Wellbeing Award presented to Dunstable primary school

A primary school in Dunstable has been awarded the ‘Wellbeing Award for Schools’ in recognition of its efforts to make the school a place of emotional wellbeing and support.

The Vale Academy, on Wilbury Drive, was recognised for improving mental health provision for all pupils and staff.

The Vale Academy in Dunstable

The Vale Academy in Dunstable

It joins more than 1,000 other schools across the country now enrolled in the award, which has been developed by Optimus Education in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau.

The award organisers were impressed with the Vale’s commitment to addressing wellbeing, and the enthusiasm and drive of the senior leadership team. They highlighted the fact that the

ongoing efforts to promote wellbeing have already contributed to a reduction in behaviour incidents within the school.

The report highlighted the positive work going on: “Leaders have listened to all views around emotional wellbeing and mental health: new roles were created, communication with parents improved, effective interventions introduced, resources, including a sensory room, were invested in.”

The Vale Academy in Dunstable

The Vale Academy in Dunstable

Headteacher Kate Hooft said: “Our pupils have so much pride in the school and I know they appreciate the changes we’ve made, which are aimed at supporting their wellbeing and mental health.

“A lot of them have ideas about what needs to happen next, particularly opportunities to talk more about emotional wellbeing and mental health in class.

“Pupils know who to go to if they need help, and that’s so important.”

The report into the Vale also praised the staff, it stated: “The staff work together as a close and supportive team.

“They appreciate measures to reduce and manage workload, for example, the new marking and planning expectations.

“Promoting positive wellbeing is ingrained in all the school does and the decisions leaders make. This is evident in the design of the environment, including quiet spaces and sensory areas.”

> The Vale Academy is part of a family of schools in Central Bedfordshire run by the Shared Learning Trust.