Wrockwardine Wood Juniors have been part of the Schools Health & Wellbeing Programme since January 2022. They have also been working with Energize, Shropshire Telford and Wrekin on the Creating Active Schools pilot.
Over the past 15 months as part of these two projects, Wrockwardine Wood Juniors has implemented lots of changes to prioritise their pupils’ health and wellbeing. As a result of their hard work, the school have been awarded their gold healthy schools rating.
Wrockwardine Wood Juniors completed the Active Lives survey in Autumn 2021, at the beginning of the project and again a year later in Autumn 2022. Whilst the school noticed an increase in their percentage of active children, the most notable results came in the attitudes to sport and physical activity. There have been large increases in confidence, competence and enjoyment of physical activity for the pupils. As well as, large jumps in happiness and social trust.
Health and wellbeing is a key priority for the school. One of the pupils at Wrockwardine Wood Juniors says:
“I know that to keep my mind and my body healthy, I need to exercise and school has helped me to do this. I have found that jogging helps me relax and not feel stressed.”
One of the main changes, has been the implementation of active learning into the school day. Times table recall is done in an active manner and active learning has been incorporated into afternoon lessons across the school.
Teachers have found that retention levels have increased and it has been of particular benefit for those pupils who struggle with the transition from outside back into the classroom.
Pupils have said:
“We love it when we get up and move when we are learning. It helps us remember things better!”
“I like that we are always busy when we are learning because I don’t get bored sitting down for too long.”
The school has also increased the number of targeted children attending after-school clubs. Pupil voice was first used to identify why they weren’t attending and school have since been able to put small things in place to overcome these barriers.
Furthermore, staff Continued Professional Development (CPD) sessions take place each half-term so that staff feel confident to deliver high quality PE and physical activity opportunities. So far the CPD sessions have covered topics such as dance, gymnastics, orienteering and outdoor learning to ensure pupils are receiving a range of high quality PE lessons.
Parent engagement was a key focus for the school. So as part of the projects a parent engagement session was put on in September for Year 3 parents. This session included four different simple and easy physical activities for the parents and children to try together, that could then be replicated at home. Parents and children then ate their lunch together in the hall, before the parents came to an education session to talk about the benefits of physical activity and ways they can increase activity levels at home.
School engaged with the Eat Well Project in Spring 2022 and received Sugar Awareness educational sessions and a Family Cooking on a Budget session for select families to attend. As a result of the success of the cooking session the school followed this up by working with Learn Telford to set up a six week Cooking on a Budget course to offer to their families.
A Wellbeing Governor has also been appointed to the governing board. Whilst this is not a mandatory role for schools to appoint to their board, it does ensure health and wellbeing remains a priority within the school. At Wrockwardine Wood Juniors the Wellbeing Governor is responsible for overseeing the wellbeing for both staff and pupils.
The school has now moved its focus to lunchtimes and trying to ensure they are active, structured and fun. This is taking a whole school approach and has included lunchtime supervisors, staff and pupil voice to ensure everyone is on board and the initiative is meeting the needs of the people it is intended for.
One pupil said:
“My favourite part of the day is lunchtime because we dance to music on the playground and I am never bored. There is always a fun activity to do!”