An Andover school has been named as a specialist in supporting mental health following an assessment.

Endeavour Primary School, based across two sites, was named a Thrive Ambassador School to recognize its work on developing students’ social and emotional development. In particular, Covid was noted as one of the major factors students needed support over.

“Over the last year, we’ve had children who have needed a lot of support because of Covid-19 and also because of a high number of in-year admissions.

“Thrive has helped staff to feel confident in supporting the children and making sure their emotional needs are identified and met. We were over the moon to be named as a Thrive Ambassador School and we’re already working towards our next Ambassador School award,” said Gemma Hill, Head of Kirk Campus.

Throughout the pandemic, mental health worsened for many, with a doubling of depression amongst adults. A survey by Young Minds found that 67 per cent of young people believe that the pandemic would have a long-term negative impact on their mental health, with 75 per cent saying the most recent lockdown was the hardest to cope with.

At Endeavour, the school already had a focus on supporting their pupils’ wellbeing, with activities including forest school and nurture PE sessions aiming to emphasise collaboration and communication. It also has two school dogs, a chocolate Labrador called Murray and a Cockapoo called Toffee, which act as support animals.

The school has now become an Ambassador School for Thrive after demonstrating it was improving pupils development in environmental, leadership and relationship factors among others. Staff received training in order to ensure that children have better mental resilience.

Students say it has helped them, with one Year Six pupil saying: “In Thrive I have learned about my brain and what part of it I use at different times. It helps me understand how I feel.”   

A Year Five pupil said: “Thrive is fun and I like leaving class to do different things that help me to enjoy school and make friends.”