High Peak school scoops national award

A Buxton school has won a national accolade for its work which helps children deal with trauma and attachment issues.

Fairfield Infant and Nursery school has scooped top place in the Alex Timpson ARC Attachment Award which recognises and celebrates best practice in attachment and trauma aware schools and settings.

Sarah Humpleby is the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) and mental health and wellbeing lead at the school.

She said: “We are super proud of this award - it is great to be validated for all the hard work we have been doing in recent years.”

Fairfield Infant and Nursery School has won a national award for dealing with attachment and trauma issues.

The school is now the best in the country in the early years group for making a profound and lasting contribution to attachment and trauma aware practices.

Sarah explained what that means at the school.

She said: “Children need to form secure relationships so they can feel comfortable learning.

“So everyone from the lunchtime staff, office staff, teachers and teaching assistants have been working hard to ensure pupils form positive relationships with staff.

"We have rewritten our behaviour and relationship policy. A child which may have previously been labelled as attention seeking we have changed our whole mindset and those children are connection seeking. They want to connect with someone and it forces you to step back not react and see what is happening and why they need to reconnect at the moment.”

Sarah says it has been difficult for students and staff with covid and lockdowns and they are now looking at covid as a trauma and looking at what happens to a child’s brain during trauma and how they can rectify it.

She said: “The student’s mental health is at the heart of everything we do and it’s so wonderful to know our model is considered best practice and we want to share it with other schools in the area to help more children."

Tony Clifford from the Alex Timpson ARC Attachment Award added: “This year’s winner impressed the judges by showcasing a detailed and comprehensive approach to embedding attachment and trauma aware practice.

“Their skill set as a school clearly linked theory to practice and the judges felt this could provide a useful beginners guide list for fellow schools embarking on their attachment aware and trauma informed journeys.”

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