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Inspection and Advisory Service (HIAS)

Whole school approach

Healthy Schools takes an organisational or whole systems approach with the aim of integrating health and well-being within the ethos, culture, routine life and core business of the school setting. This is called the whole school approach and involves addressing the needs of pupils, staff and the wider community, not only within the curriculum, but across the whole-school and learning environment.

The whole school approach encompasses these nine over-arching areas of school improvement:

  • leadership, management and managing change
  • policy development
  • learning and teaching, curriculum planning and resourcing
  • school culture and environment
  • giving children and young people a voice
  • provision of support services for children and young people
  • staff continuing professional development (CPD) needs, health and wellbeing
  • partnerships with parents/carers and local communities
  • assessing, recording and reporting the achievement of children and young people.

The whole school review template (see Healthy Schools toolkit) is used by schools to self-review their provision for children and young people’s health and well-being. It uses the nine areas of the whole school approach to provide a current picture.

Whole school approach chart Microsoft Word 26kb

A visual model of the whole school approach can be useful as a thinking tool when healthy schools teams are mapping out existing provision and identifying gaps.

Each of the nine areas can be applied to the four themes which are the cornerstones of Healthy Schools work, namely:

  • personal, social and health education (PSHE)

  • healthy eating

  • physical activity

  • emotional health and well-being (EHWB).

If Healthy Schools teams note down their information on the four themes using the whole school approach, they will have generated a rich source of ideas and text which can be helpful in completing the whole school review template.

See Healthy Schools toolkit for details on submitting the whole school review.