In a momentous achievement, Calder Primary School, a distinguished member of the Calder Learning Trust, has been bestowed with the prestigious Gold Achievement award in the Calderdale Healthy Schools award programme. This accolade, the highest level of recognition in the borough, commends the school’s unwavering commitment to providing exceptional health and well-being support to its young students.

The Calderdale Healthy Schools award programme is dedicated to recognising and celebrating schools that go above and beyond to nurture the health and well-being of their pupils. Among a cohort of schools dedicated to the cause, Calder Primary School has emerged as the trailblazer, securing the illustrious Gold level award for its remarkable dedication to the programme’s key themes of health and wellbeing, physical activity, and food.

At the core of the school’s achievement lies an unwavering dedication to fostering the emotional well-being of both students and staff members. By creating an environment that values individuality, the school has excelled in understanding each pupil’s unique aspirations, concerns, and needs. This personalised approach enables the staff to offer tailored support, propelling Calder Primary School to become the first in the borough to achieve the Gold level award.

One of the hallmarks of the school’s success is its emphasis on open communication channels regarding students’ well-being. Regular opportunities are provided for pupils to engage in discussions about their mental health, ensuring their voices are heard and concerns addressed. Additionally, the school takes proactive measures by providing informative reading materials on various mental health and well-being subjects, further nurturing their understanding of these crucial issues.

Recognising that the well-being of staff plays an integral role in fostering a healthy school environment, Calder Primary School has instituted comprehensive support mechanisms. Staff members receive regular training sessions to heighten awareness of potential emotional challenges students may be facing. The school takes pride in organising its annual staff well-being event, alongside regular staff support groups and workshops, nurturing a cohesive and supportive faculty.

The crowning moment for Calder Primary School came when the esteemed Head Teacher, Kate Lambert, was presented with the Gold award at the prestigious Schools’ Health and Wellbeing Conference. The inaugural event, hosted at the Mytholmroyd Community Centre, saw over 100 attendees representing 58 primary and secondary schools in the borough. The conference featured enlightening speeches on vital topics, such as mental health, water safety, school food, and an innovative Police scheme aimed at bolstering crime-related learning in schools.

The event also boasted a ‘marketplace,’ providing valuable insights from healthcare and wellbeing support providers for children and young people. This exchange of knowledge offered attending staff members the chance to explore various support options available to both schools and families, enriching their ability to create nurturing environments.

The feedback from the conference was overwhelmingly positive, with attendees lauding the opportunity to share ideas and experiences, fostering a sense of collaboration and collective growth.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Cllr Tim Swift, said; “Many young people across the borough continue to feel the ongoing effects of the pandemic on their mental health and wellbeing and it’s so important that schools feel well equipped to support pupils and young people feel able to discuss any issues.

“The recent Schools Health and Wellbeing Conference was the first time since the pandemic that staff from schools across the borough have been able to come together and learn more about health and wellbeing support, sharing ideas and hearing from expert speakers.

“The conference was also an opportunity to present the very first Calderdale Healthy Schools Programme’s Gold achievement award to Calder Primary School, in recognition of their work to support pupils, and in particular for their work around emotional wellbeing.”

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, Cllr Adam Wilkinson, said; “Congratulations to Calder Primary School on being the first school in the borough to achieve the Gold standard in the Calderdale Health Schools award programme.

“The programme has been developed in partnership with schools and provides a clear framework to enable them to demonstrate their commitment to young people’s health and learn from each other.

“I’m sure we’ll see many more schools following Calder Primary’s example and achieving Healthy Schools status or building upon their existing bronze and silver rating.”

Headteacher at Calder Primary School, Ms Kate Lambert, said; “We were delighted to be part of the working party to develop the Calderdale Healthy Schools Award. It has given us the opportunity to celebrate all the great work we already do in our school, develop our next steps and share ideas and work with other schools.

“We were thrilled to have achieved Gold for Emotional Health and Wellbeing – and to be the first school to do so. The children are keen to work towards Gold in Physical and Food now. We would encourage all schools to get involved!”