A HALTON-based pupil referral unit has become the first secondary-age school in the north west to be awarded for its nurturing environment.

The Bridge School in Chadwick Road, Runcorn, has been recognised for enhancing teaching and learning by focusing on the emotional needs and development of its pupils.

The National Nurturing Schools Award is awarded to schools who successfully complete the a two-year programme to develop and embed a nurturing culture throughout the school.

Speaking ahead of the Award presentation, head teacher, Nigel Hunt, said: "Nurture is at the core of what we believe in at The Bridge School, and what we do every day.

"Real nurture is hard to achieve.

"It’s not just about the soft side of developing a young person’s resilience and growth, it’s about being there in the hard times and sticking with your pupils through thick and thin.

"I think this award recognises the work the school has done in working with the challenges of young person growing up into emotionally balanced and resilient adults, and we are extremely proud of it."

The Bridge School is for young people who have had difficulty maintaining a place in a high school.

It also provides part-time placements for high schools students who require a wider vocationally-based curriculum.

Chief executive of nurtureuk, Kevin Kibble, said: "We are delighted to award The Bridge School with the National Nurturing Schools Award in recognition of the outstanding and inspirational work of their whole staff team in embedding nurturing principles throughout the school.

"The beneficiaries of their hard work every day are the children attending the school, their families and the wider community.

"Our standards to achieve this award are exacting and many congratulations are due to the staff, pupils and everyone associated with the school.

"We look forward to working with many more schools to help them to embed principles to support the emotional and behavioural needs of their pupils and to help more schools to achieve this prestigious award."