.

“Coronavirus or not, healthy and happy learners are productive learners. The interactive tools Kintore sent out during Lockdown are excellent and I also love the simple ideas – like encouraging random acts of kindness and seeing the hugely positive feedback the school received after children engaged in writing letters to elderly members of their community.

“I also cannot press the importance enough of colleagues taking the time to focus on their own wellbeing. It is absolutely brilliant the team at Kintore clearly feel very well supported and I think that’s the first step in supporting positive mental health and wellbeing for children and young people too.”

Find out more about teaching in Aberdeenshire: https://jobs.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/teaching-in-aberdeenshire/