20 December 2023

Kellands Primary School receives ADHD Friendly School Award

Kellands Primary School has been awarded the prestigious ADHD Friendly School Award by the ADHD Foundation for their work with children with ADHD and other neurodevelopmental conditions.

The staff at the Inverurie school have gone above and beyond to ensure that their learning environment is inclusive to all children, whatever their needs.

The school has considered all of the main barriers to learning for children with ADHD and has sought to address them in their everyday practice. This ranges from increasing physical activity across the curriculum to the teaching and regular practice of self-calming strategies.

Kellands recognise that many ADHD learners can benefit from movement and have done a fantastic job of providing opportunities for this across the school. Active learning is used across the curriculum and students also have opportunities to utilise movement breaks throughout the day, using a variety of resources.

Depute Head Teacher from Kellands Primary School Alan Souter said: “Our school motto is ‘Where Everybody is Somebody’ and we really live that at Kellands. All our bairns and families mean the world to us.

"Making life a little easier for them by listening and understanding, adapting our practice, learning what we can do to help, educating where we can, and connecting with empathy is just our way. It’s lovely for it to be recognised by such a worthy charity in the ADHD Foundation.”

Pupils can give themselves a brain-break by using exercise equipment such as the cross-trainer, which can be a great tool for all learners to refocus and regulate, particularly those with ADHD. The need for movement is also considered in day-to-day classroom practice, where pupils can make use of a variety of tactile resources to stimulate and focus themselves.

Kellands Primary School has also prioritised pupil wellbeing and recognised the importance of emotional regulation for all students, particularly those with ADHD. The ‘Zen Zone’ and the ‘Rainbow Room’ are spaces in the school where children can go when they need the time and space to regulate their emotions.

In these spaces, the learners have access to a variety of sensory tools to aid them with their self-regulation, as well as reminders of the many self-soothing techniques that they have been taught across the school. This includes a variety of relaxation and distraction techniques. 

The school has also done an incredible job of celebrating neurodiversity through their displays and assemblies, which showcase and promote the positives of ADHD and other conditions, using successful neurodiverse people as role-models for the children.

The school embraces the range of needs across their pupil population and seeks to promote the positives of the variety of conditions. The impact of this has been that children at Kellands feel empowered to talk about their own unique brains, and express the ways in which they learn best.

Parents and carers of children with ADHD and other neurodivergent conditions have also been supported well across the school. Kellands have launched a parent/carer support group called ‘Umbrella Families Together’, which invites parents of neurodivergent children to come together to learn more about Neurodiversity and share their own lived experiences.

Education Training Director of the ADHD Foundation Arron Hutchinson said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Kellands Primary School. The school is clearly an environment that places wellbeing and inclusivity at the heart of their ethos and culture, which is represented in all of the fantastic work they are doing.”

The ADHD Foundation, based in Liverpool, works in partnership with individuals, families, doctors, teachers and other agencies to improving emotional well-being, educational attainment, behaviour and life chances through better understanding and self-management of ADHD, ASD and related learning difficulties.