Awards programme supports Healthy Schools

Children and Calderdale staff at Todmorden Junior School presenting the Healthy Schools award

A Calderdale school has been recognised for the health and wellbeing support it offers its young people, as one of the first to take part in the new Calderdale programme.

Todmorden C of E Junior, Infant & Nursery School has been taking part in a new pilot project as an ‘early adopter’ of the new Calderdale Healthy Schools award programme.

The programme, which recognises and celebrates the work that schools carry out to support children and young people’s health and wellbeing, has been designed and developed by Calderdale Council and schools across the borough. It provides a clear guide for schools to follow, to allow them to support and improve physical and mental health for young people.

It has been developed as part of recovery from COVID-19 and in response to the effect the pandemic has had on the health and wellbeing of young people. It builds on the strong relationships that were forged during the pandemic between the Council and schools and allows schools to demonstrate their commitment to young people’s health.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Towns, Engagement and Public Health, Cllr Sarah Courtney, said:

“We continue to see the ongoing effects of the COVID pandemic in young people in the borough, with research showing that more of our young people are experiencing lower levels of satisfaction with their health or wellbeing than before the pandemic.

“Throughout the pandemic, the Council worked incredibly closely with schools, and we’ve continued to develop this relationship, leading to the creation of the Calderdale Healthy Schools award programme.

“The programme not only guides and helps identify areas for improvement, but also celebrates success and allows schools to learn from each other and receive wider support.”

Following the successful pilot, the Calderdale Healthy Schools award programme will launch across the borough in the new year, with schools across Calderdale invited to take part and demonstrate the ways in which they support healthy initiatives and focus on emotional wellbeing.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, Cllr Adam Wilkinson, said:

“Young people spend a large proportion of their time at school and as such, schools have great potential as a setting in which to influence health and wellbeing.

“We’ve worked closely with schools to develop the Calderdale Healthy Schools award programme, which provides a framework to help them implement initiatives to support the health and wellbeing of young people, enabling them to flourish.

“The initial pilot has been a great success and we’re looking forward to rolling the programme out to schools across the borough in the new year.”

The Calderdale Healthy Schools award programme has five levels of achievement, from Bronze to Ambassador level. These consider the extent to which schools are promoting health and wellbeing, with a focus on food, physical activity and emotional wellbeing.

Todmorden C of E Junior, Infant & Nursery School has been presented with the Silver award level for their excellent work to incorporate healthy initiatives into the school day, as well as promoting health and wellbeing across national curriculum areas.

This has included ‘active lessons’ where children are encouraged to move around for a part of a lesson and initiatives such as ‘active registers’. The children are encouraged to be active inside and outside of school. The school is also supporting food knowledge, how to make healthy choices and are receiving education around where food comes from, incorporated into science lessons and other classroom topics.

The school also supports pupils’ mental wellbeing with systems in place to enable young people to report concerns about themselves or others, for example through the school’s red button on their website and the school’s worry monsters, with specialist staff trained to identify and respond to concerns where appropriate.

 Cllr Sarah Courtney, added:

“I’d like to congratulate the staff and pupils at Todmorden C of E Junior, Infant & Nursery School for their hard work to gain a Silver award. It was a pleasure to visit the school for their celebration assembly and present their award. I was also delighted to talk to some of the children about their healthy activities.”

 Headteacher at Todmorden C of E Junior, Infant & Nursery School, Mrs Alice Leadbitter, said:

“I am delighted that the hard work our staff put into all aspects of staying healthy, especially around mental wellbeing, has been recognised. We were delighted to be the first school in the whole of Calderdale to receive this award.”

The Calderdale Healthy Schools award programme supports the Vision 2024 for Calderdale, with improved health and wellbeing outcomes creating more resilient communities where people can reach their potential.

In the year 2024, Calderdale will celebrate its 50th birthday. Where do we want to be by 2024? Join the conversation by following #VisionCdale2024 on social media and visit

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