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SCHOOLS FOR HEALTH IN EUROPE

NEWSLETTER #4 - 2021

Election for SHE Board

Each year, the SHE has an election for seats on the board from the national and regional coordinators. This year, there were three seats available with three candidates. We are proud to announce the reelection of Nina Grieg Viig (Norwegian National Coordinator) and Tineke Vansteenkiste (Belgian National Coordinator) as board members, and we welcome a new substitute member to the Board - Gemma Cox (Welsh National Coordinator). Congratulations to Nina, Tineke and Gemma - we are delighted to have you on board!  

Find Inspiration on Mental Health

Mental health is the theme of this year’s assembly meeting for SHE members (national coordinators, regional coordinators, and research group members). The meeting aims to increase and use members knowledge and skills on school health promotion to inspire their national and regional networks. The material from the meeting will be made publically available after the assembly – find inspiration here.

English in Action

At a Slovenian primary school, Gustav Šilih Velenje, the students from first grade are learning English. The class starts with a song, and the students stretch their bodies, repeating English words. The topic for the lesson incorporates movement elements (action verbs, imitating animals, …) wherever possible. Why? Gustav Šilih Velenje believes students need to be involved in the learning process but not just as listeners – as a result their knowledge of English is improving! Watch the video.

Dynamics in School Health Promotion

The recording of the webinar “Dynamics in School Health Promotion” from the 25th May 2021 is now available. The speakers were Nina Bartelink, Kathelijne Bessems, and Stef Kremers from Maastricht University. Watch the video.

SHE Academy

The SHE Academy is an opportunity to meet experts from the field of school-based health promotion and education. This year the theme is mental health in schools. The Academy will take place as an online event from the 13th to the 15th October 2021. This event is free of charge. Registration has opened. Find more information here.

What Does Co-creation Mean?

Two members of the SHE research group, Emily Darlington and Julien Masson, answered this question in a recently published paper from the Health Education Journal.  The article highlights the importance of capacity building and community-level participation in enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of health promotion programmes that promote empowerment and decision-making power. Read the paper.

Eurovision 2021. Let's Go Accompany the Winner

Eurovision is a popular and well-known song contest amongst many of SHE’s member countries. In Kaunas’ kindergarten “Atžalėlė”, the song contest presented an opportunity to encourage children’s movement and happiness and the teachers from the kindergarten adapted the choreography, created by the Lithuanian artists, for children. The children were invited to dance and move in the kindergarten or at home, and this Lithuanian dance challenge supported artists of the country and promoted children's physical activity. The successful program was implemented by 45 kindergartens from different cities around Lithuania.

Be Healthier

Children participating in the Slovenian project "Accept the challenge to be healthier" had immense fun. The Slovenian elementary school Toneta Okrogarja is now striving to ensure this project becomes a tradition for students from 1st to 5th grade. Read more and see the project video.

Mental Health Promotion - a Finnish PhD Study

A Finnish PhD on mental health promotion has reported the need for improvement in promoting children’s mental health. Many childhood mental health symptoms do not receive interventions at a sufficiently early stage. Moreover, professionals from health care services and childhood education reported challenges when collaborating with child psychiatric services. (link). A  document analysis indicated that mental health promotion primarily involved society and the broader environment and was not as focused on age and setting. More focus is required in the promotion of mental health services, family support and child care services in a preschool setting. (link)

Relaxation Activities at School

Teachers and students in the Slovenian school Osnovna šola Kuzma have tested and implemented different relaxation techniques. The activities have been adjusted according to the students’ age and developmental level. And the results? The efforts have contributed to improvement in concentration, well-being and motivation. Read more.

School Eco Garden

A primary school in Slovenia, Gustav Šilih Velenje, offers 4- 5th-grade students an “eco class”. The students take care of a small piece of land weeding, watering, cutting, tilling the soil, and labelling herbs. These plants are used for making tea, and some vegetables are grown, increasing children’s knowledge of tools for gardening, insects, and animals. At the end of the school year, the classes prepare a tea party using the harvested produce.

Decomposition of Surgical Masks in a Natural Environment

The Slovenian primary school Gustav Šilih in Velenje has conducted a study about decomposition rates of three-layer surgical masks with 9th-grade students. Decomposition rates were observed from surgical masks in the garden, the compost and the forest. Masks were exposed to the current weather conditions by hanging them on the rain gutter. Simultaneously, decomposition of masks was observed in tap water, saltwater, and puddle water. The rates were evaluated four times at 4, 8, 12, and 16 weeks. The fastest decomposition of a mask occurred either in compost or saltwater.

Austrian University & Highschool Study

An Austrian survey has explored the prevalence of sport and physical exercise linked to different kinds of diet among Austrian colleges and universities. "Sustainably healthy – From Science 2 Highschool & University" is a follow-up from the school study "From Science 2 School". The study explores the transfer of scientific results about health behaviour, education, literacy and competencies, and educational research. Read more.

Online Health Education Training of Bulgarian Teachers

The Bulgarian health-promoting school network with support from WHO has trained 17 teachers to lead comprehensive health education. The online modules took part in March and April 2021 and focused on using interactive methods in an online setting. The exercise games and presentations received much positive feedback. The training was supervised by Dr. Mihail Okoliyski (WHO expert for Bulgaria) and Ms. Anina Chileva (Bulgarian SHE Coordinator).

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Holistic Health Promotion in Hungarian Schools

In Hungary, the holistic health promotion program has been regulated by law since 2012 and comprises of four main activities. One of these activities is healthy eating. Read more about healthy eating in Hungarian schools. Watch website (English) (Hungarian).

Safe Use of Digital Media and Mobile Devices

Despite the acceptance of digital media and mobile devices in our daily lives, they can become a real danger to children and adults when misused. In Poland, FONOLANDIA is the first comprehensive educational project developed to address responsible and safe use of digital media and mobile devices. The FONOLANDIA educational kit targets kindergarten teachers, early school education teachers, school psychologists and educators, employees of psychological and pedagogical counselling centres and parents working at home. Read more.

Finland: Qualifications in Health Education

In Finland, an online course about health education is popular, offering topics such as health promotion, health pedagogics, nutrition, and health promotion research methods. This course is well attended by Finnish teachers wanting to update their competencies in health education and has been available for the last 20 years. The course is offered by the University of Eastern Finland’s Department of Nursing Science in collaboration with the Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition. For more information contact Hanna Rouvinen.

Global Community Health Annual Workshop

The UNESCO Chair and WHO Collaborating Center on Global Health and Education invites everyone interested in the community-level promotion of health and equity to an annual Global Community Health Workshop on the 6-8th July 2021.
The workshop's main aim is to explore the diverse worldwide practices of community health, learn from them, and apply the newly acquired skills and knowledge to current/future projects. The workshop is online and free of charge. Read more.

Folklore Activity at Slovenian School

A folklore group from the Slovenian primary school Gustav Šilih Velenje gathers students of all ages to rhythmically and melodically recreate folklore traditions such as different folklore dances. The students actively create interesting dance choreography, revive folk songs and customs. The younger students focus on reviving nursery games and rhymes. Students can perform on stage to showcase their acting talents. Every year, the group performs at a children’s folklore festival – a unique way of pursuing a healthy lifestyle.

Afternoon Sport Activity at School

A school in Ljubljana, Slovenia, OŠ Miška Kranjca, has invited students and family members to join online sport activities as a response to the latest wave of the corona pandemic that closed the doors of the gym one more time. Read more.

Lithuanian Students as Detectives

In Lithuania, teachers from Miroslavas Gymnasium have proudly promoted outdoor physical activity by creating a detective search, preventing students from staying solely indoors during the pandemic. Read more about how this detective search promotes physical activity.
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