Arataki Primary School has become the first school in the Western Bay of Plenty to gain Bronze Accreditation as part of the Health Promoting Schools programme.
Health Promoting Schools is a programme run by Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service to improve the health and wellbeing of participating school communities in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts. A Health Promoting School focuses on how the social, physical, cultural and spiritual environment of a school can impact on student health, wellbeing and ability to learn effectively. It does this by using a Whole School Approach to identify the health and wellbeing issues that may create barriers to learning and achievement, and develops strategies and actions that address these.
The Bronze Standard Accreditation was presented to the school at assembly on Wednesday 12th December in recognition of their commitment to the health and wellbeing of the Arataki community.
As a Health Promoting School, Arataki Primary School’s actions in areas such as improving mental wellbeing, creating and sustaining a SunSmart environment, improving student nutrition and being more environmentally responsible all contributed towards the achievement of Bronze Accreditation.
“The whole school including staff, parents and children has embraced the concept of being a Health Promoting School and this has further increased our togetherness as a caring Arataki Family,” says Mr Dene Langley, Principal of Arataki Primary School.
A small group of dedicated students, staff and whānau known as ‘The HPS team’ have undertaken much of the work towards accreditation. They were supported throughout their journey by Health Promoting Schools Lead Teacher, Kylie Heath and Health Improvement Advisor, Tiana Hackett from Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the commitment of our Arataki students and the support from staff and parents throughout the journey we have been on,” says Mrs Kylie Heath, Teacher and Health Promoting Schools Leader of Arataki Primary School.
“Schools are an important part of our communities. Involving the whole school community, with particular emphasis on ensuring the voices of our most vulnerable (children) are heard, is key to improving the health and wellbeing of our whānau and future generations. Arataki Primary School has provided an excellent example of what can be achieved by working in partnership with one and other and listening to what the children and whānau have to say. I hope that other schools will follow their lead,” says Tiana Hackett, Health Improvement Advisor.