ELEVEN schools in the Melksham area which have gone above and beyond to improve the health and wellbeing of their pupils were honoured for their achievement.

The schools recently completed Wiltshire Council’s Healthy Schools Programme and will attend a celebration evening at Manor School to collect a plaque marking their achievement on Wednesday evening.

Forest and Sandridge CofE Primary School was the only school to achieve Gold level, while Seend CofE Primary School was the only school to take silver.

Bronze level awards went Aloeric Primary School; Bowerhill Primary School; Churchfields, The Village School, Atworth; Melksham Oak Community School; River Mead School; Shaw CofE Primary School; St George’s CofE Primary School, Semington; St Mary’s Broughton Gifford Primary School, and The Manor School.

Wiltshire Council Cabinet member for children’s services Cllr Laura Mayes said: “I’m pleased to see so many schools are involved in this important programme which promotes the health and wellbeing of our pupils in exciting ways which inspire the children to be involved.

“I’d like to congratulate all the schools for achieving these awards for their commitment and innovation which has made their programmes a success.”

The Melksham Area Board provided £4,488 towards the project, enabling staff to get local training and support.

Melksham Area Board chairman Jon Hubbard said: “We thought it was important to help fund this work and the schools have used innovative ways to implement this and inspire the children.

“I’m very pleased so many have achieved this level and congratulations to all involved.”

Currently, 73 schools have Wiltshire Healthy Schools Awards at bronze, silver or gold level and 116 schools are taking part to achieve the programme with more signed up to join later this month.

The programme recognises schools that have provided evidence to show how their provision effectively supports the health and wellbeing of their pupils. To achieve an award schools need to meet certain standards based on local and national priorities.

Each Melksham Healthy School has been working on projects encouraging a healthy lifestyle, with a focus on promoting healthy weight.

Working as part of a local cluster has encouraged collaborative working between local schools, sharing of resources and best practice.

This model is now being used by other area boards, to encourage more schools to address local health priorities by becoming Healthy Schools.

The multi-agency group granting the awards includes police, school health nurses, school representatives, Wiltshire & Swindon Sports Partnership and others. The council and agencies support the schools as they work towards the standards.

Further information about Healthy Schools programme can be found at http://www.wiltshirehealthyschools.org/about/