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Nursery scoops prestigious Attachment Research Community Award

Staff, children and families at Low Hill Nursery School are celebrating after receiving a prestigious award.

It was one of six schools to receive the 2022 Alex Timpson ARC Attachment Award at the Attachment Research Community’s annual conference in Birmingham, which brought together professionals from across the country to discuss attachment and trauma awareness and celebrate best practice recently.

Attachment issues are sometimes experienced by children who have had difficulties early in life, and can make it hard for them to form healthy relationships and cope with the demands of school. Attachment-aware schools are sensitive to these difficulties and very skilled in helping vulnerable children to thrive.

Low Hill Nursery School was nominated by the City of Wolverhampton Council's Virtual School Head Darren Martindale, who said that the nursery has established "a well-deserved reputation as a highly attachment-aware setting where staff are mindful, recognising triggers, knowing the theory and putting it into practice.

"It is one of Wolverhampton's most inclusive, attachment-aware and trauma-informed schools. Staff have always accessed as much attachment and trauma training as they can, and continually strive to strengthen their knowledge and practice, working closely with the council and virtual school, health services, training providers and other partners."

Low Hill Nursery was named winner of the 2022 Alex Timpson ARC Attachment Award in the Early Years’ category, while there were also celebrations for St Michael’s CE Primary School in Tettenhall, which was a finalist in the Primary category.

The six winning schools received a trophy and cash prize of £1,000 to help them continue their development.

Low Hill Nursery Headteacher Natalie Showell said: “I could not be any prouder, receiving this award on behalf of all at Low Hill Nursery School. “The award is recognition and testament to the dedication and determination of all staff who make Low Hill Nursery School a very special place to be! We are excited and looking forward to continuing on our journey of raising awareness of trauma-informed practices.”

ARC Trustee Janice Cahill OBE said: “Each school nominated, demonstrated their strength of commitment and the work they are doing to ensure that their pupils, the most vulnerable pupils within their community are included. With their foresight and energy more schools will develop their attachment and trauma-informed practice to ensure every pupil has a positive experience of school life. That seems like a win, win for everyone.”

Councillor Chris Burden, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Work, said: “Attachment and trauma awareness within schools is incredibly important; it makes them better schools and it benefits all their children, not just those who have attachment issues.

“I would like to congratulate Low Hill Nursery School and St Michael’s CE Primary School for leading the way in embedding these key areas in their schools, and for receiving this national recognition from ARC.”

Low Hill Nursery Headteacher Natalie Showell with Kriss Akabusi MBE, who told delegates at the Attachment Research Community conference about his personal story of growing up within the care system.


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