Congratulations are due to Hazelwood Integrated College in North Belfast as one of the winners of this year’s Derrytrasna Awards. This scheme celebrates school communities who show exceptional pastoral care for the emotional health and wellbeing of pupils and their families. The scheme is run by the Department of Education and the Public Health Agency (PHA).
Presenting the awards today (08 April) at Stormont, Derek Baker, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Education, said:
“The quality of this year’s nominations is testament to the high level of pastoral care being provided in our schools and reflects the high regard local communities have for their schools. Young people, as they grow up, face so many challenges and it is reassuring that, for some, their school is a source of reassurance and support.
“Exceptional pastoral care is not about the everyday support that schools offer their pupils; it is about those schools that go that extra mile, beyond what might reasonably be expected, to support young people’s emotional health and well-being; support that had a genuine positive impact on those who received it.”
Hazelwood IC was nominated by a parent for the quality of pastoral care they provided for her son who is supported by the Additional Educational Needs Department
Also presenting at the ceremony today, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager, Public Health Agency, Hilary Johnston, said:
“Good pastoral care is essential in supporting pupils in terms of their personal and social development, including mental and emotional wellbeing, educational attainment and future life outcomes. Children who enjoy and thrive at school are more likely to achieve good qualifications, which in turn are more likely to lead to a fulfilling job directly benefitting health and quality of life.”
Previously, on a visit to Hazelwood College in February, Derek Baker had talked to students about the support available and commented that the school’s in-house social workers were an important addition, offering young people someone they can feel comfortable talking to.
Other schools recognised alongside Hazelwood IC were Our Lady’s Nursery School, Belfast, Carrickmannon Primary School, Ballygowan and Knockavoe School, Strabane
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