Why be a Healthy School?

Ofsted Framework

As you will be aware the Ofsted framework now has greater emphasis on personal development, specifically highlighting resilience, confidence and independence of learners. There is also reference to how learners keep themselves mentally and physically healthy. The Cornwall Healthy Schools Award Framework is a progressive tool that schools can use to develop and enhance these aspects of their curriculum.

Visit our award page for more details.

Impact on Learner Attainment 

Public Health England research evidence shows that education and health are closely linked. Therefore, promoting the health and wellbeing of pupils and students within schools and colleges has the potential to improve their educational outcomes and their health and wellbeing outcomes.

Key points from the evidence:

  1. Pupils with better health and wellbeing are likely to achieve better academically.

  2. Effective social and emotional competencies are associated with greater health and wellbeing, and better achievement.

  3. The culture, ethos and environment of a school influences the health and wellbeing of pupils and their readiness to learn.

  4. A positive association exists between academic attainment and physical activity levels of pupils.


Learning social and emotional skills can have a positive impact on pupil attainment

Emotions can support or impede pupils’ learning, their academic engagement, work ethic, commitment, and ultimate school success. A number of specific social and emotional competencies have positive effects on academic achievement:

  • pupils who are confident about their learning and who have a ‘growth mindset’ (they believe their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work) persist when faced with challenges
  • pupils who can set goals, manage stress and organise their school work achieve higher grades
  • pupils who use problem-solving skills to overcome obstacles do better academically


School culture, ethos and environment affects wellbeing and attainment

The physical and social environment in which staff and pupils spend a high proportion of every weekday may have profound effects on their physical, emotional and mental health as well as affecting their attainment. Key evidence:

  • pupils who reported they enjoyed school at age 11 had better attainment at key stage 3, especially for maths
  • pupils who hold positive attitudes about their school at age 14 have higher academic attainment by age 16
  • pupils who have been bullied have lower key stage 1 SAT results
  • pupils who are bullied at age 14 have significantly lower GCSE scores at age 16


Children and young people who are aerobically fit have higher academic scores

The intensity and duration of exercise are both linked to improved academic performance, including GCSE results at age 15. Key evidence:

  • a UK study identified that the amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity pupils engaged with at age 11 had an effect on academic performance across English, maths and science at age 11, 13 and final GCSE exam results
  • pupils engaging in self-development activities (including sport, physical activity) achieved 10-20% higher GCSEs
  • a whole-school approach to healthy school meals, universally implemented for all pupils, has shown improvements in academic attainment at key stages 1 and 2, especially for pupils with lower prior attainment