County’s Healthy Schools Award scheme celebrates success

This story was published 24 June 2021

Sixteen hundred pupils from 63 North Yorkshire primary and special schools joined the first Healthy Schools online pupil voice and celebration event this month.

Two school children

The event celebrated the achievements of 61 schools that have gained a Healthy Schools award. 

Louise Wallace, North Yorkshire’s Director of Public Health, congratulated the schools live at the event on 22 June.

She said: “I am pleased to congratulate so many of the county’s schools in gaining a Healthy Schools award. More than 60 per cent of North Yorkshire schools are now taking part in the scheme, and I’m delighted to see them putting this focus on making their schools healthier environments for both pupils and staff.”

Twenty schools have gained Bronze, 28 Silver and 13 the highest level Gold award since the scheme’s launch in October 2019. This includes primary and secondary schools, as well as nursery, pupil referral units and special schools. 

Whitby schools feature in a film to promote Healthy Schools. Airy Hill Primary has achieved its Silver award for PSHE (Personal, Social & Health Education) and emotional health and wellbeing and has both staff and pupil wellbeing champions to support the whole school community. West Cliff Primary has achieved its Gold award and is proud of its new wellbeing bus, Dorothy, which children climb aboard to attend individual and small group sessions to support their emotional health and wellbeing.

At the online event, pupils took part in interactive workshops broadcast live into their classrooms around the themes of active lifestyles, emotional health and wellbeing, healthy food and PSHE.

County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health, who spoke at the event, said: “I was thrilled to be part of the first ever online Healthy Schools event. We were pleased to be able to reach so many North Yorkshire pupils to help inspire them to lead healthier lifestyles and make positive changes in their schools.”

The Healthy Schools website enables schools to work towards awards by uploading their action plans and evidence. Free training sessions for teachers are currently taking place online. Pupil voice and involvement is a key part of the scheme, along with staff health and wellbeing.  

The scheme is funded through the Public Health grant and has been developed in partnership between the Energy and Sustainability Traded Service, Children and Young People’s Education and Skills Service and Public Health; with support from the County Council’s facilities management, catering and external partners including North Yorkshire Sport and Compass BUZZ. 

All North Yorkshire schools, including academies, can join the scheme free. Private and out-of-county schools can join for an annual charge. For further information, email or register on the Healthy Schools website.

The video featuring Airy Hill and West Cliff primary schools can be seen on the Healthy Schools website.