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Schools get high marks for health promotion

A record number of schools have received top marks in a campaign to encourage students to adopt healthier lifestyles.

At this year’s Healthy Schools Awards, Education Minister Nalton Brangman revealed that 25 of the 32 schools that took part in the scheme were awarded the gold medal, achieving 90 percent or higher in a series of assessments. These included promoting a healthy school environment, involving family and community in their efforts and teaching students the value of health education. Schools were also graded on how well they delivered physical education curriculum, nutrition services, counselling and psychological services and for creating an overall healthy school environment.

Presenting the awards yesterday, Mr Brangman said: “Last year, five schools achieved 100 percent. This year, I am extremely pleased to say that 25 schools achieved the Gold Level with 14 of them obtaining 100 percent.”

The top award of the afternoon — the Healthy Schools Award, which is presented to the school with the highest level of compliance to all Healthy Schools Components and Standards, and Bermuda Laws — was won by Saltus Grammar School. CedarBridge Academy was runner-up.

Health Minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, who accompanied Mr Brangman in presenting the awards, told the audience at City Hall: “We know that schools have an extraordinary challenge.

“From preschool to high school, schools are involved in a child’s entire developmental lifespan. Although schools are charged with delivering their curricula, they also realise that healthy children often make better students who are able to achieve more in their lives. In the face of constant social change, on any given day, schools expose their students to a variety of experiences because they understand that students should be taught across a broad spectrum of development to help them establish lifelong habits to become viable and healthy members of our society.

“In April and May I had the opportunity to attend two Healthy Schools Assessments with the Healthy Schools Coordinator. I was very impressed with how seriously each school took its assessment and provided the requested information with little to no effort. The school team seemed proud to show the assessor just how healthy their school was.

“Today, we are gathered to celebrate and recognise schools for their efforts at consistently promoting health to their students, staff and communities.”

Ms Gordon-Pamplin said that Government was introducing a series of measures to combat obesity among the young, including the introduction of more activities during the school day, policies to ensure healthy eating and “getting rid of sugary drinks”.

Presenting the overall award to Saltus principal Ted Staunton, Ms Gordon-Pamplin said: “This recipient understands that school achievement is largely dependent on students maintaining good health and that school activities can be divided through the lens of the eight, interrelated Healthy Schools’ components into two broad categories: Academics and ‘Other’ — with ‘other’ being health.

“This school understands that Healthy Schools is not an ‘extra’, but should be an action that happens naturally every day in virtually every school activity as a part of the school’s overall culture.”

RESULTS (in ascending order):

BRONZE LEVEL (70 — 79.9 percent): Clara Mohammed.

SILVER LEVEL (80 — 89.9 percent): Mount Saint Agnes Academy, Sandys Secondary Middle School, Elliot Primary, West Pembroke Primary, Prospect Primary, St. George’s Preparatory.

GOLD LEVEL (90 — 100 percent): Whitney Institute Middle School, West End Primary, Dellwood Middle School, Dalton E Tucker Primary, Francis Patton Primary, Clearwater Middle School, East End Primary, Paget Primary, Purvis Primary, Northlands Primary, TN Tatem Middle School, Bermuda Institute, Port Royal Primary, Heron Bay Primary, Gilbert Institute, Victor Scott Primary, Dame Marjorie Bean Hope Academy, St. David’s Primary, Somerset Primary, The Berkeley Institute, Bermuda High School for Girls, Harrington Sound Primary, Somersfield Academy, CedarBridge Academy, Saltus Grammar School.

Top marks: Education Minister Nalton Brangman (left) presents the healthy Schools top award to Saltus Grammar principal Ted Staunton.

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Published June 13, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 12, 2013 at 11:49 pm)

Schools get high marks for health promotion

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