Mental health award for Wakefield secondary school

Teachers Emily Del-Grande, Julie Lord, Karen Wild and Tudor Griffiths with pupils from Kettlethorpe High School
Teachers Emily Del-Grande, Julie Lord, Karen Wild and Tudor Griffiths with pupils from Kettlethorpe High School

A secondary school has been awarded a national accolade for their work to improve pupils’ mental health.

Kettlethorpe High School was awarded the Marjorie Boxall Quality Mark Award for their work in supporting pupils through an in-school nurture group.

Nurture groups are teacher-led sessions which encourage pupils from a range of backgrounds to overcome barriers to their education.

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Emily Del-Grande, the school’s social, emotional and mental health team leader, said: “The main thing is that safe room, having somewhere they can go to feel safe and someone they can talk to.

“It’s an opportunity for them to talk about any concerns that they have. It’s about bringing mental health services closer to schools.

“Mental health is talked about so much now, especially through social media, they realise now it’s not something they need to hide away; it’s something that can be talked about.”

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The school’s nurture room, known as Diamonds, is open to any child who is identified as having a barrier to learning, including those suffering from anxiety, who face barriers in their home life or who have experienced trauma or loss.

About 75 students visit the Diamonds room each week, and the room is also open at break and lunchtimes for pupils who need a safe space.

Headteacher Tudor Griffiths said: “We have had some real success stories and this national award recognises the hard work and dedication with which staff at the school have worked to support pupils.

“We are very proud of what the school has done and this award is a real honour."