Nelson school 'honoured' after scooping national award

Pendle Primary Academy representatives receiving their award.
Pendle Primary Academy representatives receiving their award.
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A Nelson school has claimed the prestigious Primary School of the Year Award at the 2018 Shine a Light Awards for its continued commitment to developing its pupils’ communication skills.

Pendle Primary Academy on Walter Street claimed the title at the ceremony - hosted by stand-up comedian, actor, and TV writer, Adam Hess - in London on March 22nd at the latest edition of the Shine a Light Awards, which are run by the learning company Pearson in partnership with The Communication Trust.

A national award scheme, the Shine a Light Awards celebrate innovative and excellent work in supporting communication development, with a total of 17 individuals and teams across 10 categories recognised at this year's ceremony alongside children and young people with speech, language, and communication needs (SLCN).

With its own speech and language therapist, Pendle Primary Academy has placed heavy emphasis on SLCN, with staff receiving regular training and support and dedicated ‘Communication Spaces’ available for children who experience difficulties with freely communicating. Where appropriate, children also receive regular therapy sessions and all pupils are assessed on entry to determine whether they might need group or one-to-one assistance.

“Our staff universally recognise that effective communication is crucial to every child’s immediate and future success, and as such as a school we have an absolute commitment to developing in each individual the capacity to communicate effectively to the very best of their abilities, regardless of their barriers or starting points," said Simon Thompson, Principal at Pendle Primary Academy.

"It is an honour to receive this award in recognition of the staff and community’s commitment to believing in every child’s potential and enabling them to achieve this.”

Pendle Primary Academy is also an important member of Lancashire’s SLT community, providing training to local schools and nurseries, and working with organisations such as the children’s mental health charity, Place2Be. They have also formed strong connections with local paediatricians and occupational therapists.

“The dedication of Pendle Primary Academy is outstanding," said Adam Hess. "As a child, I struggled greatly with dyslexia and an immense fear of public speaking, if it wasn’t for the support I received when I was younger I wouldn’t be in the position I am today.

“It is fantastic to know that other children and young people are being given the support they need to learn, thrive and achieve their goals," he added. "Pendle Primary Academy should be very proud of its award.”

For further information about the Shine a Light winners and highly-commended finalists, visit www.shinealightawards.co.uk.