Our last blog update before the festive break, so all of the team at the Health Education Service would like to wish you a wonderful Christmas, and happy and healthy new year.
Also we would love to hear from you if your school has been involved in exciting activities around physical and emotional health. The blog has had almost 300 views since September so it is a great way of letting more people know about your achievements and excellent practice. If you have something that you would like us to include please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Homophobia and sexuality – new primary resource coming soon
Liz attended the Stonewall Education Seminar ‘Tackling homophobic language and staying safe online’ on Thursday and was lucky enough to be amongst one of the first groups to see a preview of the new Stonewall film for Primary Schools ‘Free’. This looks like it will be an excellent resource when it is released next year and Liz is planning to incorporate it into her anti- bullying training. She can also give schools guidance and support on how they will be able to use the film to help address diversity and inclusion.
There was also some very specific guidance on advising gay young people on how to stay safe online and Liz will be incorporating this into her training and courses on Protective Behaviours for Secondary Schools – Risk taking behaviour. For support on dealing with all forms of bullying including homophobic, contact Liz on email@example.com
Tom Daley’s recent decision to talk openly about his sexuality may provide teachers with a useful inroad to raising the issue with young people. The Guardian produced a summary of possible teaching resources and ideas. Click here to access.
Obesity levels fall
Some good news on obesity levels this week. The number of obese and overweight children in the final year of primary school in England has fallen for the first time in six years.
A third (33.3%) of pupils aged 10-11 measured in 2012-13 were obese or overweight, compared with 33.9% the previous year.
The number of also fell in reception for the second year. It is the first time that children who were measured in the first year of the National Childhood Measurement Programme when they were in reception in 2006-07 have been measured a second time when they are now in year 6.
Certainly we have seen from the Be Healthy visits recently, a major push by schools to contribute to healthy weight agenda. We have been particularly impressed by the degree that healthy weight was addressed as a whole school issue. Work with parents, training for staff, updating of the curriculum, support for vulnerable pupils and delivery of high quality physical activity were all common features and it was great to see in many of the schools just how many people had joined together to address their action plans. A number of issues such as tackling unhealthy lunchboxes and providing interventions for overweight pupils, which a few years ago some schools were reluctant to tackle, are now being readily accepted as key areas for schools to be involved in.
If you would like information of either the Be Healthy Schools’ Award please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or for the Health for Life programme then please contact Sandra.email@example.com.
The views of primary pupils on the sexualisation of culture
An interesting addition to the recent reports on young peoples’ attitudes to gender and sexual cultures is ‘Boys and Girls Speak Out’. The report was commissioned by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner in Wales and in contrast to earlier research this report focuses on younger children aged 10-12 . Discussion focused on five key areas: the sexualisation of culture, body cultures, relationship cultures, equalities and change. The Key findings include
• children are actively negotiating and learning about the ways sexuality affects them and their lives
• boys and girls talk about “looking older” in a very different way to “looking sexy”
• all children, but especially girls, feel pressurised to conform to gender norms
• many schools have a strong boyfriend-girlfriend culture, making boy-girl friendships almost impossible
• children experience verbal sexual harassment, but find it hard to tell parents or teachers and are ill equipped to deal with it
• children are more worried about “scary” rather than sexually explicit images
• many children are angry about sexism amongst their peers and in society as a whole
The full report is available here http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/research/findings/boys-and-girls-speak-out_wda100425.html
Initial Teacher Training
Finally something you may not have realised that we are involved in, is initial teacher training. Our parent organisation, Services for Education, are an accredited provider of ITT and we are working in partnership with Calthorpe Teaching School to train 20 primary trainees to reach QTS in the 2014/15 through the new School Direct programme. We have places left across our broad range of partner schools and are looking for enthusiastic and motivated new trainees passionate about making a difference to the lives of children and young people.
You can find more info here .
If you want to apply then visit the UCAS teacher training site and search Birmingham providers, clicking on Calthorpe.