Whitefield Schools has become the first school in Waltham Forest to achieve the Silver Healthy Schools London Silver Award, just seven months after it gained its bronze award. The push for silver included planning for improvements to the play spaces, in line with the school improvement plan and targeted work to develop teaching in the area of understanding ‘Public and Private’ situations and behaviour.
Coinciding with the award, Whitefield was delighted to receive a visit from the newly appointed Deputy Mayor for London, Roger Evans, who is visiting a number of successful schools to find out to find out more about what they are doing as part of the programme. The Deputy Major was accompanied by:
- The Worshipful Mayor of Waltham Forest, Councillor Terry Wheeler
- Andrew Taylor (LBWF Director of Public Health)
- Councillor Ahsan Khan (LBWF, Portfolio Lead Member- Health and Wellbeing)
- Councillor Mark Rusling (LBWF Portfolio Lead Member- Children and Young People)
- Liz Prosser (Manager, Healthy Schools London)
- Mary Nielson (Public Health Strategist & LBWF lead for Healthy Schools London)
The group’s tour of Whitefield allowed them to a see wide range of representative activities that illustrated the school’s commitment to health. This included a gymnastics session, cooking activities, gardening, discussions on mental wellbeing and a quick trip to the soon-to-be-opened therapeutic pool.
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They were shown around by pupils and staff, including Faye Watton-Lawrence, Whitefield’s PHSE coordinator, who was been instrumental in driving the School’s push for the award, together with other members of the PSHE/Healthy Schools Working Party.
Healthy Schools London is an awards scheme set up and funded by the Mayor of London, which supports and recognises school achievements in pupil health and wellbeing. Healthy Schools London (HSL) focuses on the whole child and gives schools a framework for their activity with pupils, staff and the wider community. HSL promotes a whole school approach across five themes:
- Healthy Eating
- Physical Activity
- Emotional Health & Wellbeing
- Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE)
There are three levels of award: Bronze, Silver and Gold. 1456 London schools have registered for the scheme. Of these, 616 schools have already achieved a Bronze Award, 140 have achieved a Silver Award and seven Gold. Whitefield is now looking at how it can be numbered amongst the gold.