Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes - National Quality Award
Congratulations on achieving the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes National Quality Award. We are pleased to confirm that St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary School has demonstrated meeting all the criteria of the National Quality Award. These criteria are set out against 7 health topics which are shown below.
Schools that achieve the NQA are implementing wellbeing initiatives at the very highest level. In this report we highlight the particular strengths of your school’s approach to promoting the wellbeing of everyone connected with the school. This report also identifies areas for continued development and consideration. We hope that the report is both an encouragement and a useful guide as pupils and staff at St Joseph’s seek to maintain and extend the excellent approach and embed it even further into school life.
- Food and fitness (nutrition and physical activity)
- Mental and emotional health and wellbeing, including staff wellbeing
- Personal development and relationships, including sex and relationships education
- Substance use and misuse, including alcohol, smoking, and drugs (legal, illegal, and prescription). l
- Environment, including eco-initiatives and improving the school and wider environment
- Safety, including a variety of topics such as child protection, sun safety, internet safety, and first aid
- Hygiene including across school and non-school settings
The criteria are supported by a number of underlying principles, namely:
- The importance of pupil participation in core areas of school life which directly affect the health and wellbeing of children and young people e.g., teaching and learning, environment, pastoral care
- The importance of the understanding and commitment to action of the whole school community
- The existence of a positive approach to health
Summary of Visit
It was a pleasure to be involved in the achievement visit for the National Quality Award and witness the variety of work undertaken by the school on its healthy schools journey. The school environment is very welcoming and the healthy school ethos is central to everything and was highly evident throughout the school. The staff, governors, pupils and parents of the school are justifiably proud of this. The school has achieved an impressive array of awards which complement aspects of Healthy Schools including: the third Eco Schools green flag, the silver award for Rights Respecting Schools and the highest Fairtrade Schools award. The electronic evidence provided in advance of our assessment visit, gave us a clear idea of the procedures and policies which are in place to promote the health and wellbeing of the school community. However it was during our visit that we felt that we came to know the heart of the school and experience how the seven aspects of the Healthy Schools Scheme are promoted in the daily life of the school.
We were warmly welcomed by the Headteacher, a governor representative, the in-school Healthy Schools Coordinators, staff leading on different aspects of the scheme and pupil representatives from: Minnie Vinnies, the Healthy Schools Action Group, the Eco committee, the Digital leaders, the Friendly Solvers and the Senedd
Teamwork is a key feature of the approach to wellbeing and both staff and parents are enthusiastic about developing pupils’ health and wellbeing. School policies are regularly reviewed, which is effective in maintaining good practice, ensuring all aspects are relevant and up to date.
Communication is an outstanding key feature of the school with Healthy Schools messages conveyed regularly to parents through the schools google app and twitter. The parent representatives we met were well informed about the school’s commitment to health and wellbeing and particularly appreciated: the open door policy which enables staff to ‘nip problems in the bud’, the children’s active involvement, eg the recent letter to promote healthy lunchboxes, the school’s endeavours to maintain contact with every family during the Covid lockdowns and the family atmosphere the school creates.
Learner evidence and schemes of work show that all aspects of Healthy Schools are embedded in the curriculum across all phases and that the school has risen to the challenges of undertaking the new curriculum in September 2022.
The school takes every opportunity to ensure the indoor and outdoor environment promotes health and wellbeing and it is hard to believe that the school is sandwiched between two busy roads. The outdoor area includes reading shelters which enable the children to have quiet time to reflect, outdoor classrooms , a new assault course to develop physical skills and a beautiful Forest School’s area. No litter was evident, and the school was clean throughout. Displays in corridors and classrooms are colourful, stimulating and reinforce key health and wellbeing messages and information on key aspects of safety as well as promoting the school’s core values through a focus on the virtues and a series of inspirational quotes chosen by teachers.
The school participates in a variety of initiatives which support aspects of Healthy Schools e.g.: Forest Schools, the Daily Mile, Thrive, EcoSchools and Fairtrade Schools.
Pupil voice at St Joseph’s is at the heart of school life. Minnie Vinnies, the Eco Committee, Criw Cymraeg, Digital leaders, Friendly Solvers and The Healthy Schools Action group feed into the Senedd, ensuring that learners can make a meaningful contribution to their school and the local and global community. During our visit we met with a variety of school groups who spoke passionately and eloquently about the ways that their school is a healthy school. We also benefited greatly from the school tour, expertly undertaken by Bill, Orla, Max, Melvia and Isla.
Highlights of the visit
The school has many areas of good practice. It is not possible to name them all in such a restricted report. These are the areas that particularly stood out.
Mental and Emotional Health and Wellbeing (MEHWB)
The wellbeing of pupils and staff is an exemplary feature of the school, it is led by the Headteacher, well-coordinated and extends throughout the school and its community.
Specific highlights include:
Personal Development and Relationships
Relationship education is delivered successfully within the school and evidenced through our meeting with Mrs Houston, the schemes of work and examples of pupil work. The school follows the diocesan policy and ensures that programmes are underpinned by the virtues of: love, respect, tolerance and compassion.
Food and Fitness
Substance Use and Misuse
All policies and robust schemes of work are in place, Minimum standards are met regarding no smoking, including the use of e-cigarettes clearly banned on school grounds.
All hygiene policies conform to current regulations and all minimum standards are met.
A high priority is given to the safety of pupils, staff and visitors in the school.
Areas for further consideration
Feedback to pupils
Dear pupils of St Joseph’s school
It was such a delight to visit your lovely school and to see the wonderful things that you and your teachers are doing to keep you healthy and well.
I would like to thank Bill, Orla, Max, Melvia and Isla for taking us on the tour of the school. You were highly informative, so enthusiastic, explained things so well and answered all our questions and showed us how proud you are of your school.
We would also like to thank members of the Senedd, the Healthy Schools Action Group, the Eco Group, The Digital Leaders, The Friendly Solvers and the Minnie Vinnies for the wonderful presentations on how you help to make St Joseph’s such a healthy happy and kind community and how you take your work beyond the school to support children who do not have the same advantages as you, across the world.
You have a really good understanding of your roles and responsibilities and you make sure that you listen to the ideas of all your fellow pupils.
Thank you for making our visit so special. You are wonderful ambassadors for your school and your community.
Wendy Ostler & Carin Quinn
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