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SCHOOLS FOR HEALTH IN EUROPE

NEWSLETTER #4 - 2019

Kyrgyzstan Is Going to be a New Member of SHE

SHE-Manager Anette Schulz visited Kyrgyzstan in May 2019 and is very happy with the results of the visit. Together with WHO, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, eight pilot schools in Kyrgyzstan and University College South Denmark, SHE is developing a road map for implementing school health promotion in Kyrgyzstan. In parallel, a national policy development process will take place to make sure that policy and practice play together.

Don't Miss the Moscow Conference on Health Promoting Schools

Have you submitted your abstract for the 5th European Conference on Health Promoting Schools? There is still time to do so as the deadline for submission of abstracts is extended until June 22! The conference will be held on November 20–22, 2019 in Moscow and please notice, that the conference fee is kindly payed by the SHE Moscow Office. Read more on the conference website.

Great Interest in the SHE Academy 2019

Do you have an interest in school health promotion and do you want to know more about research methods in school health promotion? Then sign up for the SHE Academy 2019 which is to be held at Lyon University in France on November 4-6, 2019. During the first two weeks after opening for registrations, 13 people signed up. So, hurry up and book your place. More information here.

Health Promoting Activities at Slovene High School

As part of a national programme for healthy schools in Slovenia, Gimnazija Celje-Center participated in a 3-weeks challenge, called ‘I am capable of …?’ Almost 100 students tried to get a healthier life-style during the 3 weeks. As a start, they were given the basic information on sleeping and eating habits, on the importance of time management and physical activity, and on the dangers of excessive use of modern technologies. Information was given by school professors, who were the mentors of the challenge and who also prepared online material with additional information and offered support. Next year the school plans to upgrade the project with a week-long healthy living camp.

Positive Impact of Education Outside the Classroom on Pupil-Pupil Social Relations

Education outside the classroom (EOtC) is found to have a small but positive impact on informal peer affiliations among pupils, i.e. friendship-like relations. Social network analysis in the Danish TEACHOUT study shows that mid-school pupils establish peer affiliations to more new peers when taught school subjects outside the classroom on a weekly basis for a 38 weeks period. Teaching away from school, e.g. museums, forests, and public institutions may require transportation. Time for informal peer-to-peer interaction during transportation seems to retain existing peer affiliations, but do not contribute to new affiliations. The found impact of EOtC on social well-being is less strong than expected. Read the research article.

A New Strategic Approach to Prevention in the School System

Approved in January 2019, the Italian document “Integrated Policy Guidelines for the Health Promoting Schools” (Indirizzi di policy integrate per la Scuola che promuove salute) aims to include “Health Promotion” in the educational curriculum as a continuous educational proposal. The document emphasizes how a health promoting school must adopt a global approach for developing individual skills of the whole school community and for improving the environment. It favourites the implementation of actions in the school setting, within the contest of both the present and the new 2020-2025 National Prevention Plans. Read the integrated Policy Guidelines for the Health Promoting Schools in an English version.

Over 1500 Dutch Schools With a School for Health Certificat

“A healthy lifestyle engrained in the DNA of every school”, that is the School for Health programme’s mission in the Nederlands and it runs on primary, secondary and VET (Vocational Education and Training) schools. The participating schools can choose between multiple health themes (e.g. Nutrition, Physical Activity, Smoking, Drugs and Alcohol, Social Wellbeing, Hearing Damage, Healthy Indoor Environment) and are encouraged to deliver quality by earning a School for Health certificate. Social support from students, parents and staff for the chosen health theme is essential. The programme is based on four pillars – education, environment, signalling, and policy – to integrate an approach for long-lasting results. Since the beginning of the programme, more than 1500 schools in the Netherlands have chosen to work accordingly to this approach. Summery in English.

Three-level Evaluation of the Healthy School Programme

The Healthy School Programme (in Dutch ‘programma Gezonde School’) is a whole school approach aiming for uptake of a healthy lifestyle in the DNA of every school in The Netherlands. To get a better insight into the effectiveness of the program as well as possibilities for improvement, a large consortium, consisting of three Academic Collaborative Centres and nine Community Health Services, will be conducting an evaluation study in the coming years. The research plan is built around three levels: the student, the school, and the region.
For more information, please contact Professor and project leader Maria Jansen.   

A Whole School Physical Activity and Nutrition Intervention in Ireland

Project Spraoi is an Irish school-based physical activity (PA) and nutrition intervention that reached 473 primary school children and 43 school staff in Cork. For 2 school years, intervention schools were assigned an ‘Energizer’, who promoted PA and healthy eating. The evaluation assessed the impact of the intervention on teachers, parents and children. The intervention was associated with smaller waist, slower resting heart rate and favourable nutritional attitudes among 10-year olds. No significant change across other variables or among 6-year olds was found. Teachers, parents and children reported positive outcomes for PA behaviour and nutritional knowledge/ attitudes. Read an article and see project Spraoi’s website.

Kazakhstan: Healthy Children - Healthy Nation!

Kazakhstan wants to make every school in the country a health promoting school and articulates this in the national program on public health development and concurrent policy documents. The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education have ambitious plans for implementation of SHE’s concept of school health promotion in all schools in the country by the end of 2021.

School directors and working groups from around 300 schools – both urban and rural – have been introduced to the whole-school approach, the latest results of the national COSI (WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative) and HBSC (Health Behaviour in School-aged Children) surveys. SHE tools have been presented and hands-on training with the SHE Rapid Assessment Tool has been conducted. Technical consultations will continue by the end of September 2019 as support to approximately 600 schools.

How to Get an Open Conversation About Mental Health

Fragility and uncertainty are experienced by both adults and children when we, our parents, siblings or friends undergo a crisis. When we talk about this, the risk of oversharing or making others unpleasant is always present. This is especially true when talking about mental challenges. A teacher from Aarhus in Denmark has written to SHE about a movie that can serve as a starting point when you and your students want to discuss how to break taboos about mental health. There is royal experience at stake that shows that no one is alone in feeling vulnerable when your life is hard to be in and problems are difficult to talk about. See the movie.

Co-creation Workshops for Health Promoters - France

Democratic processes were one of the various topics which were discussed during the 3-day dissemination workshop for the Co-Creating Welfare Project on 27-28-29 May 2019. The French team in Saint-Etienne offered a choice of 5 different workshops to over fifty professionals: school nurses, social workers, teachers and other stakeholders in the education and welfare sectors. Stakeholders and professionals were able to meet, exchange, discuss and discover co-creation in a friendly atmosphere, focusing on children and school settings. Read more.

Active School Flag: From Ireland to Italy

The Active School Flag (ASF) initiative aims to enhance levels of physical activity for children developing a physically active and educated school community. Two primary schools in the Piedmont Region in Italy were voluntary recruited for ASF and the process has been supervised by the regional SHE network. One of the schools organized ASF pairing with an Irish school. Participation in projects like this has some challenges: Italian schools are quite big (1.200 students average) and the schools have different priorities that might not match with the Active School Flag. Also, Italian teachers have no physical activity in their training portfolio. Read about the Italian projekt (in English) here. Read about the Active School Flag concept from Ireland and read an article about how ASF is exported and piloted to Italy and Lithuania.

Education and Health Promotion in Portuguese Schools

Health Promotion and Education (HPE) in Portuguese Schools are integrated in the National Strategy for Citizenship Education and includes a set of rights and duties that must be present in citizen education of the Portuguese children and youth. The aim of HPE is to have in the future adults with civic conduct that fosters equality in interpersonal relations. The work in partnership with the local health services is important and the participation of the students is encouraging.
In supporting HPE in schools, the General Directorate of Education and the General Directorate of Health, have developed a Reference Book that establishes the guidelines to work with children and young people. It is divided in 5 thematic areas: Mental health and wellbeing; Healthy eating promotion; Physical activity; Additions prevention; and Relationships and sexual education. Read more (in Portuguese) and contact the Portuguese national coordinator, José Carlos Sousa, for more information.

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