Schools celebrate success in Healthy Schools Award scheme

This story was published 11 November 2020

Schools across North Yorkshire are celebrating success this week in improving the health and wellbeing of pupils and staff.

Children with certificate

Fifty-one schools are part of a virtual celebration online, because of Covid-19 restrictions, from Thursday, 12 November, after gaining awards through the Healthy Schools programme. The celebration will be available here.

Awarded schools have been invited to participate by posting quotes, photos and videos to share their achievements.

In total, 22 schools achieved a Bronze award, 20 achieved Silver and nine achieved the highest level Gold award. Award winners include primary and secondary schools, as well as nurseries, pupil referral units and special schools. The award scheme aims to improve the health and wellbeing of pupils and staff in four areas: personal, social, health education (PSHE), emotional health and wellbeing; active lifestyles; and food in schools.

Among the winners are Coppice Valley Primary School, Harrogate, and Glasshouses Primary, near Pateley Bridge, which each achieved a Gold award. They worked hard to involve pupils when making improvements around healthy eating and being more active during the school day. Pupils were asked for their ideas, which were acted upon, including shorter queues for lunch, being able to sit near friends and helping to design and build a community allotment. 

Airy Hill Primary School near Whitby achieved Silver for PSHE and emotional health and wellbeing. The school has both staff and pupil wellbeing champions to support the whole school community. Upper Wharfedale Secondary School also gained a Silver award. The school recently produced a short film about better mental health that featured on CBBC Newsround.

North Yorkshire County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health, Prevention and Supported Housing, said: “We are very pleased that schools are taking part in the scheme despite the current extra pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic, and well done to all 51 schools for gaining their award.

“The Healthy Schools programme is playing a very important part in our work to deliver Young and Yorkshire 2, the North Yorkshire Children and Young People’s Plan. Young and Yorkshire 2 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.”

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, North Yorkshire’s Director of Public Health, added: “We are delighted to see so many schools across North Yorkshire achieving an award as part of the Healthy Schools Award programme over the past year. The fact that so many schools have continued to work on their Healthy Schools Award applications throughout the Covid-19 pandemic is also a major achievement considering the many pressures that schools have faced lately. We would like to pass on our congratulations to all the schools and to thank them for all their hard work in helping schools to be positive environments that support the health and wellbeing of pupils and staff.”

The Healthy Schools scheme is funded through the Public Health grant and has been developed by the County Council’s 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 partners, including North Yorkshire Sport and Compass BUZZ. All North Yorkshire County Council schools can join the scheme for free. Private and out-of-county schools can join for an annual charge. For further information, email healthyschools@northyorks.gov.uk or register online.