Pupils celebrate success in making schools healthy and happy

Eighty pupils from schools across North Yorkshire gathered at a celebratory event to mark the success of a Healthy Schools award scheme.

More than 270 of the county’s schools signed up to take part in North Yorkshire Council’s Healthy Schools Award Programme.

Since its launch three years ago, 106 of those schools have now gained awards in the scheme.

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

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

These themes formed the basis of workshops at a celebration day. Pupils from participating schools from Scarborough, Bedale, Thorpe Willoughby, Harrogate, Darley and Summerbridge joined in with the fun at RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate, which offered its facilities free.

Workshops focused on growing for wellbeing with the RHS Harlow Carr education team; making tasty, healthy treats with Phunky Foods (an early years and primary school programme of healthy lifestyle curriculum activities, lesson plans and resources); and caring for your teeth with Harrogate and District NHS Oral Health team.

Over lunchtime, additional activities were provided for the pupils by the North Yorkshire Rotters, with their popular smoothie bike being pedalled by pupils, tips on how to keep healthy mental wellbeing from Compass Phoenix and how to keep hydrated with infused water provided by NYES catering school meals team.

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for adult social care, Cllr Michael Harrison, said: “Everyone had a great day exploring ideas for how pupils can work together to make positive changes in their school.

“We 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.”

The council’s young person’s champion, Cllr Alyson Baker, 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.”

Summing up the event, Miss Emily Potts, Year 2 teacher at Bedale C of E Primary School, said: “The children really enjoyed all the interactive workshops. Our children all took home plants and hopefully we will have some sprouts soon! It was a beautiful setting, especially for our nature walk. Thank you to the team for organising.”

Schools attending the event were: (gold level) St Martin’s Scarborough; (silver level) Springwater special school; (bronze level) Bedale C of E Primary, Thorpe Willoughby Primary, St Robert’s Catholic Primary; Darley and Summerbridge primaries.

All North Yorkshire and York schools can sign up to the Healthy Schools Award Programme at no cost. To find out more, visit https://healthyschoolsnorthyorks.org/ or email healthyschools@northyorks.gov.uk