Health For Life 2020 – Launch On 24th June

On 24th June 2020, we will be inviting eligible schools to join the Health For Life programme 2020/21.

Keep an eye out on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to see the announcements!

Health for Life is an award winning, evidenced-based programme that can help you and your school to have an effective approach to healthy lifestyles.

The programme focuses on growing food, healthy eating, cooking and physical activity and includes pupils, parents and staff in the process but the benefits are much wider than this including significant impact on wellbeing.

So that we can provide the level of support (which includes training, funding as well as expert advice) we only work with a limited number of schools in each group and we try and recruit school on a geographical basis so that schools can link together. We are gradually moving around the city so that every school will have a chance to join.

How do you want your children to remember their school days?

We’re thinking hard about what we want for our children in education at the moment. And yes, the EIF has given us a huge headache…but for many, it has also thrown a renewed and refreshed focus on the reasons we came into teaching in the first place.

School SLTs are truly considering what they want their children to experience and the types of people they want to send out into society and that’s quite exciting.

They are busy plotting a well sequenced curriculum, yes, but also one that offers memorable and challenging experiences. We want to encourage our children to be wise and resilient, knowledgeable, responsible and curious.

And this is where the Health for Life programme comes in…

Mr Wright (AHT) at St Edmund’s Catholic Primary school said of the Health for Life programme:

“It was an amazing opportunity for the school, the children and the parents. We desperately wanted to make changes to our curriculum but lacked funding for developing the infrastructure and curriculum. The programme allowed us to invest in long neglected areas of the school and curriculum and we haven’t looked back since. The children, teachers and parents have been reinvigorated! The impact at the school has been remarkable.”

So what is Health for Life?

Health for Life in Primary Schools is an award-winning programme, which enables children to gain the skills and knowledge needed to make choices about a healthy lifestyle now and when they are older.

It promotes an exciting and hands on approach to the curriculum, encouraging and supporting schools to teach their children how to grow their own food, tending vegetable plots and learning to nurture and pot on seedlings for example, and cook healthy, nutritious (and delicious) meals which are one step on from the cakes and cookies we might traditionally have made with our children.

Pupils learn correct and safe cutting, peeling and cooking methods and use their skills sensibly and with enjoyment. One school even holds an annual ‘Come Dine With Me’ evening for parents!

We see children, staff and parents engaged with Daily Mile and parents’ ‘running clubs’ and a multitude of creative and fun ways to embrace physical activity into the whole school day too.

Dance ‘boom boxes’…basketballs…one school even bought a set of space hoppers for playtime!

We’ve seen rooftop gardens and Head Gardeners, waterproofs and wellies, polytunnels, irrigation systems and so much more.

What could your school achieve with Health for Life? How creative and inspired can you be?

“The school has gone from strength to strength. The children thoroughly enjoy growing and then cooking with their produce. We have been able to sustain this initiative as the children have also been able to sell the produce they have grown. During our recent Ofsted inspection we achieved a ‘Good’ and the wider curriculum was praised.” S.Barr, HfL lead, Brownmead Academy.

The impact on the over 180 schools who have achieved the Health for Life award is great.

After achieving the Health for Life award, Gill Sparrow, Headteacher at Hillstone Primary School noted it is “a brilliant initiative to be involved in, that I know will lead to sustained improvements in the school…We benefited financially and the grant we received has been used to provide an irrigation system for our vegetable allotment and money towards our teaching kitchen.”

She also recognised the wider, cohesive impact on the whole school.

The lead teacher “has done an amazing job in bringing staff, parents and pupils together, in coming up with ideas and ensuring actions happened. To watch her grow in confidence has been a joy. Although she led on the project, she engaged and enthused other staff such as chef, coach, a senior teacher, gardening club TA’s and the media team.  It felt as if she had the whole school behind her.”

Does this sound like your school’s approach and ethos?

If you encourage simple and real experiences, such as seeing the total joy on a child’s face when they pull up a mystery clump of greenery only to find a carrot on the end, and can see how you can fit this into your curriculum through DT, science, enrichment, history, geography and of course PE lessons throughout the school year, then we can support you in making this something really special.

We offer grant funding of £3500, funded training for staff, and support in engaging your families to help them learn about nutrition, healthy eating, growing food and physical activity.

And if you are feeling that little wobble of doubt and initiative fatigue as you read this, please be assured, Health for Life is very much designed to fit in with your school life for many years to come.

”It’s completely changed the way I think about and plan everything now,” (Rosanna Millns, Hillstone Primary, HfL lead).

The schools that are eligible to join the fantastic Health for Life programme this year will be announced on 24th June via social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) so keep an eye out.

If you are from one of these schools then you will be invited to the online briefing event on Thursday 9th July 3.30-4.30pm.