Our school recognises the important connection between a healthy diet and every learner’s ability to learn effectively and achieve a good quality holistic education; commits itself to promote family health through parental involvement and links with wider community; and strives to provide an environment which promotes healthy eating, thus enabling learners and their parents/carers to make informed choices about the food they eat.
- To provide learners with a supportive school environment that encourages a healthy lifestyle and promotes healthy choices in life;
- To help every learner to become more aware of what is a good diet, safety measures, the importance of hygiene and of regular physical exercise;
- To provide communication between the school and home.
- To improve the health of learners, staff and their families by helping to influence eating habits through increasing knowledge and awareness of food-related issues, mainly what constitutes a healthy diet;
- To ensure that learners are well nourished at school and that every learner has access to safe, nutritious food, and a safe, easily available water supply during the school day;
- To present consistent informed messages about healthy eating through school practices.
Links to the National Curriculum Framework (NCF)
One of the Early Years’ Competences, Well-being includes a reference to healthy living:
“…children learn about who they are and what they can do through physical activities which can be used to promote a healthy life.”(Consultation Document 2: Rationale and Components;p.36)
In the Primary Years the Food and Nutrition Education element is related to one of the learning areas of the NCF – Health Education which includes aspects of Home Economics.
“Through Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) children and young people are encouraged to learn about the importance of good health and general well-being.” (Consultation Document 2: Rationale and Components; pp42-43)
Sub-strands of PSHE include aspects of: physical activity and fitness, and food and nutrition (ibid; p.43)
Healthy Eating is delivered within a whole-school approach which may include:
- Topics and Themes
- Aspects of Social Studies, Science, Personal and Social Development Education and other curricular areas
- Story Telling
- Special Performances (e.g. Family Day Concert, occasional special assemblies, in-school promotions)
- Extra-Curricular Activities (e.g. exhibitions, book week, cooking sessions, competitions)
- Pastoral Time (e.g. circle time)
In this regard, the national H.E.L.P document offers excellent guidance for implementing an appropriate approach.
Fruit and Vegetable Scheme
- The school is involved in the National Fruit and Vegetable Scheme which provides a free weekly fruit or vegetable portion.
- A fruit break is allowed soon after delivery to ensure optimum benefits.
- Learners are offered a daily allowance during the first lunch break.
- Parents and Carers provide healthy packed lunches for school.
- Lunches include bread, pasta, rice, fruit, vegetables and yoghurt.
- Sugary drinks, chocolate, biscuits and sweets as well as certain types of sponges and cereal bars are not allowed.
- Fatty and salty foods such as crisps, chicken nuggets, sausages and burgers are not encouraged.
- Birthday cakes brought to school are expected to be without creamy layers or toppings.
- From time to time, the school council organises special occasions such as Healthy Breakfasts, Panina Day, Popcorn Day, Yoghurt Days, Smoothie Days and Fruit Salad Days.
- Other events and outings related to healthy eating are also organised.
- Water consumption is permitted not only during lunchtime but also during lessons especially during times of warm weather. Water is also available during sports activities such as P.E. lessons, sports festivals and fun walks.
- Learners are reminded to wash their hands after going to the toilet and before handling food.
- Informative posters/stickers on washing of hands affixed in bathrooms.
- Informative talks on personal hygiene by Health and Safety teachers to year 1s and year 2s.
As a further support, the school makes use of agencies such as Frott Artna to organise in-school promotions.
- All the kindergarten children are allotted 30minutes daily for organised and free play in the schoolyard.
- The Primary children are allotted two hours weekly for Physical Education.
Leading by example:
Teachers have a key role in influencing pupils’ knowledge, skills and attitudes about food so it is important that they are familiar with healthy eating guidelines.
It is essential that staff members are committed to setting an example in this area.
Dissemination of this policy:
All staff members and school council members will receive a copy of this policy.
Monitoring, Evaluation and Review
The policy and its impact will be monitored, evaluated and reviewed every year and amended as deemed necessary in order to reflect current standards.
Issue Date: June 2012
For more details read: A WHOLE SCHOOL APPROACH TO A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE: HEALTHY EATING AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY POLICY