Deputy First Minister of Scotland John Swinney and nurtureuk CEO Kevin Kibble last week presented the National Nurturing School Award to St Mary’s Primary School in Edinburgh, the first school in Edinburgh to receive the award.
The National Nurturing School Award is presented to schools that have successfully completed a two-year programme aimed at embedding a whole-school approach to mental health and wellbeing for all pupils and staff. Teachers are trained to focus on emotional needs and development as well as the academic learning of all pupils, and to embed the six principles of nurture throughout the policies and practices of a school. This enhances teaching and learning and promotes healthy outcomes for children, young people and the staff in the school. Teachers are also trained to use the Boxall Profile, the educational psychologist designed tool to identify children and young people who need additional, more focused support or interventions.
The importance of nurturing interventions has been recognised by the Scottish Government and Education Scotland. A nurturing approach is promoted as an effective intervention to reduce school exclusions and support positive relationships and behaviour in the Scottish Government’s flagship strategy Included, Engaged and Involved. Education Scotland has also published guidance and good practice examples for nurturing approaches, citing the benefits of nurturing interventions for attainment and behaviour, especially for young people who have experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
We were delighted that the Deputy First Minister attended the award presentation to show his support for whole-school nurturing interventions as a key part of the Scottish Government’s developing national approach to young people’s wellbeing.
You can read more about our work in Scotland by downloading our policy briefing here.