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Three schools in Dubai have earned recognition as winners of the Happy and Healthy School (H2) Award hosted by the City Makers’ Sky Blue team. Rewarding schools who have made achievements in supporting the health and wellbeing of their school community, the winners were recognised at a ceremony hosted on Sunday.

The H2 award is part of new initiatives rolled out by the Sky Blue team comprising of representatives from Dubai Education Zone, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Sports Council and Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

Swiss International Scientific School received the Healthy and Happy School 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.

The award for most innovative school in implementing health and wellbeing programs 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, mindfulness and nutrition policy with the involvement of parents.

Dubai English Speaking School was recognised as Star of the Community for involving students, teachers and parents in their wellbeing 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 wellbeing 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 ‘sky blue’ team succeeds in implementing more initiatives in the future.”

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

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of KHDA said, “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 Mohammed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council (DSC), 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.

What is the H2 school award?

Dubai is making great strides in ensuring happiness and school health is foundational to the education system. The H2 Award is a collaborative effort by government entities in Dubai (Sky Blue team) coming together as part of the City Makers initiative. Designed by a cross-governmental team to recognise schools that focus on students’ wellbeing and raise awareness about the importance of happiness, schools uploaded videos to showcase their initiatives.

The winning schools
Healthy and Happy School (H2) Award
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
  • 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 wellbeing programs
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 (organized 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
- KHDA Media