Health and wellbeing boost for Exmouth pupils

Pupils at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School are benefiting from a unique programme to improve their health and wellbeing.

As part of the Healthy Schools Plus programme, teachers at almost 200 schools in Devon have been given the opportunity to target which areas of health education best meets the needs of children and their families at their particular school.

St Joseph’s has focused on healthy eating and physical activity from the four key areas of health.

Over the last two years, NHS Devon gave each school �2,000 to run a creative health initiative based on one of those four areas. In total, 187 schools in Devon participated in the programme and today NHS Devon held a special celebration event for those schools whose work was identified as ‘outstanding’. They all received certificates in recognition of their achievement.

Dr Virginia Pearson, NHS Devon’s director of public health, congratulated the schools on their success.

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She said: “Any initiative which supports the physical and emotional wellbeing of young people and tackles health inequalities should be applauded and the improvements will not only have an enormous benefit to the child but also to the whole school community.

“This programme has given schools the chance to be creative in their choice of health interventions and we have had positive feedback from this, from parents and teachers alike.

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“Schools will now build on the experience and good practice they gained during the programme, so they can continue to improve the health of their children.”

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for health, said: “Our healthy schools initiative has achieved incredible success, not only in addressing more immediate health-related risks but also in providing an understanding of the benefits of healthy eating, exercise and emotional wellbeing.”

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