Pupils celebrate success in making their schools healthy places

This story was published 9 November 2022

Ninety pupils across North Yorkshire have gathered to celebrate their part in introducing wide-ranging measures to boost well-being and health in their schools.

A group of children at the Healthy Schools celebration

More than 260 of the county’s schools have signed up to take part in our Healthy Schools Award Programme since its launch three years ago, and 88 of those have already gained awards in the scheme.

Participating schools work towards bronze, silver or gold Healthy School status by meeting criteria across four themes - active lives; food in schools; emotional health and wellbeing; and personal, social and health education.

They take actions such as creating whole school food policies, setting up staff and pupil wellbeing champions, and increasing ways for students to be active throughout the school day.

These themes formed the basis of workshops at the programme’s first in-person event since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Pupils from 10 participating schools met at RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate, which offered its facilities free.

Workshops focused on planting for school gardens with the RHS Harlow Carr education team, making tasty, healthy treats with Phunky Foods, learning about reducing food waste with the North Yorkshire Rotters and testing ideas for active learning with North Yorkshire Sport.

Pupils also explored ways to make their views known in school with the Healthy Schools team. At lunchtime, Healthy Schools partner NYES Catering, our school catering business, which provides meals for many of the county’s schools, offered healthy snacks.

Young persons’ champion, Cllr Alyson Baker, said: “We all had a great day exploring ideas for how pupils can work together to make positive changes in their school. It was an honour to present schools with their Healthy Schools award certificates, which they have worked so hard to achieve.”

North Yorkshire’s Director of Public Health, Louise Wallace, who also attended the event, added: “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 plays an important part in our work to deliver Being Young in North Yorkshire, the North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Strategy, which is driven by the ambition that all children and young people in North Yorkshire should be safe, happy, healthy and able to achieve.”

Schools attending the event were: (gold level) Oatlands Infant School; Le Cateau Primary School; Mowbray School; (silver level) Cliffe Primary School; Kildwick Primary School; New Park Primary School; Springwater School; (bronze level) Rosset Acre Primary School; plus Askwith Primary School and Cowling Primary School.

All state-funded schools and academies can sign up to the Healthy Schools Award Programme at no cost. Private schools can join for an annual charge. Staff training is delivered online. Find out more about Healthy Schools or email healthyschools@northyorks.gov.uk