Simon Marks Primary scoops top health award from London Mayor Sadiq Khan
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Simon Marks Primary scoops top health award from London Mayor Sadiq Khan

The Jewish school based in Hackney was presented with a gold award at a ceremony at City Hall last week

L-R: Simon Marks Primary teacher Syed Gilani, learning mentor Jackie Osborne, with Deputy Mayor for Education and Childcare Joanne McCartney
L-R: Simon Marks Primary teacher Syed Gilani, learning mentor Jackie Osborne, with Deputy Mayor for Education and Childcare Joanne McCartney

Simon Marks Jewish Primary School has scooped up a top health award sponsored by the London Mayor Sadiq Khan this year.

It was the only Jewish primary to have been presented with gold and silver awards this year at a ceremony at City Hall attended by Deputy Mayor for Education and Childcare Joanne McCartney.

The Healthy Schools London, which also offers bronze and silver awards, was launched in 2013 to encourage health and well-being among schoolchildren.

To win the top gold award, schools are encouraged to apply and show they have made changes to engage and help pupils maintain a healthy weight, lifestyle and well-being.

Simon Marks introduced a number of measures to promote health and well-being, including encouraging children to participate in physical activities during break times and introducing salad bars, juices and smoothies to the lunch menu.

Headteacher Gulcan Metin Asdoyuran said: “We are thrilled to be the first and only school in Hackney to receive the GOLD Healthy Schools award. To be recognized for our efforts is wonderful. Health and Wellbeing is very important at Simon Marks Jewish Primary School and it has been wonderful to see all our children and staff enjoying our many initiatives.”

Teacher Syed Gilani, who attended the ceremony with learning mentor Jackie Osborne, congratulated parents, pupil and staff for their efforts throughout the year.

“Simon Marks Jewish Primary School is the only school in Hackney to have achieved the gold award and so it was an extremely proud moment for me and Ms Osborne to receive this reward on behalf of our school. This would not have been possible without the children’s efforts throughout the year, the continuous support from parents as well as all staff. Well done,” he said.

Other Jewish schools have received gold awards in previous years, including Beit Shvidler Primary School in 2016 and Wolfson Hillel Primary School the previous year.

In a statement, McCartney said: “I am extremely proud to be an ambassador for the Healthy Schools London programme and hope Thursday’s event inspires many more schools to sign up to the scheme.

“One of the best parts of my job is visiting schools across the city to see first-hand the fantastic work they are doing to improve the health and wellbeing of young Londoners.

”It’s so important that London’s schools support pupils and their families in taking ownership of their physical and mental health, equipping them with good habits that will serve them well throughout their lives.”

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