Healthy success for two Cardiff primary schools

Two Cardiff primary schools have been awarded national recognition for their work to promote health and wellbeing throughout their school communities, at the very highest standard.

Assessors for theWelsh Network of the Healthy School Schemes have awarded St. Monica’s CW Primary School in Cathays andSt Philip Evans RC Primary School in LlanedeyrnThe Healthy Schools National Quality Award (NQA) for demonstrating excellence in all areas of health and wellbeing,with support fromCardiff Council’s Healthy Schools Team.

Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: “The Healthy Schools National Quality award is an excellent achievement which requires schools to go through a rigorous process spanning at least nine years.

“I am therefore delighted that two more of Cardiff’s primary schools have successfully achieved the accolade, recognising the hard work from staff, pupils and their wider school communities.

“Health and wellbeing play an important part in school life, even more so now than ever before as we continue to recover from the pandemic. The wide range of unique and innovative initiatives and activities presented by St Monica’s CW andSt Philip Evans RC Primary Schools will have a positiveimpact on pupils and their families, helping to promote happy and healthy futures.

“I would like to personally like to congratulate both schools and I have no doubt that they will inspire others to develop and deliver new and exciting schemes for their own school communities”

Highlights from St. Monica’s CW PrimarySchool included:

  • Theprinciple that every child has the chance to SHINE; meaning Successful, Happiness, Inclusive, Nurturing, Evolving is a whole school principle and the values underpin everything that the school does.
  • The school prioritises the wellbeing of the whole family of each pupil and the caring ethos of the school is encapsulated by the recent achievement of the Schools of Sanctuary accreditation, recognising its welcoming and inclusive environment.
  • A unique and valuable feature is the Young Interpreters group who regularly meet to discuss how to help those pupils whose English is a second language. This is of particular value as there are 36 languages spoken within St Monica’s.
  • Pupil voice at St Monica’s is at the heart of school life. SMTV is the school’s news channel (St Monica’s TV) created as a result of pupil feedback and delivers weekly episodes created by pupils which focusses on events in school that week.
  • Pupils build their confidence and skills by taking on an official job role in the school such as the Headteacher’s Personal Assistant, an office assistant and answering the office phone whilst office staff are taking a break and a reception ‘buddy’.

Reflecting on the good news, St Monica’s CW Primary School Headteacher, Abi Beacon said: “We are delighted that the hard work of all of the children and staff in St Monica’s has been recognised by this award. There has never been a more important time to focus on our health and wellbeing – we are looking forward to continuing this with the children.”

 

Highlights fromSt Philip Evans RCPrimary School included:

  • Wellbeing is defined by this School as one of the 4 main areas of school life, along with religious life, personal formation, and academic life, and this has led to a truly embedded culture of wellbeing.
  • Communication with families is outstanding and includes an impressive weekly newsletter which always includes a wellbeing feature, an open-door policy with all members of staff and one-off initiatives such as the production and issue of a Parent Wellbeing Pack during Covid.
  • The emotional and spiritual growth of pupils is a core part of the mission and values of this School and staff are encouraged to build relationships with pupils that go beyond teaching, taking an interest in their development, cares, concerns, and their successes and challenges.
  • The school has achieved the silver level UN Convention on the Rights of the Child ‘Rights Respecting School Award’.
  • The School has a very strong set of values relating to personal, mental and emotional development which they encourage all pupils to reach in a wide variety of ways, an example is the range of extra-curricular activities on offer which promote physical development and creative, emotional and intellectual development.

St Philip Evans RC Primary School Headteacher, Catherine Power said:”We are absolutely thrilled to receive the award. At St Philip Evans we believe that wellbeing and the promotion of healthy lifestyles are essential for our children’s successful futures. The award reflects the hard work of staff, parents and children and is having a very positive impact encouraging healthy lifestyles in our community. Congratulations.”

Gemma Cox, Principal lead for Educational Settings at Public Health Wales said: “We are delighted that St Monica’s Primary School and St Philip Evans Primary School has received our National Quality Award. They deserve this important recognition for their commitment to embedding health and wellbeing in the culture and fabric of the school.

“This achievement demonstrates how the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes are enabling Public Health Wales to work in equal partnership with schools to improve the future health and wellbeing of our children. By combining our efforts and assets in a purposeful way, we can create a healthier, happier and fairer Wales.”