Pupils celebrate new Healthy Schools scheme

More than 100 pupils met up at RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate on 1 July to celebrate the launch of an award scheme designed to help them play a part in making their school a healthier place to be.

Cllr Dickinson and Herbie with pupils

The pupils taking part in the celebration represented 23 schools across the county that have said they would like to join North Yorkshire’s new Healthy Schools Award Scheme. Participating schools will choose to work towards becoming a Bronze, Silver or Gold Healthy School by meeting criteria in four key themes - Active Lifestyles, Food in Schools, Emotional Health and Wellbeing, and Personal, Social and Health Education.

These themes formed the basis of a series of fun workshops and events throughout the day at Harlow Carr, and comments from the teachers included “wonderful day – everyone took part in everything. Returning to school full of ideas and motivated to make changes” and “we had a great time, thank you. The children have come away with lots of ideas for our school”.

Pupils were joined by County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health, Prevention and Supported Housing, and Herbie, the Healthy Eating carrot. They explored the themes by taking part in four workshops, including planning a school garden with the RHS Harlow Carr education team and tasting new vegetables with a Love Food Hate Waste chef.

“We all had a great day out, explored ideas for healthy meals and how pupils can work together to make positive changes in their school,” said Cllr Dickinson.

“We also took part in activities that included pedalling the North Yorkshire Rotters’ smoothie bike and exploring alternatives to sugary drinks with the County Council’s Healthier Choices team – and enjoyed healthy muffins provided by our catering team.

“We have used some of our Public Health grant to develop this programme in partnership with our Energy and Sustainability Traded Service and Children and Young People’s Education and Skills Service, with support from external partners, including North Yorkshire Sport.

“It will play an important part in our ongoing work to deliver Young and Yorkshire 2, the North Yorkshire Children and Young People’s Plan, which is driven by the vision that our county will be ‘a place of opportunity where all children and young people are happy, healthy and achieving’.”

All North Yorkshire County Council schools can sign up to the Healthy Schools Scheme at no cost for an initial two years. Private schools can join for an annual charge. The scheme will be internet-based and available to join when the website goes live in September 2019. For further information, email healthy.schools@northyorks.gov.uk.

This story was published 3 July 2019