LAITHES Primary School has received a Proud of Barnsley nomination for School of the Year thanks to their friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

The school in Athersley, which is part of the ECM Trust, has built a caring relationship with its children, ensuring the health and wellbeing needs of all its pupils are met and children not only feel safe, but excited to attend school.

This goal has pushed the staff to constantly enhance their methods of teaching, including opening a new specialist hub on Monday to better support children who have special needs.

The hub is focused on delivering tailored education to students with communication difficulties, allowing them to learn how to express their wants and needs.

Hayley Gunn, deputy headteacher of the school, said of the hub: “Our main aim is to find a way for these children to communicate.

“That could be via visual aids, via verbal speech, via gestures - there are lots of different resources and ways for these students to express themselves.

“We work with children who are struggling to adapt to the national curriculum, so children who still need a play based curriculum.

“They still need lots of high intensive interaction and sensory play is huge.

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“It’s got its own sensory room that is needed to help keep the children calm, but we’ve also got access to water and sand play which is great for the children’s sensory needs.”

After only a week the hub has already received an incredible response, with pupils not wanting to leave and parents commenting on how this different approach to education is making their children happier.

Outside of these provisions, the school has made some great achievements, including getting the opportunity to take some pupils to the House of Lords for a book launch.

Headteacher Georgina Fletcher added: “I’m over the moon about the nomination, it’s a wonderful thing.

“We have a really warm and inclusive community, we look after children and their families and we look after each other.

“We’re striving all the time to be outstanding across the board.”

The school was nominated by a volunteer at the school Andrew Browne, who said: “The moment you step through the door the atmosphere of loving care envelopes you.

“The academic education of the children is very important and the staff work really hard to ensure all the children reach their full potential.

“The children know they are loved and cared about - if they need a hug they get one and in fact so do the staff as well.”