A SCHOOL in Weston has been praised for its work on improving the mental health of its students. 

Voyage Learning Campus - a North Somerset pupil referral unit - was named School of Excellence by Thrive for its support of mental wellbeing. 

The non-mainstream school, which offers alternative education for young people aged five to 16, was also commended by Ofsted for 'building resilience' among students.

Principal Emma Gundry said: “We are very proud to have been designated a School of Excellence.

"Many join us with a negative experience of education; our work focuses on building trusted relationships to change those feelings and help children achieve more than they believe is possible.

"Thrive is a fundamental part of our ambition to ensure children succeed both academically and socially.

"We see the real impact every day in how our children engage with each other and the adults working with them.

"We were also delighted that during our recent Ofsted inspection, inspectors commented on our positive relations and the impact these have in helping our students.” 

The award recognises extraordinary schools that are making a positive impact on their pupils, and on the wider community, by prioritising emotional wellbeing. 

The School of Excellence award is the highest level of achievement in Thrive’s Ambassador Schools scheme, which was launched last year as a way of recognising excellence in member schools. 

Ofsted inspectors highlighted the school’s good practice around behaviour and wellbeing following a recent 'good' report.

It said: “There has been a shift in culture to impact on pupils’ behaviour. This is improving behaviour over time as it becomes more embedded and widespread.

"Staff show empathy towards pupils and support them to positively re-engage when managing dysregulated behaviour. The work already done in this area is reflected in how pupils interact with adults and each other."

Eva-Marie Ford, relationship manager and trainer for Wales and the South West at Thrive, said: “Voyage Learning Campus has embedded mental wellbeing at heart of school life and it has achieved some inspirational changes as a result.

"The school richly deserves both this praise from inspectors and its School of Excellence Award."

St Andrews Primary School, in Congresbury, also won the same accolade following a rigorous assessment process that measured the school's social and emotional development of children.