A further seven schools in Argyll and Bute have been accredited for their achievements in developing nurturing cultures in their school communities, bringing the total number of accredited schools in the area to 27.
The accreditation is part of the Council’s, ‘Our Children, Their Nurturing Education (OCTNE) Strategy’, and aims to ensure that children and young people have the emotional support they need to thrive.
The schools that have received bronze accreditation in this round are: Carradale Primary, Castlehill Primary, Drumlemble Primary, Dunoon Grammar, Glenbarr Primary, Rockfield Primary and Strone Primary.
The Council’s Educational Psychology Service, including the Principal Teacher of Nurture and two Nurture Teachers, have supported schools to create plans that will help staff to better understand pupils’ behaviour, and put into practice nurturing approaches to support them. It also enables pupils to learn to understand their emotions and self soothe more.
As part of the strategy, the team has developed a series of successful Nurture Podcasts to provide support around the nurture principles to practitioners across the UK and beyond.
Caroline Armour is the Head Teacher of Dalintober and Glenbarr Primary Schools. Talking about both schools’ nurture journeys, she said: “Everything has been accessible, able to be delivered at our own pace and informally supportive which has been key to getting ‘buy in’ across the board.
“Glenbarr has just been inspected and it was clear that the value of nurture and relationships within school communities – and, in particular during and after the challenges of the pandemic – is going to be a current inspection focus. I would like to thank the OCTNE team for all their support.”
Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, said: “I am delighted to see more schools in Argyll and Bute being accredited for their work to develop nurturing cultures.
“The positive mental health and wellbeing of our children and young people has always been a top priority, both for me personally and for the Council, and our nurture strategy is helping to ensure our schools are equipped with the knowledge required to support pupils through any difficult times.
“We have made huge progress and I look forward to seeing it continue to go from strength to strength.”
The Council’s nurture teachers have been involved in delivering training through Argyll and Bute’s probationer teacher programme and will present a session as part of the University of the Highlands and Islands PGDE programme.
Education Scotland also recently featured the strategy in its national thematic review around Health and Wellbeing, and it is set to be included in their National Improvement Framework scrutiny report to exemplify Teacher and Practitioner Professionalism.