Health Promoting Schools

  • “Health promotion in schools is not just about encouraging children and young people to eat well and to exercise; it encompasses a much broader holistic approach. This approach is called the 'whole school approach', which includes promoting the physical, social, spiritual, mental and emotional wellbeing of all pupils and staff” (Health Promoting Schools, 2009).
  • “A health promoting school is a school that is constantly strengthening its capacity as a healthy setting for living, learning and working” (WHO, 2009).
  • “The Hungry for Success guidance recommended that all pupils should have access to appropriate food choices within a health promoting environment. This continues to be an over-arching aim of the health promoting school” (Hungry for Success, 2008).
  • “Pupils need to have a good knowledge and understanding of food and nutrition to be able to make informed choices within the dining room as well as in other aspects of their daily lives. Ensuring clear links between learning and teaching on food and nutrition in the curriculum and food provision in school was, therefore, a key factor in successful implementation of Hungry for Success” (Hungry for Success, 2008).
  • “Many schools worked with a range of partners, including their associated primary or secondary schools, to support their health education curriculum and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. They often benefited from regular input by a range of health professionals” (Hungry for Success, 2008).
  • “There is good evidence available that the health promoting schools approach is effective in improving health and educational outcomes. It shows that this comprehensive approach can impact on health and well-being in a range of areas especially mental health and bullying and nutrition and physical activity” (Australian Health Promoting Schools Association, 2007).
  • “Comprehensive school health is an internationally recognized framework for supporting improvements in students’ educational outcomes while addressing school health in a planned, integrated and holistic way. It encompasses the whole school environment with actions addressing four distinct but inter-related pillars that provide a strong foundation for comprehensive school health: social and physical environment; teaching and learning; healthy school policy; and partnerships and services” (What is a Healthy School? 2007).
  • On average children “spend about 1,150 hours a year at school, but childhood is the best time to make healthy choices a habit” (What is a Healthy School? 2007).
  • “A comprehensive school health approach extends beyond health and physical education to include school policy, the physical and social environment at school and the links between schools, families and communities” (The Canadian Population Health Initiative, 2004, p.132).
  • “There is some evidence that a comprehensive school health program can be an effective approach for promoting physical activity and healthy eating and possibly reducing obesity” (The Canadian Population Health Initiative, 2004, p.132.
  • “Reviews of research on school based programs suggest that to achieve results, such programs should be multifaceted and involve interacting components, including:
  • “The concept of ‘health promoting schools’ has been embraced internationally as an effective way of promoting the health of children, adolescents, and the wider school community” (Mukoma, & Flisher, 2004, p. 357)