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Health Matters

At Carrick College we strive to promote the health of our pupils at every opportunity across the curriculum and through extra curricular activities.

 “Health education is about developing responsible behaviour and encouraging positive attitudes that should lead towards emotional, physical and mental health.  It provides opportunities to equip young people with the knowledge and skills to make informed choices and decisions regarding their health and well-being”

“The links between the health and well-being of pupils and their capacity to benefit from educational opportunities and attain high standards of achievement, have been well established for many years”

(Northern Ireland Curriculum- Thematic unit: Personal Health)

At Carrickfergus College, Home Economics, PSE and Physical education will obviously take the lead in promoting a healthy diet and lifestyle, but health is everyone’s responsibility and permeates through every subject.

Health Promoting Strategies

Many strategies are in place for promoting health at the college:

  • Raising awareness and educating pupils in the area of health related issues through approximately 20 outside agencies,
  • Every week pupils are taught how to make informed decisions about nutrition and a healthy diet in Home Economics, as well as gaining the skills to prepare healthy food.
  • Through P.E. pupils will have the opportunities to experience and evaluate the positive effects of regular exercise on their physical and emotional wellbeing, including a positive self-image.
  • Health Education is delivered through personal development to Years 8,9 and 10 following the In Sync programme of study.
  • Learning for life and Work teachers deliver health education to Years 11 and 12, with the aid of outside agencies.
  • The theme of healthy living/healthy lifestyle in Year 8, connects learning through the curriculum where each subject is focused on health in the first term.
  • Moral and spiritual development is addressed by the RE department through the curriculum, Scripture Union, special assemblies at Christmas and Easter with local church involvement.
  • Assemblies throughout the year raise awareness of health issues:- Legal Highs, Action Cancer-Care in the Sun, Chest, Heart and Stroke and the school counseling service.
  • Year 8 ‘Fit for Life!’ Health Day- A day of health education for year 8 focusing on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health.  Speakers and agencies include: the schools nutritionalist and  dietician, Love for Life, local youth pastor, Aware Defeat depression.  Pupils also enjoyed a healthy breakfast and a fitness/dance session by an instructor from a local gym.
  • The pastoral care system at the College promotes good mental health of pupils through the Head of pastoral Care, Heads of Year, form teachers and subject teachers.
  • No Smoking and anti-bullying week again raises awareness of physical and mental health issues.
  • Extra curricular activities promote a healthy lifestyle amongst our pupils- numerous physical activities are made available through the PE department and Home Economics encourages healthy eating through ‘Little Chefs’.
  • Heartstart has been successfully introduced into the College over the last 3 years.  Year 13 pupils have been trained as peer facilitators and have assisted in the training of all Year 8 pupils in life saving first aid and CPR.
  • RAF Healthy lifestyle Raodshow
  • Sponsored fitness events- Jump Rope for Heart and the sponsored walk and relay events also encourage pupils to get fit while raising money for charity.

Healthy Eating Stategies

“In Northern Ireland obesity levels in children are increasing with 22% of all children starting primary school being classed as overweight or obese. Nutrition is central to health and a child’s diet can be an important influence on their health now and in the future.”

(School Food; The Essential Guide. Department of Health 2005)

It is the aim of the school to ensure that all aspects of food, drink and nutrition in school promote health and well being of pupils and staff. One big step to improving pupils’ nutrition is to offer and promote healthy food and drink choices during the school day.

The following strategies are in place to promote healthy eating in school:

  • Due to the publication of Nutritional standards for school lunches and Nutritional standards for other food and drinks in schools, our school canteen now follows strict guidelines to ensure healthy food is accessible for all pupils.
  • School Nutrition Action Group (S.N.A.G.) has been established to discuss health issues and food in school.
  • A salad sandwich bar was opened after consultation with pupils through S.N.A.G
  • A whole school food policy is in place following nutritional guidelines and can be accessed through this link.
  • Drinking water is available for all pupils, in vending machines and in the canteen at lunch and break time.  Pupils are encouraged to drink water throughout the day, this includes during lessons.
  • Healthy lunch leaflets are sent out to parents to make parents and pupils more aware of healthy and unhealthy foods in packed lunches.
  • The board nutritionalist works with our canteen to improve food quality and food choice in the canteen, thus encouraging pupils to eat a balanced meal in school.
  • Vending machines-In line with nutritional guidelines, unhealthy drinks have been removed and healthier options for snacks are available. The school does not run a tuck shop.
  • Breakfast Club is open every morning for all pupils.
  • The canteen has been open at break time to encourage pupils to eat a healthy carbohydrate snack, again in line with the nutritional standards.

Links

Nutritionist Resource – www.nutritionist-resource.org.uk – Nutritionist Resource offers a simple way to connect with professional nutritionists, nutritional therapists and dietitians across the UK.

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