Carnegie Gold Award
Warden House Primary School is absolutely delighted to have been awarded the “Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in School Award” at the highest ‘Gold’ standard.
The journey towards achieving this award was led by senior teacher Mrs. Claire Bowyer and was the culmination of over twelve months hard work. Staff from across the school’s Pastoral Team (led by Assistant Headteacher Zoe Alldis and deputy headteacher Adam Atkinson) have used the Carnegie assessment framework to evaluate all that we do across the school to support the wellbeing of pupils, staff and the wider community.
The rigorous accreditation process leading up to this award considered our whole school approach to mental health and covered eight key areas, each with a series of statements that our team used to self-evaluate our current practice. This was then independently assessed by an external coach/verifier. The eight areas assessed were:
• Leadership and strategy
• Organisational structure and culture – staff
• Organisational structure and culture – pupils
• Support for staff
• Support for pupils
• Staff professional development and learning
• Working with parents and carers
• Working with external services
Please click here to view further information about this award and the process of accreditation.
We are deeply proud of all the staff and pupils at Warden House and thank them all for their ongoing hard work and support for each other. It has been truly humbling to reflect on all we do at Warden House and to recognise and celebrate the wealth of strategies and resources that we have available to support the wellbeing of all within our school community.
Below is the main findings from the report compiled by external assessor Lucinda Powell from Leeds Beckett University:
School Mental Health Award - Final Assessment Report
Warden House has presented a strong profile of evidence that demonstrates they are excelling across all eight competencies of the School Mental Health Award and meet all criteria for the award. The school has used the framework and content of the award to good effect to develop their mental health and wellbeing strategies, structures and practices.
One of the most notable strengths of the school is the coaching culture that has been developed across the whole staff body. It is clearly embedded in the culture and has led to an open and supportive workplace where staff discuss and collaborate to consistently give the children the best that they deserve.
School leaders have clearly worked hard over a number of years to create an environment where teachers feel valued and empowered to develop as practitioners and as individuals. All staff take part in research cycles for which they are given funding and time, as a school this consistently drives them forward to change, innovate and challenge thinking. The research is then shared with the whole trust both in print and at a Teachmeet, which has been an opportunity for many teachers and TAs to blossom. There is a constant dialogue between staff and leaders in the way the school runs. The school leads feel confident that through using the Award Framework they are now looking at the layers beneath the curriculum and focussing on the wellbeing of the whole school community.
This coaching model has been developed within the school with much support from the leadership team, CEO of the trust and the governors. A variety of staff have had the opportunity to share their model within the trust, with schools across the country and as far afield as Singapore.
There is a wide range of support for pupils across the school. The pupils have been involved in the creation of a sensory room which has alleviated many issues as children have been able to self-regulate through the use of it. The school council are now planning an outdoor space such as a sensory garden. Pupils with higher needs are able to access the nurture provision which tailors the curriculum to them. In addition there is a school counsellor who has been a great asset to the school.
Staff have a wide variety of training across the school (e.g. ACES, Resilience, Emotion coaching) so all pupils can receive the support they need and useful strategies can be shared with staff. The school works with a wide range of outside agencies to provide a variety for support for the pupils and their families e.g. English Heritage, HeadStart, Contented Child.
It is clear that the school will continue to develop its practice through the reflective cycles of action research. Currently the CEO and head teacher have been able to share the work the school is doing on SEN and SEMH provision on a national level but there are opportunities for other members of the school to share the schools innovative work in a wider arena. The journey for Warden House started a number of years ago and they have clearly worked hard as a team to provide their pupils and staff with a nurturing and caring environment.
To further develop the Excelling practice at Warden House, the school could further develop the ways in which the use the sensory room and outdoor space when it is available and should continue to develop their work with parents. The school has shared their practice at a number of levels, however there are opportunities for the school to widen their reach.
I have no hesitation in recommending Warden House for consideration to be awarded the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools School Mental Health Award at Gold standard.
Lucinda Powell Coach/Verifier
School Mental Health Award Date 23/1/20