BROAD Oak Community Primary School has been awarded the prestigious ADHD Friendly School Award.

The award by the ADHD Foundation was given for their work with children with ADHD and other neurodevelopmental conditions.

The staff at Broad Oak have gone above and beyond to ensure that their learning environment is inclusive to all children, whatever their needs.

The school has considered all of the main barriers to learning for children with ADHD and has sought to address them in their everyday practice.

This ranges from increasing physical activity across the curriculum to the teaching and regular practice of self-calming strategies.

Supporting the wellbeing and mental health of learners was a key feature of the submission for the award with a whole-school approach this.

On top of quality first teaching, Broad Oak Community Primary School staff are trained in strategies which assist with regulation for the pupils.

This includes square breathing, mindfulness activities like colouring, theraputty, fidget toys such as stress balls and the use of resistance bands around chair legs.

The emotional understanding of students is further supported through the teaching of the PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) model, which includes two 30 minute sessions per week across the school.

This model incorporates the use of drama to pre-emptively investigate different situations and relevant, appropriate responses to these triggers.

The school has SEL Worldwide Model School status for their use of PATHS.

The school has an onsite Calm Room including a blackout tent, fish tank, padded flooring/walls, bean bags and SEMH resources such as books and calming aides.

They also privately hire a play therapist two days per week and have the use of a counsellor, all of which are vital in supporting the wellbeing of the children at Broad Oak.

In addition, children who need to move and learn have had this need met by being provided with a variety of tactile resources in the classroom.

The school has also done an incredible job of celebrating neurodiversity through their displays and assemblies, which showcase and promote the positives of ADHD and other conditions.

Arron Hutchinson, the Education Training Director of the ADHD Foundation said, “It has been a pleasure to work with Broad Oak. The school is clearly an environment that places wellbeing and inclusivity at the heart of their ethos and culture, which is represented in all of the fantastic work they are doing.”

The ADHD Foundation, based in Liverpool, works in partnership with individuals, families, doctors, teachers and other agencies to improving emotional well-being, educational attainment, behaviour and life chances through better understanding and self-management of ADHD, ASD and related learning difficulties.