Creating a culture of positive mental health and wellbeing in schools was the theme when 3,800 pupils and more than 200 members of staff from 100 North Yorkshire primary and secondary schools joined an interactive online event yesterday (7 April).
Welcoming schools to the online event organised by our Healthy Schools programme, Louise Wallace, North Yorkshire’s Director of Public Health, said: “It is fantastic that so many schools from across our county have signed up to take part in this Healthy Schools online event, which focuses on the important issue of children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing.
“Learning how to work together in school and to put strategies in place to help pupils and staff who might be in need of extra support or someone to talk to is essential for a happy and healthy school.”
Pupils took part in interactive online workshops broadcast live into their classrooms across the county. These explored the themes of:
- the importance of being kind;
- learning more about being pupil wellbeing champions;
- how to be true to you; and
- how emotions are generated.
Workshops and speakers were provided by local organisations that support the Healthy Schools award, including North Yorkshire Sport, Compass Phoenix and Emotion Switch. Pupils also heard from James Kirton, who mentors athletes to help them overcome challenges and setbacks.
To close the event, pupils took part in a live vote on important questions around emotional health and wellbeing to help the Healthy Schools team understand their views and plan future actions.
Some of the questions followed responses from the Growing Up in North Yorkshire Survey, which more than 250 schools in the county complete. More than 16,000 pupils responded to the last survey, having their say on whether they are supported in school around issues including bullying and healthy eating and whether they are worried about issues including Covid and climate change.
The Growing Up in North Yorkshire Survey results are shared with schools and organisations to inform practice and development of projects and resources to support children and young people. Schools will take part in this year’s survey in May.
North Yorkshire County Council schools and academies can sign up for free to take part in the survey and to the Healthy Schools programme, as it is funded by the Public Health grant. Private and out of county schools can join Healthy Schools for an annual charge. A new Healthy Early Years award has recently been launched and is available free to all North Yorkshire early years settings, including childminders.