Celebrating Healthy Schools

Pupils receiving their Healthy School Plus certificate and plaque from Councillor Jane Streather, Portfolio Lead for Health and
Pupils receiving their Healthy School Plus certificate and plaque from Councillor Jane Streather, Portfolio Lead for Health and Housing, Newcastle City Council

Schools in Newcastle were celebrating last week at a special event to mark their work to improve pupil health and wellbeing. 

Many schools in the city are involved in the Newcastle Healthy School Programme and have proved that they are meeting rigorous quality standards to promote healthy lifestyles to their pupils.

Local schools are continually developing and improving their work and those achieving Healthy Schools Plus can also prove how their work has changed children’s health behaviour or attitudes, helping them to live healthier lives.

Increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables children eat, the amount of exercise they take each day, the numbers walking and cycling to school or increasing school meal uptake are all examples of the kinds of changes that have been made by schools.

At the event, four of the city’s schools were presented with special plaques by Councillor Jane Streather, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Housing, Newcastle City Council, for achieving Newcastle Healthy School Plus. Another thirteen received certificates to mark their involvement in the Healthy School Plus programme, together with twenty one other schools who achieved Newcastle Healthy School Status. 

The audience were treated to performances by pupils from five schools, showcasing different aspects of their health promoting work with children.  Helping the audience to start the day feeling energised, St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School in Kenton wowed the audience with a performance of their ‘daily wake up and shake up’ exercise programme which kick starts each school day. 

Archibald First School pupils shared their work on the school’s ‘Rainbow Fun Run, Jog, Walk’ initiative. ‘Wish upon a star’ was a film that children from Monkchester Road Nursery School made to talk about their children’s rights day.

At Benfield School there has been a substantial increase in the number of pupils taking a school meal each day and students shared their experience of how they have improved the whole school food experience, working with kitchen staff to do this.  

A story called ‘From 5 a day to running all the way’ was used by Beech Hill Primary School pupils to showcase their work to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables pupils are eating each day and the amount of daily exercise they take.

The event also marked a celebration for the winners of an oral health poster competition run by Newcastle Hospitals Community Health. Tamara Finas from St John’s Primary School in Benwell was the overall winner of the competition for schools in the west of the city.

The Newcastle Healthy School Programme is coordinated by the Public Health team from Newcastle City Council.

Councillor Jane Streather, Portfolio Lead for Health and Housing for the Council added: “The Newcastle Healthy School Programme recognises the excellent practice that is evident in many local schools to improve pupil wellbeing and health behaviour.

"It is a quality mark which schools should rightly be proud of."