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SCHOOLS FOR HEALTH IN EUROPE

NEWSLETTER #1 - 2021

News from the SHE Secretariat

Each year, SHE publishes a fact sheet that summarises the newest research on a specific topic and materials for teachers. In 2021, the theme of the factsheet will be mental health, and the theme for Materials for Teachers will be health literacy.

SHE monitors school health promotion in our member countries. A survey was conducted in September and October 2020, and 24 of the 40 SHE member countries or regions participated. The survey aimed to assess the implementation of school health promotion and the formal Health Promoting School approach in schools in the SHE member countries from the SHE national/regional coordinators' perspective. Have a look at the comprehensive report that presents some of the highlights from the survey. The 24 country reports can also be found on the SHE website under each of the participating countries.

MOVEOUT - Active When Learning Outdoors

Responses to the current Covid-19 crisis include teaching and learning outdoors. But, does education outside the classroom (EOtC) lead to better 24h movement behaviours? This question, and related sub-questions, will be investigated in the upcoming large-scale Danish EOtC efficacy study, MOVEOUT. In total, 48 teachers and their classes will be randomly allocated to participate in a two-day course and start-up of regular EOtC during the next two school years starting in 2022/23. The Novo Nordisk Foundation has granted approximately five million Danish Kroner to the project and the study.

Handwashing Campaign in Latvia

Since 2016, The Centre for Disease Prevention and Control of Latvia (CDPC) has been hosting educational activities for different audiences regarding personal hygiene and proper handwashing. In 2020, a public awareness campaign and a new educational project were implemented in Latvia., Highlights from the campaign are shared to enable other countries to learn from Latvia’s experience. Read about the campaign.

Health Promoting Schools and Social Inequlities

Each year, SHE provides a new module for teachers on school health promotion. These modules are aimed for use with classes in primary and secondary school. The 2020 module has ‘Health Promoting Schools and Social Inequalities’ as a theme. Thank you very much to SHE Research group member Luciana Santos Collier and her team for the marvellous material! Find the material here.

The Worlds First Dance Campaign with 10.000 Steps

“Dance 10.000” is a global campaign created to inspire children and young people to move, while at the same time highlighting the problems and consequences of a sedentary lifestyle. With a unique music video featuring a choreographed dance, 10.000 steps the daily recommendation for physical activity, the campaign has already sparked positive conversations and been featured worldwide. In total, the campaign has reached more than 300 million people all over the world. Generation Pep started the campaign from Sweden. Read more and see the video.

Afternoon Online SportActivity

At Miško Kranjec School in Slovenia, exercise and sport are recognised as essential for maintaining good physical and mental condition. The school invites all children and their family members to join Miško’s afternoon online sports activities as the second wave of coronavirus has closed the doors to physical education facilities. The activities take place once a week in the afternoon and are suitable for all age groups. Beginners and those who are more physically fit are welcome. A teacher adapts each exercise to a participant’s ability. Everyone joins online, starting with an aerobic warm-up, followed by an interval training. Trainers use equipment from everyday life. Participation makes everyone feel that they are achieving new goals and are part of a community.

Running to Mount Triglav

Can you run up a mountain and back? The distance from primary school OŠ Adama Bohoriča Brestanica in Slovenia to Mount Triglav and return is 17 kilometres. As the school is closed because of the pandemic, students were issued a challenge: Run or walk the 17 km distance during a week and document it. They were permitted to run wherever they wanted and for how long they wanted. The students competed both individually, and between classes.  At the end of the week, an individual and class winner were announced. This activity was very popular, and motivation to participate was also huge!

Celebrating the World AIDS Day

On December 1, 2020, the Carolina Michaelis School in Portugal celebrated World AIDS Day. The day was dedicated to “Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility” and the students participated in several activities. For example, a heart was placed in students' living room, and students set red bows on it, to remind them of people were living or who had died with this disease. Read more.

Research: Quality of Life Related to Health and Habits

Researchers conducted a study with 761 students (average 14½ years old) from 25 educational centres in northern Spain, distributed between 650 urban and 111 rural students. Adolescents in rural areas reported a greater number of night sleep hours and higher health-related quality of life. Health-related quality of life included specifically psychological well-being, school environment, autonomy and parental relationships. Adolescents in urban areas reported higher physical activity levels between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., and higher consumption of fast food. Read the article (the abstract is in English, the article in Spanish).

Encouragement of Social Skills and a Healthy Lifestyle

The primary school, Prežihov Voranc in Slovenia, was one of the first schools in the Slovenian network of healthy schools. Through different projects and activities, the school promotes mutual relationships, empathy, solidarity, belonging, hard work, kindness, respect, a healthy lifestyle and nutrition. Read an article about the projects and activities of this healthy school, also included are examples of being a health-promoting school during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Award-winning Health Campaign Rolled Out Acress Europe

Schools worldwide are being invited to implement a health education campaign in March, which empowers children to save lives. The aim is raising awareness of stroke symptoms. The campaign is known as ‘FAST Heroes’. It educates children between age 5 and 9 years to recognise signs of a stroke and emphasizes the need to call an ambulance immediately when a stroke strikes. The campaign utilises children’s fantastic enthusiasm for learning and sharing, encouraging the spread of knowledge to the rest of their family, particularly grandparents. Read about the award-winning campaign.  

Physical Activity During Lock-down

To implement physical education classes during the pandemic, the school Osnovna šola Gustava Šiliha Velenje in Slovenia uses pre-prepared videos uploaded online and accessible to everyone. Learning is organized within and across subjects - e.g., math or Slovene lesson is presented through physical activity. In addition to the videos, physical education lessons are also implemented live via Microsoft Teams. Watch some of these videos here.

Teachers are Collecting Kilometers

Teachers' health is essential! But how can this be promoted in a time where schools are locked down? In a primary school in Selnica ob Dravi in Slovenia, teacher Barbara Bedjanič has started a new health campaign. Teachers collect kilometres -  they collect more kilometres the more they move. A teacher collects as many kilometres as he or she can within a week, month and a year, and the group encourages each other through a unique web application. The number of teachers participating is increasing weekly. Instead of kilometers separating teachers from each other, kilometers are connecting these teachers.

Snow Joy During Homeschooling

Homeschooling in the snow. In a Slovenian school, the students received an assignment to enjoy the snow.
First task: go outside in the fresh air and build your snowman.
Second task: take your sledge, go up on the hill and ride down on the sledge. If there is enough snow, make a snow angel.
Third task: when you are tired, go inside and have some tea.
Students were encouraged to make their own paper snowman, take a photo and send it to their teachers. And if there was extra time, listen to the song “Do you want to build a snowman”?

Culture and Health Hand in Hand in Slovenia

The Primary School Bistrica ob Sotli in Slovenia has been a health-promoting school since 1993 and is eager to promote physical and mental health. The school recognises cultural activities as important. Activities that bind culture and health together connect generations. Have a look at the report on how schools integrate culture and health during distance learning.

Health Promoting School Within Distance Learning

Despite the challenge of promoting students’ health during distance learning, the promotion of health is vital. In 5th grade in OŠ PODLEHNIK in Slovenia, cross-curricular activities related to a healthy lifestyle have proved useful.  For example, using a traditional Slovenian breakfast as a theme with elements from art, science, technology and home economics. Hygiene as a theme can incorporate subjects such as sport, home economics, science and technology. Many activities take place outdoors to keep children healthy. Click on this link to be inspired.

Follow-up Study to Austrian School Study

The Austrian school study “From Science 2 School: Sustainably healthy – active & veggy” is now followed by the study “Sustainably healthy – From Science 2 Highschool & University”. The study aims to survey the prevalence of sports and physical exercise linked to vegetarian diets among Austrian students and lecturers/faculty in a tertiary educational setting. There is a search for partners to team up so the study can also apply for European grants, have a look here.

Participate in the 2nd Survey on the Safe Re-opering of Schools

Education and Health professionals are invited to complete the 2nd survey on the safe re-opening of schools. You are also invited to share the survey within your national or regional network and amongst other contacts. The survey aims to gather experiences and opinions about their countries' processes to re-open schools safely during the COVID-19 pandemic and keep them open. The survey should take 10-20 minutes to complete. It is a follow-up to a survey conducted in May/June 2020.
UNESCO Chair of Global Health & Education conducted the study with the support of SHE and other consortium partners. See the survey.

Watch the Recording of the Webinar 'Health Literacy in Schools'

On 21 January 2021, the webinar “Health literacy in schools: an educational asset in the 21st century” took place. You can now watch the speakers' presentations from Leena Paakkari, Orkan Okan and Kevin Dadaczynski of SHE’s research group. The webinar is part of the Global Health & Education webinar series and organised in collaboration with SHE. This webinar aimed to discuss health literacy. The webinar explored how to address Health literacy in schools, why it should be incorporated in the school curriculum and how it can be embedded into the school health promotion framework. Watch the recording of the webinar.

Editorial About Education and Health During the Pandemic

An editorial in the Lancet - a world-leading medical journal - from 23rd January 2021, “COVID-19: the intersection of education and health” gives good support to health-promoting schools’ work during the pandemic. Read the editorial.

More Physical Activities in Swedish Schools

Starting in 2018, the Swedish government has commissioned the Swedish Sports Confederation to encourage more physical activities in schools. The initiative aims to improve public health, well-being and is the object of a study. The target groups are children and youth age of 6-13, and one of the most important initiatives targets the least active children. The objective is to build bridges between the school, children and sports clubs. All participating schools have an individual action plan, and the goal is for half of all schools in Sweden to participate by 2025.

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