Pupils and staff from three Fermanagh primary schools Holy Trinity PS, Jones Memorial and Tempo Primary School recently received Model School Status for their whole-school participation in Barnardo’s highly rated PATHS® Programme.

It was developed in the US to help children develop emotional awareness, resilience, problem-solving skills and make responsible decisions.

A further five Fermanagh primary schools received awards acknowledging their participation in the programme including Ballinamallard PS, Enniskillen Integrated PS, Irvinestown, St Patrick’s Derrygonnelly and St Paul’s Irvinestown.

The schools received their awards from Fermanagh and Omagh Council Chairman Howard Thornton and PATHS mascot Twiggle.

Lynda Wilson, Director Barnardo’s NI said: “We know how important it is to ensure the mental well-being of our children throughout their childhood and the work of this project demonstrates the benefits of this approach for the whole school.”

Mairead Ewart who leads the PATHS programme for Barnardo’s said: “PATHS helps children recognise how they are feeling and gives them skills to manage that. It also helps them recognise how others might be feeling and to feel empathy and show support. Overall it helps children develop resiliency and positive coping skills which promotes their positive mental health and well-being.”

One hundred and one primary schools and 31,723 children across Northern Ireland have benefitted from the PATHS Programme over the past 10 years.