New Road Primary School in Sowerby Bridge, Calderdale, has earned the highest accolade in the Calderdale Healthy Schools award programme, solidifying its position as a leader in promoting the health and well-being of students, staff, families, and the broader school community.

The school has excelled across all categories of the Calderdale Healthy Schools award programme, showcasing remarkable dedication to mental and emotional well-being, physical activity, and food and nutrition. Notably, New Road Primary School has become the inaugural institution to clinch Gold level awards in all three criteria, setting a new standard for health initiatives in the borough.

Calderdale Council, recognizing this extraordinary accomplishment, has introduced a new ‘Diamond’ status reserved for schools that demonstrate excellence in every Healthy School category. New Road Primary School was presented with a special Diamond award by the Council’s Director of Public Health, Debs Harkins, acknowledging the school’s pioneering efforts.

The school’s noteworthy initiatives include a weekly family fitness session fostering physical activity among young people and their parents, daily active lessons, and a unique program where pupils cultivate, prepare, and consume their own produce. A dedicated Learning Mentor not only supports students but also addresses the needs of parents and caregivers, while the school actively disseminates information about community initiatives such as food discounts and locally run free services like holiday clubs and activities.

To earn these prestigious awards, the school provided compelling evidence linking curriculum learning to its commitment to a well-rounded education focusing on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and making informed choices.

The school’s ethos is reinforced by visual displays throughout the premises, including a wall in the school hall adorned with photos showcasing pupils, parents, and staff engaging in physical activities outside school hours. Pupils articulate confidently and knowledgeably about healthy and active living, while the staff exhibit a genuine passion for guiding students towards making healthy choices.

Headteacher at New Road Primary School, Sharon Harwood, said

“I’m extremely proud of our achievement of being awarded the Healthy Schools status at New Road, especially as the first school in Calderdale to receive the Diamond level.

“Reaching this high standard is a clear reflection of the commitment and dedication of the whole school community working together. Our staff are continually implementing unique and creative initiatives that our children and families embrace eagerly.

“Promoting positive attitudes and encouraging healthy behaviours is not just a priority for our children to follow whilst they attend primary school, our aim is to instill these choices so our children understand the importance of maintaining them into their adult lives.”

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Cllr Tim Swift, said:

“New Road Primary school has really gone above and beyond to demonstrate their commitment to the Healthy Schools programme, supporting pupils, staff and the wider school family to be healthy and active and embedding wellbeing support and an understanding of nutrition into the school’s curriculum.

“Their efforts were so impressive we’ve created a whole new tier for the programme, so the school now holds Diamond status – an incredible achievement, of which the school should be very proud.”

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, Cllr Adam Wilkinson, said:

“It’s really great to hear about the creative and varied initiatives implemented at New Road School and how they’re helping to shape the health and wellbeing of the whole school community.

“It’s especially inspiring to hear how the pupils themselves speak knowledgeably about the importance of living healthy, active lives and how they’re encouraged to share their favourite ways to keep active, inspiring others to make healthy choices.”