Healthy Schools Intent Statement
West Town Lane Academy believes that the physical health and mental wellbeing of our children is paramount to their development. As a school we play a vital role in educating them to become independent learners, making the appropriate choices with regards to their own and others’ health and wellbeing.
Our children enjoy a broad and balanced curriculum. In subjects, such as science, PSHE, RSE, DT and PE, children are taught the importance of exercise, diet, hygiene, self-care and the relationship between mental and physical wellbeing . All adults are involved in role modelling good practise and when presented take opportunities to explore children’s queries and concerns, ensuring experiences match their age and stage of development. Challenges and extra-curricular activities are provided to enhance children’s understanding.
The curriculum aims to develop a robust understanding of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle and give all children the knowledge, skills and attributes needed to protect and enhance their own and others’ wellbeing. Children are encouraged to question and reflect upon the information given, in order to develop self-reliance and ensure they know how and when to seek further advice and support. Thereby preparing them to become global citizens, taking their place within the wider world.
As a Rights Respecting School, West Town Lane Academy acknowledges the importance of all children’s rights, and in the case of Healthy Schools we strive to encompass Article 24.
Article 24: You have a right to the best health care possible, safe water to drink, nutritious food, a clean and safe environment and information to help you to stay well.
Our Healthy Heroes
The Healthy Heroes are a group of children, one from each class, who champion healthy lifestyles and work together to promote health and well-being among their classmates. They take responsibility for carrying out surveys, leading initiatives within their class, organising Fruity Fridays and much more!
Meet the Healthy Heroes
West Town Lane Academy Healthy Schools Approach (Implementation and Impact)
As part of our wider curriculum children at WTLA enjoy 2 hours of Physical Education each week. This might be gymnastics, dance, swimming or outdoor pursuits, such as rounders or football. In addition, children are encouraged to “Run a Mile” using our two school tracks and to take part in adventurous activities, such as water sports and climbing on school camps or day visits. Lessons too may include an element of physical activity, providing children with opportunities to move and reduce lengthy periods of inactivity. We have a wide range of outdoor equipment children can use during break times and extensive grounds for the children to enjoy.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Mental health and wellbeing is discussed in lessons and children understand that mental health is as important as physical health. Displays encourage children to think about their emotions and signpost children to support within school and the wider community. PSHE lessons and assemblies allow children to explore how their mental health can be positively and negatively impacted and to consider how their actions can impact the mental health and wellbeing of others. Recently the school librarians selected new books with a mental health focus for the school library.
Food and Nutrition
Children at WTLA are taught the importance of making healthy food choices, through activities such as cooking a stir fry in DT, selling healthy snacks in the tuck shop, offering Year 6 a healthy filling breakfast during SATs week and holding regular “Fruity Fridays.” Children are encouraged to develop a healthy attitude towards food and to understand that no foods are ‘bad’ but that there are some we should only have occasionally or eat in moderation.
As part of our summer school meals menus, our wonderful kitchen staff made samples of different dishes for the children to try. A range of children from Nursery to Year 6 and staff tasted the dishes and voted on their favourites. Popular choices, such as Katsu curry and tomato and spinach pasta were added to our summer menus, along side school packed lunches and jacket potatoes with a variety of tasty fillings.
Food Tasting Summer Menus 2023
Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE)
All children, throughout the school, take part in weekly PSHE lessons, using Jigsaw. The lessons are planned to cover 6 main areas: Being Me in My World; Celebrating Difference; Dreams and Goals; Healthy Me; Relationships and Changing Me. [See our PSHE Curriculum Progression Map for more information.]
As part of our commitment to healthy living, at West Town Lane Academy, we encourage the children, parents and staff to travel to and from school in a more active and sustainable manner. This includes walking, scooting or cycling. The school has plenty of safe parking pods where children and adults store their bicycles and scooters during the day.
In June 2021 West Town Lane Academy was awarded the Modeshift Stars Bronze Award for active travel. As part of our work towards the award, the Healthy Heroes surveyed the whole school about their methods of travel to and from school. The surveys painted a very positive picture with lots of children walking, cycling or scooting to school. In March 2023 we successfully submitted updates to our travel plans and surveys and in doing so maintained our award for a further year. Well done to everyone involved!
To make sure our children are can travel without harm we regularly talk about road safety and this year we have held scooter skills sessions for Year 1 and speed awareness training in Year 6. Our Ladybirds Nursery class proved that it’s never too early to learn about road safety when they used the EYFS Road Safety Equipment as part of their outdoor learning. In partnership with our Eco-Schools group Bristol Sustainable Travel Team held Clean Air Activity sessions with KS2, which focused on how sustainable travel can improve our environment as well as our health [See Eco Schools for some amazing photos].
Walking, scooting or cycling to and from school is a great way to improve physical and mental health. Below is a map which shows the 5 and 10 Minute Walking Zones around West Town Lane Academy.
So why not try to walking to school everyday if you live in the 5 or 10 minute zones or “Parking and Striding” if you live outside the zones?
As a school we are supported by Bristol Healthy Schools and in 2019 we were awarded their Physical Education Badge, which focuses on children, families and staff being active and enjoying sports and physical activities.
Bristol Healthy Schools Physical Education Badge
Previous year’s Healthy Heroes surveyed their classes about extra-curricular activities, in particular sporting activities. They discovered that about half of the children attended at least one after school sports club during the year. They also asked children what prevented them from attending and what sports activities they would like to see the school offering as we would like to increase uptake in the future. The children’s suggestions for additional clubs were shared with the staff and some new clubs (gymnastics and rugby) have been offered in recent years.
We were awarded the Bristol Healthy Schools PE Badge in November 2019. Everyone involved was delighted that the award acknowledged the whole school’s efforts to improve access to, enjoyment of and participation in sports and physical activity. A special thanks goes to the Healthy Heroes for their commitment to encouraging everyone to adopt a healthy lifestyle.