Go For Your Life

Our school implements the State Government initiative - Kids - 'Go For Your Life' Award program to create a healthier Victoria, in which every child can enjoy the benefits of healthy eating and physical activity.  Our school recognises that, outside the home, schools are an important place where children learn to develop regular healthy eating and physical activity routines. The GFYL Award Program provides our school with recognition, support and a simple guide to creating a healthier school environment. We encourage all staff, parents and students to get involved in the program. More information will be provided about the program's six key healthy lifestyle messages. 

Our Journey to become a Go For Your Life School

10 years ago we started a process that became a practical, real and positive way to encourage healthy eating, teach waste minimisation and embed active environmental behaviours in our school culture and encourage families to actively employ them in the home.  At this time we were accredited as a 5 Star Sustainable School.  With a focus on sustainability we incorporated Health and Nutrition into the four modules: waste, water, energy and biodiversity.  We gained accreditation in the Healthy Eating Schools program, provided by Nutrition Australia.  To promote action and change within the school, incorporating nutrition studies across different learning areas we joined the Go For your Life program as a logical progression.   The focus of the program was a school wide approach where we live the values, embed behaviours, sustain practices and achieve outcomes – educational, environmental, social and economic.  Our Healthy Eating platform challenged and engaged teachers and students to grow as passionate learners and leaders who are connected and motivated, demonstrating practical change to school operations and life long behavioural change in using resources more wisely.  The GFYL Award Program provided our school with recognition, support and a simple guide to creating a healthier school environment. We encouraged all staff, parents and students to get involved in the program.

The aim of our approach to the GFYL program is to:

-  Foster in students an understanding of healthy eating practices and sustainability.

- Build students understanding of the relationship between quality of life and quality of the environment.

- Develop in students the knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and commitment to initiate individual and collective responses that are good healthy eating practices.

- Foster in students an appreciation of the power of people, in a school and in the community, to affect our school environment and how they can individually improve it.

- Develop students understanding of the processes and actions needed to achieve healthier eating  and motivate students to become educators in their own home, adopting healthy eating practices as a family.

As a School wide approach we have developed Classroom Expectations and Language:

Incorporate initiatives aligned to embedding active healthy eating behaviours into our daily curriculum delivery and units of learning

Support communication about and provision of nutritional foods for students.

In the classroom we have developed Classroom Expectations and Language: 

Encourage reduction of rubbish

Encourage reusable / sealable containers to be used for food

Encourage bulk items in containers rather than little packets

Blacktubs placed outside classrooms for containers

All containers to be labelled with names

No wrappers to be taken outside

All food to be finished in classroom zone

Lunch order wrappers and other wrappers all to be taken home

Fruit and some food scraps into specified tubs – to be emptied daily – washed out weekly WORM FARMS/COMPOST

In the home we have supported and promoted Household Expectations and Language: 

Encourage reduction of wrappers

To provide reusable containers

Encourage bulk items bought instead of individual wrapping and portions brought to school in containers

Label all containers – Encourage students to be responsible for them

If dairy products are sent to school, provide chilled packs to keep food at appropriate room temperature

Expect wrappers to be taken back home, including lunch order material

Read Rubbish Free Policy items in the Newsletter or on the website

Great ideas for Healthy Lunch Boxes

For the past 8 year our students have been using plastic lunch boxes and drink bottles at school. Always looking for great ideas for preparing and packing healthy foods we regularly communicate great lunch box ideas to our students and parents . Children bring their food in their school bag. The daily routine begins with a fruit and vegie snack at 10.00am.  They eat while they work.  They hydrate using their drink bottle at anytime during the day.  At recess (11.00 am) they can take something outside to eat just before they run around.  We recommend they take food out of its wrapper which is put straight back in their lunchbox. Snacks like muesli bars and crackers are sent to school in a container, without wrapping. Students only take their lunchboxes outside with them if needed, and put them in a tub that sits outside their classroom when they have finished. Around 12.30 pm some children have another piece of fruit or snack while they work before their lunch eating time commencing 1.30 pm - 1.40 pm. At lunch, students who have not finished when the bell goes take their lunchboxes out with them and put them in their class tub when they have finished.  The class usually eat inside for this 10 minute period before going out for 'big play'.  

Communication Strategies:

Students take the lead. A key feature of our success is the active involvement in students in the life of the school.  Student leadership opportunities are offered at all levels of the school to engage students and give them the chance to succeed and lead. Students are learning to ‘live’ both environmental and healthy eating practices in both in the classroom and the school grounds.  In the classroom children learn to think and do, every day, every play.  The enthusiasm, passion, care and commitment of students is acknowledged by feedback from parents who openly say that leadership opportunities have  been the best thing for them. The children’s knowledge about sustainable environmental and health practices at school and home are also becoming evident and the children are ‘living the behaviours’ and are facing the challenges ‘head on’.   Over time I have watched many students engeage and connect as they learn how to become  team leaders and complete small projects. 

It may be relatively easy for leaders to guide and support others, but being so inexperienced, most of our students have not been ready forto commit to the challenge of both hard and enduring tasks that may not suit their needs. For instance, “You can’t all do the fun stuff” as someone has got to do many laborious setting up jobs.  And you cant just ‘run off when you’re sick of it’ have been some of the triggers for argument.  But what has taken place over time, is wonderful and real ‘learning’ for these children. Through experience they are learning how set targets and how to co operate to achieve their goals.  Students have persisted to explain, bring others on board and maintain team cohesiveness when things go wrong and when mistakes are made.  When our Healthy Eating Coordinators (teachers) have discovered that tasks have not been prepared or completedcorrectly, it is the team leaders who firstly accepts that the group need to rectify the problems and this is just one ofstrengths the children develop.  I find that interested and committed class leaders inspire Prep to year two children to join in and help. 

Parent and family engagement:  Community partnerships enrich the school program bringing valuable resources, expertise and support; and link the school program to other community initiatives. Community partnerships enable students to engage with local services and lead the development of communication skills.  Families in our school are interested in the GFYL program. For example, results of our research e.g. current costs of waste disposal and packaging. Results of resource changes and savings. As we monitor the use of the resource we are targeting, report back to parents any changes e.g. we have reduced x to save $xxSimple tips for parents to introduce healthy eating practices at homeDescriptions of some of the activities the students are doing.

Professional development of staff and parents:  Staff actively takes part in professional learning activities to develop and build expertise in nutritional health areas related to our whole school programs.  We use web site content and resource kits to support knowledge for learning.

 

Our school web site:  A vital mechanism that communicates readily accessible and up to date information about events happening in our school.   Since becoming a Sustainable School, we realised that we needed to store a massive amount of information and make it accessible to teachers, students and parents.  We developed a site map that indicates past achievement, current and future projects and replicated it for each module of the program.  We mirrored this format for the GFYL program with the six modules of the award program.  Additionally we are able to add photos, text, power points and movies at any time and link these pages to other sections of our web site and our school newsletter.  We consistently average more than 1000 hits per month from users and our information is regularly available for other schools and used as a resource bank.  Staff teams and students produce pages for the site on an ongoing basis.  Reliability, consistency of use and ‘student input’ now attracts ourschool community to use it each week. 

Newsletter articles: Families download the weekly school newsletter from our web site.  What’s happening this week is the focus of the content and links back to our photo gallery and news updates on the web site are included as links.

Incursions, excursions and assembly performances:  GFYL healthy eating experiences are promoted and experienced via school assembly performances and presenters during incursions and excursions. 

 

Photo and article opportunities with local newspapers: Proactive marketing and communication of wonderful achievements of the students in classes and unit teams are a well oiled feature of our promotional strategies.  The children demonstrate great pride in their work and so they should.  Student teams are learning to be journalists and ICT stars by producing their own scripts and cut and paste photos and movies using itunes, imovie etc.  These skills are taught in ICT coaching sessions in our school lab.  Children start developing multimedia skills from year Prep and by year 4 they are able to produce quality presentations.

Alignment and support with the Nillumbik Shire Council and local politicians:  Constructive and aligned relationship are regularly established and maintained with leaders our local community.  Business alliances are always being formed to support and enhance our programs and improve our facility infrastructure/

 

Summary of Healthy Eating Practice:

We have fruit and vegetable breaks in class, use water fountains and plastic bottles for classrooms (hydration program) and include breakfast activities as special events.

We have vegetable gardens and use our green house to grow herbs.  Orchard areas have recently been planted with stone and citrus fruits.

Student environmental leaders are assigned key responsibilities in daily and active sustainable actions.

Our school web site has a section on Healthy Eating Schools and the Go For Your Life program. There are displays in the atrium promoting the Good Food Guide and healthy lunch boxes. To minimise waste and promote recycling we introduced and encourage children not to bring packaging in their lunch boxes. The school is committed to healthy fundraising ideas.

Rubbish Free Schools Initiative:

ENPS operates as a Rubbish Free School. This is a practical, real and positive way to encourage healthy eating and teach waste minimisation. Students are encouraged to bring “Nude Food” to school… that is, food without packaging! There are many types of lunchboxes that support this program. The waste generated from student lunches is disposed of in the following way:

Food scraps – sent to the worm farms

All other waste are put back into the students’ lunchboxes and taken home

At recess, food is taken out of its wrapper which is put straight back in the student’s lunchbox. Snacks like muesli bars and crackers are sent to school in a container, without wrapping. Students only take their lunchboxes outside with them if needed, and put them in a tub that sits outside their classroom when they have finished. At lunch, students who have not finished when the bell goes take their lunchboxes out with them and put them in their class tub when they have finished.

 

Healthy Fruitz

In accordance with the Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia, children are encouraged to:

Eat plenty of vegetables, ;legumes and fruitEat plenty of cereals, preferably wholegrainInclude lean meat, fish, poultry Include milk, yoghurt, cheese (reduced fat varieties should be encouraged for older children) Choose water as a drink.

It is recommended that young children consume at least one serve of fruit and 2 serves of vegetables every day.  For optimal health, intake would be 2 and 5 serves respectively. Free Fruit Fridays provides students with one serve of either fruit of vegetables. This initiative plays an important role in creating a school culture of healthy eating and influence good food choices for young children.

 

Educational and Social

Happier students better able to work with others and supportive of each other

Numerous opportunities to achieve learning outcomes across many curriculum areas

Schools really caters for a diversity of learning styles

Leadership by students as well as teachers

Students and staff are empowered to work on meaningful real-world problems and outcomes

Collaboration and teamwork

Partnerships with the community

Improved staff and student morale

Increased pride and self-esteem

Publicity for the school

Group sharing their project work. 

Environmental

Reduced resource consumption

Reduced greenhouse gas emissions

Increased Healthy eating practices demonstrated

Influences healthier living and sustainable family behaviour at home.

Cleaner, more attractive school grounds that students take pride in.

Economic

Cost savings from reduced consumption

Income from grants and prizes supporting and recognising healthy eating projects

Income from entrepreneurial health projects, for example selling products made from recycled materials and quality produce

Here are some relevant Healthy EATING school policies:

Teacher and student checking work. 

Other great links:

For Kids:

For Teachers:

For Parents: