Hampshire Celebrates 10 Years Of Healthy Schools

15 July 2010, 12:02 | Updated: 15 July 2010, 12:17

Steetdancing, a rap performance, poetry and a skipping display were four very diverse cultural ways in which pupils celebrated the tenth anniversary of Healthy Schools in Hampshire.

Four hundred and fifty seven Hampshire Schools have achieved Healthy Schools status over the last ten years. In a celebration at The Great Hall, in Winchester 32 of the latest 52 schools to attain the status were presented with certificates in recognition of their achievement in improving the health and well-being of their school community.

As well as the performances pupils set up stalls displaying photographs, examples of work and information about the various things they did to gain the Healthy Schools award for their school. Displays included information on sun safety,  gardening clubs, morning workouts and food tasting for parents as well as healthy eating newsletters and information about healthy snack choices.

In order to achieve the Healthy Schools standard, schools have to demonstrate a whole school approach to improving the health and wellbeing of the school community. This includes improving their leadership, policies, curriculum planning, teaching and learning as well as the school culture and environment, giving pupils a voice, providing pupil support services, addressing staff development needs, promoting good health, developing partnership with parents and the local community, and assessing and recording pupils’ achievements.

Healthy Schools are expected to show measureable progress in the areas of Healthy eating, Physical activity, PSHE and emotional health and well-being. Healthy Schools’ activities must involve pupils, all staff and the wider community.  Exciting initiatives include starting school councils, providing better accessibility to drinking water, introducing healthier tuck shops, establishing buddy systems and peer-mentoring schemes, increasing links with local businesses and community groups, improving school grounds, improving safety awareness, reducing bullying and increasing activity for all.

At the validation ceremony in the Great Hall, pupils described through words, dance and drama the impact that working towards the standard has had on their schools.  The ceremony will also include some of Hampshire’s teachers, nurses and other professionals who were awarded professional development certificates for the teaching of Personal, Social and Health Education.

Commenting on the event Councillor David Kirk, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Children’s Services, said: “I am delighted so many of our schools have achieved the Healthy Schools status – we are well on the way to having 100% of the County’s schools as Healthy Schools. We are committed to ensuring that all pupils achieve their potential and get the most out of their education. Schemes such as peer mentoring, buddy systems, school councils are just some of the things in place which help children enjoy school and mean they can have confidence that they are being educated in a supportive and inclusive environment.”