Royal Grammar School

Newcastle

A clear example of putting pupils' welfare first

A clear example of putting pupils' welfare first

Well, that was how the judges put it! On Friday night we donned black ties and posh frocks and found our way to London’s Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane. 

Amid all the glitz of the TES Independent Schools Awards event (and a lot of fun meeting up with great colleagues from other schools, many old friends among them) we learned the results of some serious adjudication. And RGS won TES Senior Leadership Team of the Year.

Of course we’re delighted. Nonetheless, notwithstanding the importance of leadership in any good school, we’re slightly embarrassed to be singled out. The progress on our students’ mental health and wellbeing that is recognised by this award has been achieved, in our view, by consistent work and dedication from all our staff. The engagement of students (for example, all those Sixth Formers who have undergone Mental Health First Aid training) has been vital too. So the honour, to our mind, is one done to the School as a whole. And we’re grateful.

This is the citation published by the judges:

The senior leadership team, together since 2011, has crafted and led the “ReTHINKing learning and well-being” project. This has shaped a school whose nurturing of students and staff alike means children thrive emotionally, learn effectively and achieve highly. Recognising that a strong link between the academic and pastoral enhances all outcomes, a new role combining the monitoring of well-being and academic progress has been created.

This concentration on care, support and improved access to advice and counselling has shown clear gains at all levels of the school. Students are routinely ready to discuss mental health issues and support the community. Pupils take greater control of their development throughout their school years. Exam results led The Sunday Times to name it the Best School in The North in both 2014 and 2015. Building on this success, literally, in 2015 it opened a spectacular new swimming pool and a second sports hall, commercially funded from fee-income raised through collective vision and sound planning.

A cause for further pride in the School, its people, and all it achieves.

Bernard Trafford
Headmaster