Education Minister and John Madden Principal Roddensvale photo Silver Award

Minister recognises Roddensvale School’s achievement of the Attachment and Trauma Sensitive School, Silver Award.

Education Minister, Mr Peter Weir, MLA was in attendance at a special event on Wednesday 26 May in recognition of the achievement by Roddensvale School in becoming the first school in NI to be awarded a Silver Attachment and Trauma Sensitive School Award.

Roddensvale School is proud to be the first school in Northern Ireland to have secured the silver award. The award recognises the commitment of the school and the steps staff take to develop a culture of compassion and nurture which is crucial to creating the right conditions for learning. There is a recognition in the school that children and young people are more likely to achieve, develop and reach their true potential if they are supported in an environment in which their emotional health and wellbeing is prioritised. 

The school worked with the Jenny Nock consultancy to become the first school in Northern Ireland to achieve the Bronze Attachment and Trauma Sensitive School Award in December 2019 and having secured Silver Status the school now has its sights set on achieving Gold status. The Attachment and Trauma Sensitive School award is awarded to schools who are able to evidence their ability to develop strategies which support emotional regulation in children and young people with trauma and attachment related difficulties. 

 Mr John Madden, Principal, Roddensvale School added,

“It is affirming to receive such a high level of external recognition for all the hard work and dedication of the school community in trying to meet the fundamental requirements of pupils to feel safe, secure and happy prior to learning taking place.

“On behalf of Governors I would like to add my sincere appreciation to everyone involved in gathering the evidence necessary to achieve the award on this occasion. It is a fabulous tribute to the entire Roddensvale School community."

The approach at Roddensvale is very much a child centred approach and staff know that understanding behaviour leads to an understanding of how the child’s learning is influenced.  This then leads to the implementation of alternative teaching strategies to meet individually assessed need.     

There is a recognition at the school that all children flourish when learning and interactions are playful and play therapy is just one of the tailored interventions available at Roddensvale to support the emotional regulation of those who have specific trauma and attachment related difficulties. 

The school is currently working with the Safeguarding Board NI, the Controlled Schools’ Support Council, the Education Authority and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust in a pilot programme that will take a developmental approach to supporting the school to sustain and further develop its practice as a Trauma Informed School. 

Tracey Woods, Schools’ Support Officer, Controlled Schools’ Support Council, commented,

“On behalf of CSSC I would like to congratulate Roddensvale School on their achievement in attaining the Silver Award and as a member of the Advisory Group I look forward to working with the school and other partners to support Trauma Informed Practice at Roddensvale.”


26 May 2021