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Bolsover Infant & Nursery School

Attachment and Relationship Aware School

In 2017-18 we became an Attachment Aware School. This is a Derbyshire County Council initiative and is led by Derbyshire's Virtual School. 

The programme was conceived and devised by Lizzie Watt, Assistant Headteacher and Dr Paul Kelly, Specialist Senior Educational Psychologist within the Virtual School in Derbyshire. 

The attachment aware schools programme was designed to:

  • improve the teaching and learning conditions for children in care and all vulnerable learners in schools and settings
  • help to reduce the need for exclusions in school
  • develop a supportive network of Derbyshire schools that have innovative and excellent practice around vulnerable learners
  • produce a portfolio of good practice examples and other resources to share across the whole of Derbyshire’s school community and beyond
  • raise awareness of the issues and needs around attachment and trauma
  • consolidate good working relations between the newly formed Virtual School and all Derbyshire schools
  • bring about a new community of schools working with action research as their driver for school development

Encourage pedagogical development – trialling new ways of working with vulnerable learners led by the Virtual School.

 Our Project:

Project Title: Collaboration, Communication, Community Action Research Question: How can a growing understanding of attachment awareness support our Communication and Collaboration as a staff team?

Project Description: Using a model taken from attachment theory, our project explored the development of a deeper understanding of attachment across the whole school community. We focussed on our staff team leaders drawing upon their expertise. We used a previous pupil case study and mapped the skills of our core staff. We want all our staff to nurture a deeper level of communication and collaboration to bring attachment theories to the forefront of the minds and families of our community so that all our children make progress. We focussed upon wellbeing and increasing the resilience of our whole staff team to ensure that we have the capacity and understanding to meet the needs of every pupil. We want all of our children to be recognised and responded to in a way that helps them to stay safe, have fun and make progress.

 In November 2021 our Headteacher was asked to present our Attachment work at the ARC (Attachment Research Community) Annual Conference. As the 2020 Timpsons Early Years Award winning school, Miss Cowan delivered a workshop to a national audience about our Relationship Lead Policies. 


Derbyshire Virtual School and Derbyshire Attachment Aware School

Click below to visit Derbyshire Virtual Schools webpage:

Click below to visit Derbyshire Virtual Schools AAS webpage:

Attachment Research Community

More information about Attachment can be found on the Attachment Research Community website: https://the-arc.org.uk/