Posted: Mon 7th Mar 2016

A Cardiff school is celebrating after achieving a top award for health and wellbeing /
This article is old - Published: Monday, Mar 7th, 2016

Ysgol Gymraeg Pwll Coch, has achieved its National Quality Award, the highest award a school can obtain through the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In order to achieve the National Quality Award the school had to demonstrate the highest standard in all of the indicators across seven health topics. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Managed by Public Health Wales, the scheme embeds health improvement around food and fitness, mental and emotional health and wellbeing, personal development and relationships, substance use and misuse, environment, safety and hygiene. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

With support from the City of Cardiff Council, the school in Leckwith has been working hard over a number of years, introducing initiatives designed to improve the health and wellbeing of the whole school community, both in and outside of school. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Headteacher, Mrs Meinir Howells, said: “We have introduced a number of projects and changes as part of the Healthy School scheme. For example we recognised the growth of digital technology and its effect on children and their play and as a school in the city of Cardiff, children in our school may have fewer opportunities to engage with nature. So a member of staff was trained as a forest school leader and we offer the children regular, all weather opportunities to engage with nature through Forest School sessions which help develop their social and emotional well-being along with their knowledge and understanding of their immediate environment. In addition to this it’s always top of the children’s favourite activities.’’ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Mary Charles, Public Health Wales lead for the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes said: “Congratulations to Ysgol Gymraeg Pwll Coch on their NQA award. They have been participating in the healthy schools scheme for a number of years and embraced the whole school approach to health and wellbeing. The governors have been supportive and shown an active understanding of the scheme. The pupil voice is also given due attention, with a very effective school council, eco council, healthy school club ensuring that pupils play a key part of developments within the school. The school co-ordinator Bethan Evans also guides the work of the healthy school very effectively and leads a team of highly motivated staff, who have willingly accepted responsibility for different aspects of the work.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

PwllCochHQA2 ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Healthy Schools Officer Lisa Marie Lewis added: “The NQA verifiers were particularly impressed with pupil voice, the commitment from staff and successful partnerships with parents and Governors.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Adding her congratulations, Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Sarah Merry said: “This is a fantastic achievement and the staff, pupils and parents at Ysgol Gymraeg Pwll Coch should be very proud that their hard work has been recognised with a National Quality Award. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Health and wellbeing is an important part of the overall learning experience and the work of Ysgol Gymraeg Pwll Coch is a great example of how our schools are continuing the drive to deliver an excellent standard of education in the city.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Note to editors ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes (WNHSS) is involves nursery, primary, secondary and special schools, along with the Pupil Referral Units (PRU), 99.9% of schools in Wales are part of the scheme. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The scheme works to encourage schools to take a whole school approach to improving health which means they look at everything from the policies adopted, the school environment, the curriculum and the involvement of the whole school community and the wider community around the school. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Public Health Wales acquired responsibility for the Network in Wales in 2012. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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