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New initiative launched to improve fitness and health levels of Doncaster children

A new Healthy Learning Healthy Lives initiative is all set to improve the fitness, health and happiness of local children in Doncaster.

Officially launched by Doncaster Council on 15 January, Healthy Learning Healthy Lives will assist teachers and teaching professionals in developing an integrated approach where the learning environment supports a child’s health and wellbeing.

Research shows that children who have poorer physical, emotional or mental health are more likely to struggle in their learning and in turn, a child's experience in school can affect their health as they move into adulthood.

Along with a website containing resources and information, the programme also includes a free accreditation scheme. By taking part in the scheme, education settings will not only be able to improve the health and wellbeing of children and their families but will also be meeting a range of local and national priorities including working towards OFSTED requirements and the recommendations of the independent Commission on Education and Skills in Doncaster.

In addition to supporting schools, a website has been developed with families and communities in mind. It contains free resources and information covering a range of topics including the benefits of healthy eating and being active and how making some small lifestyle changes can lead to big positive impacts in a child’s health and wellbeing.

Dr Rupert Suckling, Director of Public Health at Doncaster Council, said: “Healthy Learning Healthy Lives has been developed with teaching professionals at the heart of the programme. We’re working in partnership with schools and by providing them with support and the accreditation scheme it will ultimately benefit their pupils.

“Working with local schools and early years settings is vitally important but I would also encourage parents, carers and guardians to take a look at the website and see how they can get involved in improving the health and wellbeing of their children.”

Shaw Wood Academy, Maple Medical Pupil Referral Unit and Little Einsteins Day Nursery have trialled the initiative and were awarded their accreditation at the launch event.

Alan Parkinson, Year 6 Teacher at Shaw Wood Academy, said: “Working with Doncaster Council made us want to re-evaluate how we as a school effectively deliver a curriculum that meets the needs of the children.

It’s been an enjoyable experience working with the Public Health team, they are always prepared to help, either online or by coming into school to talk to us face-to-face.”
To find out more, visit the website at