How schools kids are designing great new health apps – including one to deal with bullying



Today saw the culmination of three months of hard work for six shortlisted teams from Horbury and Hendal Primary Schools in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, who have been taking part in the health and wellbeing app design competition across the district.  One hundred Year 6 students were originally involved in the project, creating 20 initial concepts that were shortlisted to six with the help of some peer to peer judging and feedback from their Skype in the Classroom mentors and local GPs. The students presented their health app concepts to a panel of ‘dragon’s den’ style judges. The judges included Jo Webster, Chief Executive from NHS Wakefield CCG; Andrew Balchin, Director of Adults Health & Communities at Wakefield Council and Anthony Nneke, UK Schools Business Manager for Microsoft as well as those behind the initial idea for the competition, Dr Chris Jones and Sarah Fatchett from West Wakefield Health & Wellbeing.

With working App titles such as ‘Health Monster’ and ‘Happy Health’ the judges had a tough task deciding on the overall winner, but were unanimous in selecting Horbury Primary School’s ‘Friendship Forever’ as the team to take the title for their anti-bullying App idea.


Winners: ‘Forever Friendship’ – Horbury Primary School – Ellie, Amy, Estella, Charlotte

Dr Chris Jones said at the end of judging “All of the teams had given careful consideration to how their App would allow learning through play to deliver important health messages such as good oral hygiene, eating a healthy balanced diet and exercising daily.” Reflecting on the teams presentations after judging Jo Webster said “If we can capture a fraction of the bravery, creativity and passion that was demonstrated in the teams ideas and presentations today, we will be going a long way in tackling some of the key preventative health issues we have in our district going forward.” Andrew Balchin commented positively saying “I was impressed to hear how all the teams had carried out user testing on their App ideas within their local communities – taking on board feedback on how to improve key elements of their App and ensuring users will continue to return to the App through the use of collecting tokens and sharing scores and milestones through social channels.” Anthony Nneke from Microsoft said: “It has been inspiring to see the young creative minds of the future embrace the application of coding into real life. We are really looking forward to welcoming the winning team to Rare Studios next month for a behind the scenes experience with the digital gaming team.”


Reece from Hendal Primary School said: “At first getting up and doing the presentation was a bit scary but we got better as we went along. We are really proud of what we have achieved. Although we didn’t win, we learnt a lot about coding and what it takes to develop an App and I will definitely be looking to learn more coding in the future.”

Jenni Scott ICT Lead at Horbury Primary School said “We are incredibly proud of all our students today, who have worked very hard and thought carefully about what health apps would most help and interest them. As much as we have all learnt new coding skills through being involved in this competition, more importantly the students have learnt some invaluable life skills too that will stay with them forever.“

“The winning app concept had some unique creative design ideas, and we are looking forward to working with developers now to bring the concept to fruition” outlined Emma Savage, the Project Lead for the Schools App Challenge. “The team had researched their health resources and information well, providing a virtual care navigation that embedded some of West Wakefield’s key service innovations such as the Health Pod, SystmOne and the service directory into their App. “

Follow us on Twitter  @WestWakefield #schoolsappchallenge

 For further information, please contact: Emma Savage Tel: 07780 456328

 Note to editors: West Wakefield Health and Wellbeing is a group of six GP practices based in Chapelthorpe, Horbury, Lupset, Middlestown, Ossett & Sandal, who were awarded £1.4m by the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund (PMCF) to test innovations to make it easier for people to use primary care services. Other initiatives include schemes to give people better physical access to health advice and support such as a health promotion ‘pod’ which will travel around local communities, a new web based directory of services, advisors in GP surgeries to help signpost people to health and social care support and consultations via video link and email.