Introduction to Healthy Schools Plus

Parent and Community Engagement

Health and Wellbeing (HWB) completely transcends the school curriculum and is central to how we live our lives. Although developing the knowledge in children as to what constitutes good HWB is desirable, without that knowledge being applied in a practical sense in the way we go about our day to day business, then the state of our future generation’s health will not improve as we had hoped. There is more to be done then in terms of educating whole families, as well as our young people, as to how to improve through-

  • Healthy Eating
  • Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport
  • Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Partnership Engagement Guide

Within the three HWB domains aforementioned, already there is a wealth of curricular and extra-curricular activities that can be delivered. In addition, robust partnership work can be achieved between service providers and Education and with families at the heart. The link to the “How to ….Guide to Parent Partnership Engagement” outlines a process through which targeted inter-disciplinary forward planning can be achieved to effectively meet the specific HWB needs of individuals within individual establishments and families within any given locale.

Noteworthy Projects

The needs of any population though are never static and so there is still plenty of room for creativity. Two current projects of significant importance, worthy of mention, are-

  • Healthy Buddies
    Senior students from the local high school are employed through Voluntary Action Lanarkshire Schemes such as the ‘Saltire Award’ Community Involvement to work with agencies such as Active Sports Coordinators or Leisure personnel to deliver sports activities involving parents and children. In addition, seniors may also complete a placement within cluster primaries to assist with the delivery of healthy eating curriculum inserts and/ or lessons surrounding healthy life choices. Given that the senior students involved are part of the same community, this lends itself to enhanced interconnectedness in which local people take a real pride.
  • Big Chef, Little Chef
    Nutritionists from the ‘Lanarkshire Community Food and Health Partnership’ provide cookery lessons for children in Early Years assisted by their parents or a family member. The lessons follow healthy eating recipes and involve the children using a number of practical cooking skills. The lessons are designed to develop the children’s knowledge of healthy foods and introduce them to a variety of food types. These recipes can be taken away and replicated easily at home. The whole experience for parent and child is fun-filled and memorable.

Healthy Schools Plus Superheroes

Home School Link Letters

The Scottish Government are very keen to support parental involvement in children’s learning.

‘Parents are the first and ongoing educators of their children and, as such, should receive information and support to help develop their child’s learning at home, in the community and at school.’

Healthy Schools Plus aims to help schools involve parents and carers and enable ongoing, two-way communication between home and school by the use of Home School link letters.

As the schools work through the Healthy Schools Framework, individual schools are able to add their own information to these letters about what is happening in the community and what is happening in school once a month. Age and stage appropriate suggestions for active and engaging homework tasks have already been added.

These letters can be sent home with the children, or uploaded to the school website.

Partnerships

Teachers know the enormous benefits that children gain by working with another person or agency on many aspects of Health and wellbeing education. However, informed planning is essential if the work is to be fully effective and complies with the ethos and aims of Curriculum for Excellence.

This ready reckoner tool is intended for the use of Head Teachers, Health and Wellbeing co-ordinators, other school staff and agencies involved, or seeking to be involved, in Health and Wellbeing education within a school. It is a checklist and some guidance around key questions and things to be considered whilst the planning meetings are taking place.