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Three schools win happy and healthy awards

Dubai institutions demonstrated practices in support of students’ well-being

  • Dr Abdullah Al Karam presenting Swiss International Scientific School with the Healthy and Happy School Award.Image Credit: Courtesy: KHDA
  • Dr Al Karam awarding GEMS Wellington Academy - Dubai Silicon Oasis for being the most innovative school in impImage Credit: Courtesy: KHDA
  • Dubai English Speaking School is awarded the Star of the Community award for its well-being activities.Image Credit: Courtesy: KHDA
Gulf News

Dubai: Three Dubai schools were on Sunday crowned winners of the Happy and Healthy School (H2) Award that recognises achievements in supporting the health and well-being of their school community.

They were awarded during a ceremony hosted at the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) premises.

The H2 Award is part of new initiatives rolled out by the City Makers’ Sky Blue team comprising representatives from Dubai Education Zone, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Sports Council and KHDA.

Swiss International Scientific School received the award for their school-wide initiatives aimed at improving healthy eating, active living and positive environment. From soft seating in classrooms to creating an organic garden, the school has developed a well-rounded plan for inspiring wellness, organisers said.

The award for most innovative school in implementing health and well-being programmes went to GEMS Wellington Academy — Dubai Silicon Oasis. The school has motivated students to take on the role of healthy eating champions and motivate others around them. Other innovative initiatives at the school include a healthy lifestyle week, and mindfulness and nutrition policy with the involvement of parents.

Meanwhile, Dubai English Speaking School was recognised as Star of the Community for involving students, teachers and parents in their well-being activities. The School of Research Science received a special mention for their submission.

A total of 28 schools applied for the award and an international jury evaluated submissions based on three major criteria — balanced approach, innovation and results.

Eman Al Suwaidi, director of Dubai Model Centre, said: “We appreciate the efforts of the Sky Blue team in improving the well-being of children and looking at new initiatives which can help reduce obesity among children. Honouring the most committed schools is an important step towards creating a conscious generation. We congratulate the winning schools and hope the team succeeds in implementing more initiatives in the future.”

She reiterated the importance of the initiative as an important avenue for developing new services every year.

Dr Abdullah Al Karam, chairman of the board of directors and director-general of KHDA, added: “It’s exciting to see such a big participation from schools and the fact they continue to prioritise healthy living is a clear indicator of positive changes taking place in Dubai’s education system. The awards celebrate the efforts of schools who have successfully prioritised the need to create a positive learning environment.”

Saeed Hareb, secretary-general of Dubai Sports Council, said: “The happiness and health of young children is an important subject and the partnership between government entities to recognise excellence in this field is an important step forward.”

Hareb also congratulated the winning schools and praised their efforts for highlighting good practices.

H2 Award Winners

Swiss International Scientific School

• Organic garden managed by kids and with activities where students pick, prepare and eat their vegetables

• Focus on healthy eating with a balanced menu, portion control and kids involved in cleaning up after they finish their meal

• Soft seating in every classroom and a sensory room and a sleeping room

• Three play breaks

• Yoga as part of after-school activities

• Health check ups

• Sunshine committee to appreciate, reward and plan social activities

Most Innovative School in implementing health and well-being programmes

GEMS Wellington Academy — Dubai Silicon Oasis

• Healthy eating champions (students) that motivate peers

• Detailed nutritional policy prepared with the help of dedicated parents

• Pastoral ambassadors (students) that help mediate in case of conflicts and promote happiness

• Mindfulness

• Systematic positive competition between students (organised in “houses’) to celebrates successes

• Healthy lifestyle week where students make pledges and get rewarded for using bikes, for example

Star of the community

Dubai English Speaking School

Special Mention

The School of Research Science

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