A PRIMARY school in Atherton has been named the 'Specialist Provision school of the year' at a highly respected education ceremony.

Running for the past 15 years, the Tes Schools Awards celebrate the commitment, quality, and innovation shown by schools, teachers, and support staff across the UK.

Working alongside schools to provide software supporting education, safeguarding, and wellbeing, the Tes School Awards  took place at London's Grosvenor house Hotel on Friday, June 23.

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With schools across the country nominated across 21 award categories, an Atherton-based primary school was just one of three North West institutions that were recognised on the night.

Commended for their exemplary work to support children's diets with additional needs, Rowan Tree primary school was named the 'Specialist Provision School of the Year'.

Leigh Journal: Rowan Tree primary school, on Green Hall CloseRowan Tree primary school, on Green Hall Close (Image: Google Maps)

Back in 2019, the school recognised from staff and parent feedback that a high proportion of their learners had a restrictive diet due to their additional needs.

With pupils often eating just one or two types of food, this was having a negative impact on the children's weight, mood, oral health, and ability to concentrate or enjoy family meals.

Staff at the Green Hall Close school then made a commitment to researching avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), before developing a training plan for staff and families.

The training plan led to a 'Food Facts' curriculum at the Atherton school, which includes daily personalised sessions for each of the school's 117 pupils. This is having a positive impact as it monitors each pupil's food intake and has seen an increase in the variety of foods that they try.

Following the success of the Food Facts curriculum, Rowan Tree is now providing training, resources, and ongoing support to colleagues in mainstream schools across the borough so that they can support their pupils with additional needs and ARFID.

Leigh Journal: Headteacher Louise Curran said she is over the moon with the award winHeadteacher Louise Curran said she is over the moon with the award win (Image: Rowan Tree)

Judge Vijita Patel said: "The evidence base presented by the school in their submission clearly demonstrated the impact of their work.

"The way the school has tackled the challenging topic of diet and worked with pupils, staff, and families to make it work so well is extremely impressive."

Speaking about the award win, Rowan Tree headteacher Louise Curran added: "We are over the moon to have won the award for specilialist provision school of the year.

"At Rowan Tree, we pride ourselves on being forward thinking and removing as many barriers to learning and life for our pupils as possible."