Strategy in action - healthy schools
A Health Development Agency case study

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Page 5: Strategy

A strategy is a plan designed to implement sets of actions. It is therefore the means by which an organisation's aims and objectives will be met.

The NHSP is the means through which the DfES and the Department of Health is looking to achieve its objectives in terms of creating Healthy Schools and healthier young people.

The strategy involves a two-pronged approach:

  • Improving school children's diet
  • Encouraging more physical exercise.

Pupils need a wholly consistent message in schools. Schools are being encouraged to develop Healthy School policies that include planning the food curriculum for the year and determining how it can be built into all aspects of the curriculum e.g. Food Technology, Science, Citizenship, PE.

The whole school approach covers a range of activities, including:

  • pupils and parents having considerable influence over the food that pupils are offered
  • providing breakfast clubs. Schools providing breakfast should ensure that the food and drink available are consistent with an overall healthy diet
  • offering high quality physical education and school sport and the promotion of physical activity as part of a lifelong healthy lifestyle message. This may include playground games and encouraging pupils to walk or cycle to school
  • easy access to clean drinking water throughout the day
  • healthy tuck shops, with the promotion of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • vending machines that actively promote healthier options
  • attractive dining rooms
  • guidance about packed lunches and school visits
  • school lunches that meet new nutritional standards and which also are attractive to pupils
  • a school curriculum that teaches about nutrition and healthy eating, food storage and hygiene, and also cooking skills
  • displays around the school that promote healthy eating and high standards of hygiene
  • school programmes offering support on drug education, emotional health and wellbeing (including bullying), safety, sex and relationships education.

An example, of a practical step that has been taken to increase awareness of health related issues is the development of Personal Health Guides (PHGs) for children. These will be the foundation of personal health guides for life.

The health guides encourage children and young people to build health into the way they live their lives. In a child's early life, the health guide, linked to and building on the child's health record, will be developed and held by their parents or carers with advice and support from health professionals.

As they grow up, every child will assume responsibility for developing his/her own health goals with help from parents, school staff and health professionals. There will be opportunities to review plans at key transition points, such as starting school, moving to secondary school, or starting work.

Health Development Agency | Strategy in action - healthy schools