Aug 07
Western Primary Schools get more kids, more active, more often

Over fifty five Government, Catholic and Independent teachers from school across Western NSW will attend a Physical Activity and Health Conference for primary school teachers in Dubbo on August 9 2017. The Conference is a joint initiative between Western NSW Local Health District and Department of Education, and is facilitated by The Australian Council for Health Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER).

The Conference offers teachers a range of workshops including Health in the Classroom, Fundamental Movement Skills and Get Active with Games. All workshops provide new and engaging ways to get students enjoying physical activity and healthy eating.

With the School Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey 2015 (SPANS) highlighting one in four children are overweight or obese, this year’s conference is really focusing on how working together across sectors is critical to reducing rates of childhood overweight and obesity.

‘By working with schools we can have a big impact on the health behaviours of students and families’, said Hayley Vaughan, Healthy Weight Coordinator, Western NSW and Far West Local Health Districts.

‘In the school setting we have an opportunity to work students and their families/parents/carers to develop healthy habits very early in life. These include choosing healthy food and drinks and being physically active. Getting more kids, more active, more often, using small screens less, and eating lots of fruit and vegetables every day is essential to being healthy over your life time’.

‘The aim of the day is to get teachers thinking about the role they play as teachers and role models in developing healthy habits such as, choosing water as a drink and eating vegies and fruit. Just drinking water, snacking on vegie sticks, wearing a hat and sunscreen on playground duty or at sport for example can speak volumes to students, reinforcing messages taught in the classroom.’ 

‘In Western NSW we work with primary schools to implement the Live Life Well @ School program. This program helps create whole of school environments both inside and outside the classroom, that encourage students to be physically active and choose healthy food and drinks’, Ms Vaughan said.

Mrs Karyn King, St Johns Primary School, Dubbo said, ‘We have been implementing Live Life Well @ School for a number of years and it fits really nicely with our focus on student well- being. Our classes have Crunch & Sip where they eat fresh fruit and vegies whilst they work during class, and all students can access water during class. This is one easy way to reinforce the healthy eating messages we teach.’

‘Our school has a healthy school canteen that follows the NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy, and this supports what we teach in the classroom too,’ Mrs King said.

‘We have in place lots of the things Live Life Well @ School encourages and supports and Local Health District staff provide resources and support to our school,’ Mrs King said.

The K-6 Physical Activity and Health Conference will be held Wednesday 9 August 2017, at Dubbo RSL Club, 178 Brisbane St, Dubbo.

For more information please contact: 
Ms Hayley Vaughan, Healthy Weight Coordinator, Western NSW and Far West LHD on 0459 142 973.

Interview opportunity: 
Mrs Karyn King, Teacher, St Johns Primary School, Dubbo.
Ms Hayley Vaughan, Healthy Weight Coordinator, Western NSW and Far West LHD, Orange.
Phone: on 0459 142 973.