ARC Learning Hub

St George's Primary School

St Georges Primary School, Telford & Wrekin

The school were thrilled to have been nominated twice by our Virtual School for the ARC Primary School Award. They were awarded the Telford & Wrekin Trauma Informed Attachment Aware School (TIASS) Gold Certificate in January 2024, an integral part of the West Midlands TIAAS Pathway which is aligned to the ARC Pathway, Audit and Matrix. The Head Teacher, Sally Sixsmith, and her team are very excited to now be an ARC Learning Hub school. They are very much looking forward to continuing our journey in being the best we possibly can be in supporting the children and families in their care as well as working with other schools who also want to develop their own practice.

The school motto, ‘EVERYONE matters, EVERYONE achieves’ is at the heart of everything they do and believe. At St George’s they believe that all children and staff should feel secure, valued and happy at school. They feel especially passionate about providing outstanding support for the growing number of children in their care who are affected by attachment and trauma. The school ethos is that every member of staff are advocates for these children, from their office staff to lunchtime staff, to senior leaders and governors.

 They strive to ensure that children are supported in all aspects of school life including their emotional health and wellbeing, and they know who they can talk to if they are feeling sad or worried. They pride ourselves on the positive relationships they nurture with the children and all school stakeholders.

 ‘St. George’s school is amazing. Everyone who works there is an asset to the team. So many amazing role models setting a high standard to truly help the children become the best version of themselves.’ (Parent quote- February 2024)

 The pupils thrive due to a wide range of positive practices. School core values are embedded throughout the school; these form the day to day ‘rules’ of school so that the children feel safe and know what is expected of themselves and others.  Emotion boards are used in every classroom as well as Circle Time, Pupil Voice, Wellbeing Champions, positive playground practices for lunchtimes, pastoral support for vulnerable children, anxiety strategies, Calm Brain, quality PHSEE curriculum, quiet spaces, self-esteem building activities, counselling and so much more.

 ‘PSHEE is really important as we can talk about our mental health and our feelings and we can express ourselves. We don’t get judged. We can celebrate our differences.’ (Pupil quote 2023)

 A clear long-term strategy has been developed to support the school community and this includes everyone having a strong attachment aware and trauma informed awareness. Staff have been provided with wide a range of high-quality professional development opportunities to enable them to support pupils, parents and colleagues. Following quality staff CPD, and then seeing the success of embedding trauma informed practice across school, we have written a new behaviour policy which has been incredibly successful in supporting children in making the best possible choices they can.  Without ever shaming children, they understand our expectations and know they can ask for help if they are finding it difficult. Staff intervene when necessary and are well skilled in de-escalation strategies and emotion coaching. Children can talk openly to staff through the positive and trusting relationships they foster.

 ‘The portfolio evidenced a range of comprehensive documentation reflecting a school which strongly believes in the vital role it has in supporting the emotional wellbeing and mental health of all.” (Wellbeing Award for Schools 2021. We are being re-assessed for this award in March 2024.)

The main impact of their work around trauma and attachment is that children, parents and staff are comfortable talking about EHWB, trauma and attachment which means that children who need support are quickly identified. Tailored personalised pathways are then in place to meet their individual needs. Children who have found school life challenging at previous schools, come to St George’s and quickly feel safe and secure. They never turn a child in care away from our school and all staff will do their absolute best to build positive relationships with them in order to then be able to call upon the range of provision we can offer e.g ELSA sessions and therapy sessions. The children feel well supported, safe and enjoy being with their friends and staff.

‘We don’t have to just think about our dreams at our school, we work out how to accomplish them.’ (pupil quote 2023)