Many schools in NSW have participated in Live Life Well @ School over the past few years and have demonstrated a commitment to improving teaching and learning related to physical activity and nutrition and have implemented innovative ‘whole of school’ strategies. Some of these initiatives have been captured in case studies.
Case studies for the Live Life Well @ School program enable you discover how other schools have implemented the program. Sharing this information offers schools various ideas and possible ways of how they too could adopt the program to not only benefit their own school, but also the broader community.
Woronora River Public School is working across all aspects of school life – known as a whole-of-school approach – to implement the Live Life Well @ School program.
Students, parents and teachers are all encouraged to have a say in school decision making, which has helped to enhance the program and foster a sense of community within the school.
The school recognises that it is important to engage students, staff and parents because children’s health is strongly influenced by what happens at home, in the family and in the wider community.
One of the first steps taken by Woronora River Public School to implement the Live Life Well @ School program was to survey parents and students about their attitudes to nutrition and their eating habits. The questions focused on breakfast eating, lunchbox contents, fruit and vegetable intake and snack foods and drinks.
The results of the survey contributed towards the development of a statement of priorities to improve knowledge and understanding of healthy nutrition and fundamental movement skills among students, parents and staff.
Follow up surveys will help assess changes in knowledge and eating habits over time.
To help bring about positive change, Woronora River Public School has:
Woronora River Public School has also developed links with the South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra Health Service to help support the implementation of the Live Life Well @ School program.
Broderick Gillawarna School, located in Revesby in Sydney’s western suburbs, caters for children aged from four to 18 years who have disabilities.
The nutrition and overall well-being of students have always been primary concerns for their parents, guardians and the school community.
Maria Allerdice, a teacher and member of the Live Life Well @ School team explains that “it is quite challenging trying to change the eating habits and physical activity of the children, but ever since the introduction of this program, there have been plenty of opportunities to tap into much needed resources and support, as well as funding”.
Broderick Gillawarna School has received professional support from the Sydney South West Area Health Service and has invited parents to presentations on the importance of a healthy lunchbox.
In order to adopt one of the major components of Live Life Well @ School program – promoting physical activity – Broderick Gillawarna School organised a mini Olympics for the students and their parents.
The event gave students an opportunity to participate in activities that previously may not have been readily available to them. Children who have difficulty speaking competed in relays, children in wheelchairs threw balls into hoops and almost every child participated in the obstacle course. In addition, nearly all the parents took part in an activity.
At the end of the mini-Olympics, everyone shared in a healthy afternoon tea.
One parent noted that the day was great not only for the kids but for the parents as well. ”Seeing your child not only participate in physical activities but also enjoy it is a great feeling. It was a fun and exciting day for all!”
Banksmeadow Public School is located in Botany, in Sydney’s southern suburbs. The school has an enrolment of 280 students, which includes pre-school students, and a staff of 24 including principal, classroom teachers, a librarian, RFF and STLA teacher counsellors, as well as teacher’s aides and office staff.
It is a predominately Anglo-Saxon school, with 10% of students having an Aboriginal background and 4% per cent of students with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Banksmeadow Public School is located in an industrial area. However, in recent years many factories and industrial complexes have closed and been replaced by modern housing developments. The area is predominately working class and has a strong local history.
The school has spacious grounds which the students enjoy during physical education activities and lunch time play. There is an active P&C group, which has supported and embraced the changes and initiatives implemented through the Live Life Well @ School action plan.
Some of the positive results from the program include:
Gardeners Road Public School has 200 students in six mainstream classes and four Support Unit Classes. Around two-thirds of the students are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and a significant number of students come from Pacific communities.
Significant initiatives from the Live Life Well @ School program include:
Gardeners Road Public School will continue to reach out to parents in order to spread the healthy active lifestyle message at home, particularly among Indigenous and Pacific communities.
Moss Vale Public School has 570 students. It is located in the beautiful Southern Highlands between Sydney and Canberra, close to the townships of Bowral and Mittagong..
The school’s motto – ‘Helping Children To Learn Well' – highlights the commitment of the school community to ensure that children learn well and identify as being successful learners.
The teachers at Moss Vale Public School have jointly decided that nutrition education and promotion is a key priority for the whole school community: students, staff and families.
They also feel that continuing to promote involvement in sports and physical activity is important and complements the focus on nutrition education and the aims of the Live Life Well @ School program.
While several classes had previously participated in an informal fruit break during the day, the Principal and staff supported the participation of the whole school in the Crunch&Sip® program, as a way of formalising a break for eating fruit or vegetables.
The launch of Crunch&Sip®at the school was attended by fruit and veggie characters, an event enjoyed by students and teachers alike. All classes now participate in the program on a daily basis, with the school canteen selling fresh fruit and vegetables for those students who have forgotten them.
In addition, the school newsletter now features a dedicated section called 'The Green Spot', which looks at different nutrition issues every fortnight and is supported by resources and fact sheets for families, staff and students. Previous 'Green Spot' articles have focused on dairy foods, snacks, breakfast and the importance of drinking water. The feedback from parents and families has been very positive.
Moss Vale Public School has also developed a Nutrition Policy, in consultation with parents and staff. The policy aims to ensure the school environment supports optimum learning by encouraging good nutrition among students, staff and parents and carers. The policy addresses all aspects of school culture, including school functions, carnivals and camps. As part of the consultations on the Nutrition Policy, a decision was made to change the supervised eating times to have lunch first, followed by an afternoon tea.
In addition to the focus on nutrition, Moss Vale Public School has introduced several ‘active activities’, including the inaugural Sports Fair, organised and run by Year 6 students. The first Sports Fair was held at the end of Term 3 in 2009 and students had the opportunity to come dressed in ‘Sports Theme' (for instance, their favourite team colours or uniform). Students donated 20 cents on the day, with the money going to the school’s sponsor child.
Moss Vale Public School also intends to establish a school vegetable garden that will be created and maintained by students and the community. The produce will potentially be used by the school canteen to increase the green foods sold to students. Teachers from the school have also contacted local nurseries and the council to support the establishment of the garden.