Healthy eating & exercise
At St. Helen’s we recognise the importance of healthy lifestyles and use a variety of strategies to promote this within our school community. This includes encouraging children to bring a piece of fresh fruit for their mid-morning break (Key Stage 1 children receive free fresh fruit/vegetables every day) and fresh water to school every day; and by serving healthy school lunches and promoting healthy packed lunches to support a healthy and nutritious diet.
Children also have regular access to the outdoor environment at break-times and during curriculum time when they take part in Daily Physical Activity/Daily Mile as well as active P.E. lessons. There are also a wide variety of extra-curricular sports clubs on offer throughout the year.
Mental Health & Well-being
We pride ourselves on being a nurturing Christian school and are looking at ways to stay healthy both physically and mentally.
We focus on developing positive mental health in all our pupils.
Positive mental health is the foundation on which we as individuals can live healthier lives. With positive mental health we are more likely to be motivated and engaged in our learning, realise and achieve our potential, choose healthier lifestyles, and engage in all the world has to offer, living ‘life in all its fullness’ John 10:10.
Family Mental Health Tips
If you love reading, you won’t need us to tell you how beneficial curling up with a book can be, but studies have shown that picking up a novel has health effects that extend beyond the immediate pleasure it brings.
Reading to children has long been known to be beneficial, developing essential language skills and generally boosting brain development.
If you’re feeling stressed, reading is one of the most effective, enjoyable ways of making yourself feel better. Part of this is common sense; getting lost in a book will take you away from your worries for a while, giving you new perspective when you return. However, research has found that reading lowers stress levels faster than other activities such as walking or listening to music. Research from the University of Sussex found that subjects only needed to read for six minutes to slow down their heart rate and ease tension in the muscles.
If a child reads for 20 minutes every day, they are exposed to about 1.8 million words of text every year. That is 137 new words per minute!
If families read together for 20 minutes a day, 7 days a week, they get more than 121 hours of bonding time every year!
Developing Good Sleep Routines
Several studies have shown that healthy sleep habits are linked to better cognition, alertness, and emotional well-being.
Children who get enough sleep are more likely to function better and are less prone to behavioural problems. Between the ages of 5 and 11, your child will need 10-12 hours of sleep a night.
Research has found 89% of kids play with a tablet or screen near bedtime, despite research finding the blue light emitted from TV screens and electronic devices can disrupt their sleep. Try to restrict the use of electronic devices before bedtimes to aid a restful sleep.
Follow the ’10 a Day’ choices towards good mental healthEH4MH-10-a-day-poster