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Greenfields Academy in Grantham awarded ADHD Friendly School Award

An academy has been recognised for its work it does with children with learning difficulties.

Greenfields Academy in Grantham has been awarded the ADHD Friendly School Award by the ADHD Foundation.

Academy staff have created an inclusive learning environment for all children through a number of measures, from a weekly outdoor education to providing each classroom with resources that are tailored for pupils to help them cope.

Staff and pupils at Greenfields Academy in Grantham are celebrating being awarded the ADHD Friendly School Award by the ADHD Foundation.
Staff and pupils at Greenfields Academy in Grantham are celebrating being awarded the ADHD Friendly School Award by the ADHD Foundation.

Headteacher Andy Rush said: “The whole Greenfields community are really proud to have achieved ADHD friendly status.

“This assures the quality of our neurodiverse supportive provision and gives confidence to parents and pupils that these complex needs are well met by the expertise, resources and training of staff at Greenfields Academy.”

To be able to help children with ADHD and other neurodevelopmental conditions in school, the team have considered all of the main barriers that face these children and adapted it throughout the curriculum and classroom.

Once or twice a week, each class will have an outdoor lesson and it also has provisions in place for pupils who struggle within the classroom.

At lunch times, there is a rota each day that offers two spaces for physical activity opportunities, offering pupils structure and the freedom to lead the activities themselves.

A standout feature for winning the award was the school’s support for the wellbeing and mental health of its young minds.

Staff have been trained with strategies that assist with the regulation of pupils, including moments of reflection, helping visuals and comforting spaces where the pupils can relax and calm down.

There are three specific rooms where staff will carry out exercises with pupils, such as CALM talk.

They will also use multi-sensory tools - such as massage rollers and weighted blankets - to support the regulation of the pupils parasympathetic nervous system, known as the ‘fight or flight’ response to stressful situations.

Each classroom has its own box of resources, such as fidgets and tools to help with deep pressure touch like chair therapy bands and wobble tools.

These tools help children who need to move and learn through their lessons.

When children feel overwhelmed, there is also a reading area with a sofa.

The school has also done an “incredible job” of celebrating neurodiversity in school displays and assemblies, promoting the positives of the conditions.

Mr Rush added: “Acknowledging and recognizing positive traits of ADHD has been showcased through one display centred around famous faces and the positive traits they have thanks to ADHD.

“The school really embraces the range of needs across their pupil population and seeks to promote the positives of the variety of conditions.”

Newsletters are also sent to the parents and carers of children with the conditions which includes helpful strategies and signposts to advice forums.

Arron Hutchinson, education training director of the ADHD Foundation, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Greenfields Academy.

“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 improve emotional wellbeing, educational attainment, behaviour, and life chances through better understanding and self-management of ADHD, ASD, and related learning difficulties.

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