Landmark report reveals active lives of York’s children.

New research published by Sport England yesterday, carried out independently by Ipsos MORI, reveals the nation-wide challenge to help children lead more active lives.

Sport England report

In the face of this, the City of York is reported to have higher than average levels of children engaging in sports and physical activity on a daily basis.

The largest ever survey of its kind, Active Lives Children and Young People, has provided comprehensive insight into how children in England are taking part in physical activity both in and out of school. It shows that around 3 million children (43.3%) lead active lives, doing an average of 60 or more minutes of physical activity a day. However, just over 2.3 million children and young people (32.9%) are less active which means they do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day.

The report is based on responses from over 130,000 children aged 5-16 in England during the academic year 2017 to 2018. It also reveals that there are significant inequalities based on family income, showing that children from the most affluent families are more active than those in the least affluent families.

The report was released on the same day as the York Council decided to demolish the only, free access, all weather games area in west York. A Sport England request for the facility to be replaced was ignored by planning Councillors

For York, the report shows encouraging results, with the city having a higher percentage of children meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s physical activity guidelines of at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity per day, and lower than average percentages of children falling into the ‘less active’ category (see below).

Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive member for adult social care and health said, “It’s encouraging to see the high percentages of children in York taking up the opportunity to live active lives and benefit their physical health early in life. We still want to see these figures continue to rise as we ensure children of all backgrounds can access opportunities to make healthy life choices and get active.

“Since that academic year we have launched our #MoveMoreYork campaign, encouraging everyone across the city, all ages and abilities, to move more in their everyday life and make healthy choices which can benefit them for the rest of their life.”

Local students invited to join York Youth Council

York Youth Council is inviting young residents, aged 11-18, to help them make a positive change to the lives of people in York.

The role of York Youth Council officer involves attending York Youth Council meetings, contributing to local campaigns, and consultations with City of York Council, as well as other organisations.

YYC members support the annual UK Youth Parliament ‘Make Your Mark’ ballot, one of the largest youth consultations in UK history. The ballot focuses on multiple issues that affect young people aged 11 – 18, including knife crime, mental health and votes at 16.

Members for York Youth Council also meet with elected members and council officers to progress YYC campaigns and priorities, whilst also taking part in other engagement opportunities to promote the work of York Youth Council.

YYC have produced an engaging short animation about the work they do and how you can use your voice to make a difference, available to watch here: https://youtu.be/61sYSBN7kUc

Young people who apply to join should be a resident or student in York, eager to work with others, and have a passion for helping people throughout the city, in particular children and young people.

Lottie, 16, Member of York Youth Council and UK Youth Parliament, said: “I really enjoy being part of York Youth Council, there’s always so much to get involved with. Whether it’s going to speak at events and getting involved with UK Youth Parliament or just brainstorming in small groups about local campaigns, I come away feeling like we’ve done something that could really make a difference.”

Anyone interested in joining York Youth Council should email yorkyouthcouncil@york.gov.uk or call 01904 551782.

For more information on York Youth Council, visit: https://yorkyouthcouncil.com/ or follow them on Twitter: @YorkYouth

New Westfield school kitchen opens

Pupils at Westfield Primary School in York will taste the first meals from their brand new kitchen and dining room this week following an £650,000 refit.

The school kitchen and dining room have undergone an ambitious refurbishment, turning a tired and dysfunctional space into an efficient facility where staff can prepare nutritious lunches for the x pupils.

Cllr Andrew Waller, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for the Environment, City of York Council, said: “This has been a major refurbishment scheme for the school and so pleased that the staff, students and community will now get the opportunity to reap the rewards of all the hard work as a One Planet York project.”

The kitchen and dining refurbishment at Westfield Primary school was to completely change two very large connected spaces that were bowing under the weight of their inefficiency.  The only way to solve the problems was to take a holistic One Planet approach and transform all aspects of these areas from the roofs down.

The result is one where we can say that energy efficiency has been truly optimised:

Westfield school

The leaking roofs over the dining room and kitchen have been entirely recovered;

Insulation has been installed between the roof spaces;

Suspended ceilings now provide warmth along with acoustic cushioning;

Tired single glazing has been replaced by new double glazed windows;

LED lighting has been installed throughout which will make a huge difference to the reduction of electrical output;

The kitchen has been completely re designed, reducing clutter and making the kitchen operation slicker;

New energy efficient kitchen equipment has been installed, reducing cooking times and streamlining food production whilst maintaining the already high standard of nutrition;

A new servery now makes queuing for meals a faster operation whilst allowing the pupils to see the food as it is being served;

School staff now have the space to guide pupils in and out of the queue to new dining tables;

This project has made Westfield Primary’s kitchen and dining areas enviably sustainable for many years to come

Council launches new campaign to recruit foster carers

City of York Council is launching a new campaign to encourage people who have previous experience of working with children or young people to consider becoming foster carers.

Around 100 children and young people are looked after by foster carers at any time in York and the authority is always looking for new carers who can bring different skills to the role.

Councillor Keith Myers, the council’s executive member for education, children and young people, said: “Foster carers do an incredible job to support, care for and nurture some of our most vulnerable young people.

“Many of the young people who come into our care have faced significant challenges in their young lives, which is why people with previous experience of working with children or young people can make such good foster carers.”

Maxine Squire, Interim Corporate Director for Children, Education and Communities, said: “Foster carers are a vital part of our team to support vulnerable young people in York and we’re always looking to recruit people with new skills. If you’re considering a change, and want to put something back into your local community, I’d urge you to consider fostering in York.”

For more information on fostering in York, including the range of support given to foster carers in York, both by their peers and by the local authority, visit www.york.gov.uk/fostering or call 01904 555678

York Council threat on school attendance

With the new school year in full swing, City of York Council is reminding parents of the importance of making sure their children attend all their school sessions.

York’s school attendance rate is high with only 4.4 per cent absence, compared to a national average of 4.7 per cent and a Yorkshire and Humber region average of 4.9per cent.

City of York Council rarely prosecutes parents who don’t ensure their children are at school because it believes that working with schools and parents is the best strategy to maintain high levels of attendance at school.

However, last week a prosecution was heard by York Magistrates against a parent whose child had been marked as absent from over 70 per cent of sessions during a four month period earlier this year.

The child, then in year eight at secondary school, was absent for 87 out of a possible 122 sessions between 29/01/18 and 18/05/18, only two of which were authorised absences.

The parent had previously been issued with a fine due to raised concerns regarding the child’s attendance over a number of school years. The parent also failed to provide the school with acceptable reasons for much of the child’s absence and failed to engage with the schools and local authority to support the child’s education.

At York Magistrates Court, the parent pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the regular attendance at the school of their child; an offence under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996. She was ordered to pay a £20 court surcharge with a conditional six month discharge.

For more information on school attendance click here 

For details of term dates visit your school website or click here 

Planning application for new electricity sub station on Ascot Way causes sparks.

Proposed sub station site

A planning application has just been received by the York Council which would see a sub station built on land next to garages on Ascot Way.

It is causing concern as it would mean that the adjacent rear entrance to Hob Moor school could become very narrow and dark.

There are safety issues that will have to be addressed if this does go ahead (it is required to service the nearby disabled children’s centre project)

The application can be viewed by clicking here 

 

Local children invited to enter York Remembers poetry competition

In honour of the 100th anniversary of the First World War, local children and young people are being encouraged to submit commemorative poems as part of a York Army Museum competition.

The competition is part of ‘York Remembers: Lifting the shadow of the First World War’, a remembrance project co-ordinated by City of York Council, and which schools and individuals aged 7 – 18 can enter.

The poem should be an original piece on First World War remembrance.

Submissions are divided into five age categories; children in school years 3 – 4 and years 5 – 6; and young people in school years 7, 8 and 9, years 10 – 11 and years 12 – 13.

Children’s poems should be no longer than 28 lines, while poems submitted by young people should not exceed 40 lines. Entries can be hand delivered, sent to the York Army Museum by post or emailed to yorkrememberspoetry@gmail.com by 12 noon on Friday 28 September.

Winners will be announced on National Poetry Day, Thursday 4 October at Explore Acomb Library by York poet, Doreen Gurrey, and will receive a book token and certificate in each category.

Allison Freeman, activities officer at York Army Museum, said: ‘We are excited to be hosting the York Remembers poetry competition for children and young people, and looking forward to reading the submitted poems.  We are especially pleased that York poet, Doreen Gurrey, has agreed to judge this competition commemorating the ending of the First World War.’

Good work evident in Westfield as schools return

Road resurfaced, white lines refreshed and a “gateway” painted on the highway near the entrance to Westfield School. School crossing patrol also working efficiently. Good work by the school and ward Councillors

Hardcore has been put down under the access gate to the Westfield Place sports field. Previously the area had been subject to flooding. More good work by the Council

Reported full paper and can banks at Acomb car park at 3:15pm today. Also some fly tipping. Message back from the Council at 3:30pm saying “issue solved” Gasp!

York students congratulated on their GCSE (Key Stage 4) results

Pupils, parents, teachers and children’s services leaders are today (Thursday 23 August) congratulating learners across the city on achieving excellent GCSE results.

The results follow significant changes in the grading system in the last two years, which saw a grading system of 9-1 introduced in English language, English literature and mathematics last year, being rolled out to 20 more subjects this year.

Provisional results show that 70.6% of pupils gained grade 4+ in English and maths which is expected to be above the national average.

Grade 5+ in English and maths are in line with last year’s results, and also expected to be above the national average.

Additionally, the average points score for six core subjects (known as the English Baccalaureate or EBacc) is 4.56 in York this year. Pupils who gain grade 9-4 in English, maths, two science subjects, a modern foreign language and a humanities subject achieve EBacc.