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Healthy Schools Award Case Studies

On this page you will find examples of case studies completed by Healthy Schools Award holders, these case studies should give you a better understanding of what is expected of a school wishing to gain Healthy Schools status, just click on the name of the school to bring up their case study. 

In addition to these case studies you may also find our 'How to write a case study - top tips' document helpful.

Emotional Health and Wellbeing

Anonymous Case Study

Focus: This school decided to encompass the health and wellbeing of everyone in their school environment – including staff and students.

Actions taken: The school became ‘mental health aware’. A series of topics around emotional health were covered, with students able to understand more about their feelings and how to manage them. The school decided that focusing on staff wellbeing should be just as important, and so this formed a key part of their work too.

Impact: Staff feel much more confident to support the emotional health and wellbeing of the students in school, knowing how to support them and where to go to for further help. Students understand and can cope with a range of emotions which has also helped to forge healthy relationships in school. Staff have a designated Staff Wellbeing Champion, have a greater sense of team spirit and reducing stress has become a real focus. 

Budehaven Community School

Budehaven recognised that children and young people had to travel great distances to access health and emotional well-being services in other towns, such as Launceston (40 mile round trip) and Barnstaple (70 mile round trip). This ultimately had an impact upon the children’s and young people’s education and family finances. Therefore there was an identifiable need, to establish a school based integrated health centre (IHC) at Budehaven, to ensure children and young people , aged 0-18 years, could access appropriate confidential health and emotional well-being services, within their local area. 

A successful bid was made to The Duchy Health Charity, for Budehaven to receive funding of £250,000 in order to set up and run an IHC for a three year pilot project.  The bid was successful as Budehaven were able to prove that children and young people within their catchment area were living in an area of deprivation, which was a requirement. The bid was made by the Budehaven Headteacher, the Designated Safeguarding Lead and students.  A bungalow on school site was subsequently converted and extended into The Haven IHC. 

In the academic year 2015-2016, the Haven received more than 8,000 visit, during term-time.  In total, more than 40,000 visits by children, young people, parents, carers and members of the public have been recorded since March 2010.  Students represent 80% of their service users whereas pre-school and primary school children, parents’, carers and members of the public make up the remaining 20% of service users.

Cape Cornwall School

We decided to focus on relationships education as our focus, as there was some concern about the way some of our students relate to each other and others in their families and the community. This was something that had particularly been noticed by staff, especially pastoral staff. Year 9 seemed to be a particular concern, so it was decided to start by focussing on them, and to work on this area during their PHSE lessons. The hope was that by the end of a module of work based on relationships education, that they would have a better understanding of what makes a good relationship.

Lanner School 

At Lanner School our chosen area of focus was Wellbeing. Staff morale was low as a result of the pressures that have been put on the teaching profession. It was felt that this was having a negative impact across the school on both adults and children.

Lewannick Community Primary School

Lewannick chose to introduce the THRIVE programme to their school in order to help their whole school community, not just those pupils who needed the extra support. By taking a whole school approach to emotional health and wellbeing, ‘everybody thrives’. This area was chosen due to the ever increasing sizes of classes and the increased number of pupils needing extra support to optimise their development and wellbeing.

Newquay Tretherras

Focus: Linking health and wellbeing across the school environment, with staff and students knowing where to go for help

Actions taken: Created an integrated health centre (The Wave) on the school site to encompass health, wellbeing and learning support. Students have access to a full range of support and services, outside agencies work with young people here and health and wellbeing is very much embedded in the school environment.

Impact: A range of support is readily available for students across the year groups, all students are introduced to the health centre as part of their transition and feel comfortable in accessing the help they may need throughout their time at Tretherras. Staff feel more supported, knowing how to signpost students to appropriate help, and parents are also able to access advice and services too. 

Marlborough School (Overview, Ethos and Environment, Student Voice)

Marlborough School embodies an ethos of democracy through the structure of its School Parliament, of which EVERY child is a member.  This is designed to encourage everyone to express their opinions and involve them in making decisions, highlighting how individual voice matters and the children move on in their education with confidence and a strong sense of their responsibility and the belief that they can make a difference. Read about how they ALL transformed their outdoor space and school kitchen. 

Mithian School

“For several years the end of year survey by parents and children had placed improving the outside space as top of their wish list and we felt that we were now in a position to improve this area of our school.

We had researched the many benefits of using outside learning spaces and wanted our children to have access to this type of learning environment. The Natural Connection Project reported an increase in engagement and academic progress, improved mental well -being, improvement in behaviour and better physicality. All things that we would like our children to have access to. Many other studies have also reported the benefits of learning outside the classroom.”


St Meriadoc CE Nursery and Infant Academy introduced a set of characters to promote the school values, including Percy Perseverance, Rufus Respect and Betsy Believe. The children could all name these characters and encouraged each other to be like the characters in both the classroom and the playground. The staff have recognised an improved attitude to their work, particularly when tackling new challenges or persevering when they find things tricky.  The School Council were key in delivering the message in the playground and encouraging and recognising when they see others being respectful.

Treverbyn Academy

“Aspire decided that all of the schools in our Academy Trust needed to focus on staff wellbeing. This was particularly pertinent within our school due to plenty of pressure from Ofsted visits, reported stress from staff and levels of sickness amongst staff. The theory behind this decision was that having happy staff equates to having happy children. On Aspire’s (formerly The Cornwall Academy Trust) website is a mission statement regarding this:

“At the heart of a successful organisation there will be mindful Health and Wellbeing. We are all responsible for creating an organisation that promotes positive health and wellbeing strategies.”

Trewirgie Infants and Nursery School

Trewirgie Infants’ and Nursery School felt that poor Emotional Health and Wellbeing and low self-esteem was meaning that some children were not reaching their full potential in school. They integrated EHWB into everything they do, up-skilling all staff through a variety of training opportunities, emphasising staff wellbeing and working on both a Whole School Approach and intervention basis for the children. They embraced ReSET with whole school staff training and targeted interventions which have resulted in the children displaying raised levels of confidence. 

Healthy Eating

Fourlanesend Primary School

Fourlanesend School found that pupils were not using the salad bar at lunch and that the children were bringing in unhealthy snacks. They decided to extend the provision of free fruit and veg snacks to all children through the school, not just reception and KS1. They appointed Year 5/6 pupils to be fruit monitors and ensure that all student had access to the fruit bowl at break. This has also encouraged pupils to try different fruit and veg at lunch time and even asking for it at home. 


Mevagissey School chose a focus

To promote healthy lifestyle choices; improving concentration and supporting children’s long term health and life expectancy.

To look at the Eat well plate and make sure the children are eating a balanced diet and eating snacks from the green section.

Nansloe Academy

Focus: Healthier eating and drinking for all in the school community, including packed lunches

Actions taken: staff training; assemblies; cooking club; family activity events;

Impact: raised awareness &  knowledge within school community;improved packed lunches; lunchtime supervisors pro-active; more fruit provided in school, and consumed by pupils; children requesting healthier options at home; less playground litter; more composting of fruit/veg waste

St.Erme with Trispen Community Primary School

At St Erme with Trispen School there are many aspects of Healthy School practice securely embedded.   As a previously validated healthy school, the health and well-being of their pupils is central to their achievement, their physical health, their mental health and ultimately their life chances.  Take a look at their case study on morning school readiness to find out more about their work.

Physical Activity

Gulval Primary School

Focus: Increased physical activity of the whole school community at lunchtime (staff and pupils)

Actions taken: two 1km routes around school grounds identified (one dry weather, one wet weather); last ten minutes of lunch break allocated for ‘K-a-Day’; everyone walks.

Impact: High levels of exemplary behaviour and calm attitude when re-entering the learning environment; Children report a positive attitude to the walk and are building cross-class links; whole school walking, talking and interacting in a calm and active manner; opportunity for staff to de-compress, get out and build/continue relationships throughout the school; all in school have walked a ‘K-a-Day’ every day for an academic year

Mawnan C of E Primary School

This lovely village school recognised that the PE provision in school was not quite how they would like it to be.  They highlighted the importance of valuing teamwork, cooperation and social skills and chose Real PE as a vehicle for this work.

Mithian School

“For several years the end of year survey by parents and children had placed improving the outside space as top of their wish list and we felt that we were now in a position to improve this area of our school.

We had researched the many benefits of using outside learning spaces and wanted our children to have access to this type of learning environment. The Natural Connection Project reported an increase in engagement and academic progress, improved mental well -being, improvement in behaviour and better physicality. All things that we would like our children to have access to. Many other studies have also reported the benefits of learning outside the classroom.”

Richard Lander School

Richard Lander School is a Specialist Technology College, with specialist curriculum areas in: Science, Maths, Information Communication Technology and Design Technology.  Their case study for Healthy Schools 2017 focuses on the importance of working with girls to understand the drop-off in physical activity levels, and what they did about that at RLS. 

Warbstow Community Primary School

Warbstow’s focus was to improve children’s fitness and wellbeing by providing a morning sports club so that the children could exercise before school, meaning they were ready for learning.  Warbstow identified this need following requests from parents made over a number of years for a ‘Breakfast Club’. These requests came through the consultation for the school development plan meetings and also through the parent survey. The request was made over a number of years however; there weren’t enough parents interested to make the club financially viable particularly if staff were also to prepare food. Following the introduction of the Governments sports Funding the staff and governors decided to start a club that could provide safe and exciting child care and also be part of our whole school aim to provide a wide variety of sport and fitness opportunities for all pupils.

The Sports Club would also provide before school care for working families.

Warbstow began running the Sports Club in September 2014 and while there was an initial high uptake the numbers soon dwindled and the small charge that the school charged for the club was not covering the cost of hiring Budehaven Leisure to run it.  For this club to reach the children that needed it, particularly those with physical difficulties and those in receipt of pupil premium, a new strategic plan needed to be implemented. 

The school needed to find a way to make the club sustainable and reach a greater number of children, in particular those with physical difficulties and those in receipt of pupil premium.  The school decided to tackle this in two ways:

  •          All children in receipt of the Pupil Premium grant were given a termly free pass for the Sports Club
  •          All children on the SEN Register for physical needs were also given a free pass. 

The club was immediately extremely popular with 17 children attending regularly (this had previously been about 7 children per session).  Within two weeks we began running the club on an extra day (Tuesday and Thursday) and all children immediately began to attend both sessions.  The children all really enjoy the club and there is fantastic interaction between all the children who attend, with the older children supporting the younger pre-school children.  The club is inclusive in that children with special needs are able to take part in all the activities along with the other children.  



Carrick APA 

“Students approached staff expressing their concerns of the levels of anxiety that they present with when they need a cigarette. There was a recognition from the students themselves that their behaviour, and levels of fitness, were being affected by the addiction to nicotine. Students recognised a deterioration in their behaviour and ability to focus and concentration. Students realised the progressive nature of their behavioural actions due to nicotine withdrawal. They were able to verbalise how the frustrations grew from controlled lack of focus to pacing into rage and outbursts of anger through physical and verbal abuse of themselves, others and objects around them. Students recognised the dangers to themselves and others that this could lead to.

Oak Tree School

Oak Tree School is a school for children and young people aged 8 to 14 who experience social, emotional, communication difficulties and associated challenging behaviours.  They decided to implement some new strategies in order to improve behaviour during unstructured times, alongside introducing healthier snacks 

St Day and Carharrack Community School 

When St Day and Carharrack Community School received the results of their 2016 SHEU survey, it provided the evidence that a significant number of their children were exposed to regular alcohol and smoking in their home environment. This informed their decision to focus on Drugs and Alcohol awareness. They undertook staff training to up-skill the teachers with the delivery of age appropriate schemes of work produced by the Christopher Winter Project. The staff agreed that the resources met their needs and this increased their confidence in delivering them.  They are now happy that the children are better equipped with the knowledge to make informed choices and stay safe when exposed to risk.

Torpoint Nursery and Infant School

Torpoint do a lot of work with their School Council and this year chose to re-write their questionnaire to assess the children’s PSHE knowledge and progress, with the input of the 2016-17 School Council. This was originally written the previous year by the 2015-16 School Council  but the school councillors visited each school in class to discuss the questions with the rest of the children. The children then completed the questionnaire and this was analysed by the teachers to set targets for PSHE for each year group. This allows for a more robust PSHE curriculum as well as assessing what the children know and don’t know, and seeing the progress made when the questionnaire is repeated at the end of the year. 

Tregolls School 

The school decided to focus on the area of online safety for our case study following an assembly which flagged up gaps in pupils’ knowledge of esafety. We had a visit from our local PSCO officers, and children were unable to answer questions such as: “What do you do if you are worried about something you see online?” with any great confidence. As a result the PE co-ordinator and Computing Leader conducted an esafety survey and found there were indeed gaps in children’s knowledge of how to stay safe online. It was confirmed that a large percentage of children from all age groups were unsure of how to act if they came across dangers or worries online.