More schools gain healthy school accreditation

Pupils in North Yorkshire came together to celebrate their efforts to improve the health, wellbeing and resilience in their school communities.

Dozens of children attended a day of workshops at East Barnby Outdoor Education Centre near Whitby to mark the work that is being done.

Children from Seton Community Primary School in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Hawsker Church of England Primary School in Whitby, Fylingdales Church of England Primary School, Ingleby Greenhow Church of England Primary School in Great Ayton and Hertford Vale Church of England Primary in Scarborough worked towards bronze, silver or gold healthy schools status.

They had to meet criteria across four themes – active lives, food in schools, emotional health and wellbeing, and personal, social and health education.

They undertook actions such as improving school dinners, setting up staff and pupil wellbeing champions and increasing ways for pupils to be active during the school day.

These themes formed the basis of workshops at the celebration day for the schools last month, when Seton Community Primary School achieved the gold award.

Hands-on workshops, enjoying the outdoors with a campfire and activities with the East Barnby education team were on offer, as well as learning about healthy eating with the North Yorkshire Education Services catering school meals team.

The pupils also explored how to reduce food waste by pedalling the smoothie bike and making mini-wormeries with the North Yorkshire Rotters.

They also discovered how to be Wellbeing Warriors with Compass Phoenix, a project to improve children’s health and wellbeing, and how to care for their teeth with Harrogate and District NHS oral health team. They all took home a free toothbrushing pack to put their skills to good use.

Our executive member for health and adult services, Cllr Michael Harrison, said: “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 and Compass Phoenix.

“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.”

In total, 280 schools in the county are signed up to our Healthy Schools Awards programme. Since the initiative’s launch three years ago, 117 of those schools have now gained awards in the scheme. 

Our young person’s champion, Cllr Alyson Baker, who presented the healthy schools awards, added: “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 certificates, which they have worked so hard to achieve.”

All schools in North Yorkshire and York can sign up to the Healthy Schools Awards programme at no cost.