TWO Barry schools have received a prestigious health award, for the second time.

Barry Island and Gladstone primaries have been successfully re-accredited for the National Quality Award of the Welsh Network of Healthy Schools Scheme.

Assessments undertaken at both schools showed they had maintained the excellent standards first reached two years ago and also demonstrated areas in which health promotion work had been further improved.

The schools are the first in the Vale to reach this level of excellence.

The Welsh Network of Healthy Schools Schemes was launched in September 1999 to encourage the development of local healthy school schemes within a national framework.

The National Quality Award represents the highest level that schools can achieve.

Cardiff and Vale Public Health Team organises the scheme across the Vale of Glamorgan, which recognises good practice in food and fitness, mental and emotional health and well being, personal development and relationships, substance use and misuse, environment, safety, and hygiene.

The scheme is funded by the Welsh Government, and is based within Public Health Wales.

Barry Island primary deputy headteacher and lead for healthy schools, Becky Cadman at Barry Island Primary School, and lead for healthy schools, said: “The children have been so enthusiastic about making our school a healthy school, so it really has not been difficult to maintain the standards we reached two years ago.

“Parents are very supportive, and we encourage everyone to view the school with fresh eyes, to continually see ways of making changes that will improve health.”

Acting Deputy Head at Gladstone primary, Helen Reilly, said: “There are so many initiatives going on at Gladstone, and we make sure that promoting health is central to them all. We have a fantastic outside area which the children are continually finding ways of improving.

“We work with the whole school community to do our best to ensure that children are happy, confident and relaxed as they learn, as this is also crucial to good health.”

Senior health promotion specialist at Cardiff and Vale Public Health Team, Catherine Perry said it was important children made healthy choices from an early age, and an environment that encourages this, such as a healthy school, was crucial.

She said: “Putting good health at the centre of everything in a school means that pupils are more likely to grow into healthy adults. Achieving re-accreditation for the National Quality Award reflects the hard work of everyone at both schools.”

Pupils and staff at both schools received plaques, designed by pupils at Barry Island primary.