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Melksham Schools aim to make a healthy difference

All schools in the Melksham area have agreed to work together on a new project following recent discussions about local health priorities by Melksham Area Board.

Following an initial training day by Wiltshire Council’s lead on Healthy Schools, Nick Bolton, schools are working with Wiltshire Council on becoming an accredited ‘Healthy School’ during the next year. This involves meeting a range of criteria that ensures schools address key local and national health priorities. Melksham schools already at bronze or silver level are now hoping to achieve silver or gold level by October 2017.

Forest & Sandridge School hosted the first meeting of Melksham schools where they were able to begin developing an action plan, which contains a range of new projects focussed on promoting healthy weight.

These projects aim to increase the number of children eating a healthy meal at lunchtime as well as the number of children taking part in physical activity. Some of these projects involve implementing the daily mile, increasing participation in cycling, school clubs and competitions, as well as promoting active travel to school.   Other targets include increasing the number of children brushing their teeth twice a day as well as children who wash their hands properly.   

Melksham Area Board has decided this is the best way to help schools address local childhood obesity and funding has been provided to enable the schools to meet, plan and share good practice at a series of events during 2016 and 2017. The schools are working closely with Wiltshire Council  to help plan and implement their actions.

Melksham Area Board chairman, Jonathon Seed, said, “We’re really pleased to support this programme and believe it will benefit the health of youngsters in the local area for the long term. This is the perfect example of the work of our area board in identifying an issue and working collaboratively and proactively to make a positive difference”

Headteacher of Forest & Sandridge School, Anna Wilcox, said, “We were really keen to get going with the next stage of our Healthy School Award. We were thrilled to be awarded with the silver award last year as a result of our work on encouraging children to be more active at playtimes which was led by our PSHEE leader, Jen Hale. We have an established team of Play Leaders who are currently handing over the responsibility to a new team themselves.

“The whole project was a great success so we are excited to see the impact of our new project. It’s also a great opportunity to work closely with the other schools in our town and share expertise and ideas. I think we are aiming to be the first area where all schools hold the Healthy School Award. What a great achievement!”