In this new feature, we explore how specific schools work to support their staff and pupils’ educational journey and mental well-being. First up is Crosthwaite Primary School.
Schools work very hard to provide children with a comfortable learning space. We at E-spaces believe in shining a light on those who have gone above and beyond to give their students a great environment for their educational development. Our first school in focus is Crosthwaite Primary School, in Cumbria.
Located in the beautiful Lake District, it has an enriching curriculum that uses all subjects to foster a love of the outdoors, while the school has also developed a strong grounding in the use of ed-tech, resulting in being recognized as a Google Reference School. They were awarded an outstanding rating in their last Ofsted report, which has only increased the spotlight on Matthew Jessop’s (the headteacher) innovative take on the role.
Wellbeing among students
Having a coordinated action plan to tackle mental health in school is essential not just for a happy learning environment, but it can also have a knock-on effect when it comes to performance in school.
Being surrounded by nature, Crosthwaite offers children the ability to experience a variety of pleasures and learning experiences connected with the outdoors. As well as visits to farms for all year groups, the school kitchen has its own vegetable garden and the Busy Bee Club, which studies bee farming methods.
The school also makes use of its surroundings by encouraging frequent nature trips and incorporating active outdoor education like cycling, running, and sailing.
Wellbeing among staff
The main engine of any school is the staff. Harvard Business Review suggests that recognition and appreciation are key to optimum employee engagement. Crosthwaite staff members are engaged and constantly motivated to work at their very best. This is because their workload has been lightened by the use of digital learning, therefore, giving them time to focus on the act of teaching.
The employees are respected, loved, and given ongoing assistance. A Special Educational Needs Coordinator is on hand to help, for instance, if a teacher needs to organize an educational program for students with SEND. Even social media sites like Twitter and newspapers show appreciation for teachers. Additionally, the school invests more annually in staff development than the national average for schools.
In their last Ofsted report, it was noted that by the end of Key Stage 1, over half of the pupils were achieving top grades in reading, writing, and maths above the national average of 78% for maths and 69% for reading and writing.
Their hard work and results have led to multiple awards. After being shortlisted in 2017 at the Education Business Awards in the “Outstanding Primary School” category, it was recognized as Primary school of the year at the EdTech Edufuturists awards and also received the Golden Apple Award for Best Primary School in 2021.
Effective use of Edtech
Crosthwaite Primary School is a GoogleforEdu reference school that has completely incorporated numerous digital resources into its curriculum, so the COVID-19 lockdowns were only minor setbacks to the learning process. Online learning was something that students were already familiar with, so they could simply adapt to using various platforms for teaching.
Their increased use of technology has allowed Crosthwaite Primary School to build connections and work collaboratively with other schools in the UK and even as far away as Norway, including working together on a shared Year 5/6 project using Google Classroom and other tools in the G-suite.
The school is always seeking new ways to stay abreast of technology innovation, and it is evident that Crosthwaite Primary School is making a concerted effort to make learning seamless, fun, and more connected. As you can see from these charts, an overwhelming majority of pupils said using Google’s technology had helped them, and many examples were offered by pupils explaining how.
© all images in this post are copyright of Crosthwaite Primary School