CELEBRATIONS are underway at a popular York secondary school after it's become the first in the city to get a top award.

Huntington School, which has just over 1,500 pupils of which 300 are in the sixth form, has been awarded a. Silver Healthy Schools’ Award.

The award is part of the Healthy Schools Programme, launched by City of York Council and North Yorkshire Council in partnership last year.

Read next:

The programme aims to encourage state-funded schools across the county to work towards improving the health and wellbeing of pupils through a ‘whole school approach’. It covers four key themes: personal, social, and health education (PSHE); emotional health and wellbeing; active lifestyles; and food in schools.

Schools can work towards bronze, silver and gold healthy school awards. Pupil voice and involvement is a key part of the programme, along with staff wellbeing. Teachers can also take advantage of free resources and training sessions.

Since its launch in March last year, a quarter of schools in York have signed up to join the programme, which is funded and supported by the council’s Public Health team.

Huntington was the first school in the city to achieve Healthy Schools accreditation under the programme, achieving a bronze award for PSHE in November. Since then, they have continued to work on improving the health and wellbeing of pupils and staff by completing the requirements for the emotional health and wellbeing theme and the staff wellbeing criteria, achieving a Silver award this month.

Cllr Bob Webb, the council’s executive member for education, said: “It’s fantastic to see how schools and academies across the city are engaging with the Healthy Schools Programme. Huntington School has really embraced the aims of the programme and has underlined their commitment to the health of pupils and staff by not only being the first school in the city to receive a Bronze Award, but now the first to receive a Silver Award as well. Huge congratulations to all those involved.”

Julie Kettlewell from Huntington School, said: “At Huntington we do all we can to improve the health and wellbeing of our pupils. By engaging with the Healthy School Award it has allowed us to reflect on what we are doing well and where we can improve. We have already put in place some changes as a result of the feedback we have received and we aim to continue doing this and work towards the gold level over the next year.”

As part of the programme, the school has introduced a new mental health policy and 12 mental health champions from Year 12 and Year 10 who will deliver drop-in sessions for students.

As The Press reported in January, Huntington continues to be an Ofsted outstanding school, having first achieved the highest ranking back in 2017.

For further information on the Healthy Schools programme please contact:  healthy.schools@northyorks.gov.uk  or register to take part online at www.healthyschoolsnorthyorks.org

York Press: Pupils at Huntington School in York celebrating their oustanding Ofsted with head teacher, Matt SmithPupils at Huntington School in York celebrating their oustanding Ofsted with head teacher, Matt Smith (Image: Supplied)