Congratulations to Orton Wistow Primary School – the most recent school to achieve both the Food Smart and Healthy Schools Bronze Award
The commitment to embedding a whole school approach to health and wellbeing throughout the school is impressive and the process of achieving these two awards has helped the staff to recognise and celebrate all the good work that they are doing currently and have plans to do in the future.
Participation in the Food Smart programme has especially impacted on the children’s knowledge of how to keep healthy, both in terms of exercise and the importance of what they eat. To quote the Healthy Schools lead teacher: “The children have learned that not all food that is advertised as “healthy” is and they have made links between exercise and a healthy diet. Parents and carers also have more understanding of how to help at home.”
The school has a dedicated tab on its website to health and wellbeing which not only reflects the dedication of the school to this agenda but provides an ideal means of raising awareness amongst parents and carers about how they can also get involved. Take a look here:
The framework of the Healthy Schools award also supports schools to meet the DfE’s statutory guidance on health education and to identify the areas for both short and long-term development. It is designed to provide a journey towards establishing initiatives and creating opportunities for both staff and students to consider the importance of their physical and mental health and so make more positive choices.
1.Why did the school decide to pursue the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Healthy Schools Award?
Work undertaken by our PSHE Co-ordinator as part of the AQBM award highlighted how many areas of the Healthy Schools award we were covering. Completion of the Food Smart award left some areas of development that we have now achieved.
2. Was the initial step of completing the online audit of 30 Yes/No questions a suitable starting point? Was it achievable within the stated 15 minutes?
3. Was the online audit a useful tool in providing a quick assessment of the key points of action to take?
4. How beneficial was the opportunity to follow up the completion of the audit with an informal, virtual meeting with a member of the Healthy Schools team?
The Journey Towards Accreditation
5. Having achieved an initial assessment of the key actions to take, did the provision of the more detailed point score document for the award help to structure the approach taken by the school?
A little, although our school action plan for well-being linked well with what was needed for the award.
6. What decisions were taken by the school to make progress against the standards and did the majority of the staff – teaching as well as non-teaching – get involved?
Areas for development were highlighted by the well-being party with links to the PHSE & PE curriculum. All members of staff are included.
7. Did the accreditation framework encourage a whole school approach to embedding a consistent and progressive health agenda?
A little although we were already embedding our Mental Health and Well-being in school.
8. Was the point score document useful in both identifying evidence and monitoring progress and was the process of evidencing the standards manageable?
9. What are the key benefits for the school having completed the accreditation journey?
Recognition of the work we are undertaking
10. Do you consider the work undertaken to have had an impact and do you consider this will be maintained and therefore long-lasting?
Yes, we are looking to compete the Silver Award to further the work we’re doing with our PSHE curriculum and Wellbeing project. One of our teachers is also completing the DfE Senior Mental Health Lead training, with the idea that this qualification will enable us to increase our support for children with difficulties and to promote positive mental health. We are expecting that the Five Ways of Wellbeing will play a part in this but there will be a whole school project which is likely to focus on self-esteem and psychological self-awareness for identified children.
11. In view of the recent changes to the Ofsted inspection Handbook and the inclusion of the following point:
“From the start of the summer term 2021, how a school meets the expectations of the DfE’s statutory guidance on relationships education, relationships and sex education and health education will contribute to the leadership and management judgement.” how relevant do you consider the standards of the award to be?
The standards of the award are relevant in bringing all areas together, ensuring mental health education priority
12. Would you recommend the Healthy Schools Award to other schools, if so why?
Yes, especially if other schools already have mental health and wellbeing as a priority. The Food Smart award fed well into the award for us.