Health Related News
Wellbeing In-school Training and Consultancy Support
The Herts for Learning (HfL) Wellbeing advisers offer a wide range of in school training
sessions and consultancy support for schools, MATs, settings and parents/carers throughout
the year, with additional services added to meet demand. Contact us to discuss your specific
requirements or to make a booking by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW : Herts for Learning Wellbeing Quality Mark - A programme for whole school wellbeing development
Over the last two years Herts For Learning(HfL) advisers have revised and expanded the Healthy Schools Programme to add rigour and reflect new priorities. We have now integrated this revised programme into a new HfL Wellbeing Quality Mark which is now available for schools to sign up to. This award framework is in line with Ofsted expectations and best practice. Participating schools complete a detailed audit which helps to provide evidence across a wide range of wellbeing indicators and also select a single area for focused development for the year.
Specialist areas to choose from year are:
- PSHCE and RSE curriculum
- Physical wellbeing and healthy eating
- Emotional and mental health and wellbeing
- Online safety and digital wellbeing
In 2019 an additional section on staff wellbeing will be added.
For further details please contact email@example.com or telephone 01438 844819
Change4Life Be Food Smart campaign
PHE’s new Change4Life Be Food Smart campaign places teachers in a central role to help parents and children make healthier food and drink choices at home.
To help embed healthy behaviours early in life, more than 16,500 Change4Life Be Food Smart packs will be distributed to primary schools this January as part of their School Fruit & Veg Scheme delivery, along with parent packs for each pupil to take home to their parents.
These free, curriculum-linked resource packs will help teachers deliver engaging healthy food lessons built around the English, Maths, Science and PSHE curricula, including assembly, classroom and whole-school teaching ideas.
Schools can also run their own Be Food Smart campaign. Teachers will receive a pupil campaign pack, giving young people the tools to boost understanding about how food choices impact our health and how we can all make healthier choices.
A new Be Food Smart app has also been developed to highlight just how much sugar, saturated fat and salt can be found in everyday food and drink.
Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist, Public Health England, said: “Children have far too much sugar, and a lot of it is before their first lesson of the day. It’s crucial for children to have a healthy breakfast, but we know the mornings in a busy household can be fraught.”
Luke Thomas, Year 4 class teacher at The Flying Bull Academy in Portsmouth, said: “The lesson plans are an excellent introduction to help unearth children's misconceptions about sugar.
“They offer teachers the opportunity to engage children in a range of activities that inform them about the issue of sugary food while giving them clear examples of how they can take action. They will be an essential addition to teachers' lessons dealing with issues such as taking responsibility and making informed choices.”
Tackling obesity is everyone’s responsibility, and schools have a vital role to play. PHE is currently working with retailers, food manufacturers and other organisations in the food industry to reduce the amount of sugar by 20% contained in products children consume.
Teachers can look out for the Be Food Smart packs which will be arriving in schools now. To find out more about the campaign and the resources available to schools, search for Change4Life/schools online or visit the website
Teenage Cancer Trust Education Programme: Provides free presentations aimed at year 10 and above.
The presentation topics covered include:
- What is cancer?
- Types of Cancer
- Early warning signs
- The impact of cancer on young people
- Healthy living
- What we do and how students might get involved
Our education programme has been mentioned as part of the 5-Year Cancer Strategy for England 2015-2020. We believe that by talking about cancer we can make a difference. In July we held a Parliamentary reception to launch our Education Report which evidences the significant impact of our Education Programme in findings by Stirling University. You can read the article here (and access the full report with the link at the bottom): http://bit.ly/2aqoYDu
Ideally a presentation lasts up to an hour and works either as a standalone presentation to the whole year group together, or can form part of a health day or assembly.
Teenage Cancer Trust have visited the following schools: Watford Girls, Parmiter’s Queens, Rudolf Steiner, West Herts College, Hemel Hempstead School, Haileybury College, St. Francis College and St Albans School, The Nobel School with several others booked in over the coming months.
‘Michael’s talk was really well delivered. He made a sensitive topic accessible in a refreshing way to our young people. It was informative and engaging. I hope that we can welcome Teenage Cancer Trust back to talk to more of our students soon!’
‘I thought the presentation was delivered in a sensitive yet light-hearted and personal way which meant that the students were able to identify with Michael and, rather than feeling scared or intimidated, were empowered to be able to talk about cancer and understand it better.’
‘I thought Michael was amazing the class really took on board what he was saying, I am delighted to be able to have Michael deliver these sessions in our school.’
To find out more or book a presentation, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07734961781.
The Daily Mile’ is live in Hertfordshire – are you up for it?!
- Does concentration slip at times in your classroom, and you just want to hit a reset switch?
- Would you like your school to take part in a successful national wellbeing initiative?
- Do you like solutions developed by teachers for teachers, that are tried and tested?
You may have seen the Daily Mile on the news. Developed by a Scottish Head Teacher, Elaine Wyllie, the Daily Mile aims to improve the physical, mental, emotional and social health and wellbeing of children, regardless of age or circumstances. All children go outside in all weathers to walk/run for 15 minutes a day, at a time that best suits the needs of each class. It’s completely free: there’s no kit, and no time wasted. The children run in their school uniform to minimise disruption to the school day – they just put their pencils down and go! Five schools in Hertfordshire have worked with us to pilot The Daily Mile. They’ve seen the benefits and now we want to roll this out across the county. And we’ve found teachers benefit too!
Everything you need is available at:
simply register on the site and you can get started within a fortnight. We’d love to hear from schools that are ready to take part, so we can spread the word to others (please email Shelley.Taylor@hertfordshire.gov.uk). And if you need a little help getting started, we’d be happy to speak to your Headteacher/key contact, at your school or on the phone.
Link Between Pupil Health and Wellbeing and Attainment (November 2014)
This briefing provides a broad, succinct scope of the scientific evidence highlighting the link between health and wellbeing and educational attainment. It underlines the value for schools of promoting health and wellbeing as an integral part of a school effectiveness strategy, and highlights the important contribution of a whole-school approach.
The theme for this summer’s Change4Life (C4L) physical activity campaign is the “10 Minute Shake-up”, which aims to get children achieving the chief medical officer’s recommended one hour a day in practical 10 minute chunks. Change4Life and Disney have teamed up to help kids have fun and move more. Using their great stories and fantastic characters, children will be inspired to stay active over the summer break.
Families that sign-up will get a “10 Minute Shake-Up” pack with a stop watch and activity pack as well as lots of online Disney content. The sign-up leaflets are best used as a face-to-face conversation starter at events, leisure centres, summer camps, libraries, play days and any other opportunities to reach families with children aged 5-11.
A free school summer activity pack, issued through the School Fruit and Veg Scheme (SFVS) has been given to all infant schools across England. The pack, suitable for key stage 1 and 2 pupils contains a limited edition treasure hunt with eight 2D Disney characters and eight 10 minute activities. The pack will introduce the summer holiday campaign by providing leaflets and stickers for children to take home so that parents can sign up for the activity pack.
Local authorities are being asked to register their events on the Change4Life event finder and upload details of any events that are being co-branded with Change4Life so that everyone that signs-up to the campaign in your area can find out what’s happening locally.
Emotional Well Being
Feeling Good Week - February 2021
Feeling Good Week is a Hertfordshire-wide event that encourages schools and the wider community to promote children and young people’s emotional wellbeing by raising awareness of mental health and showing where support can be accessed within the community.
From 8th – 12th February 2021, we want you to help make children and young people in Hertfordshire feel good by running your own special projects to boost their emotional and mental wellbeing.
Youth organisations, schools, and young people are invited to submit a bid and apply for up to £500 of funding, which has been put forward by Hertfordshire County Council, and the county’s two Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). The bids will be reviewed by a panel in December, and they will decide which projects will receive funding for Feeling Good Week 2021.
Please submit completed application forms via email: email@example.com
Please note, unless there is an issue with your application form, bids will not be acknowledged by email. Only one application per organisation will be accepted.
The deadline for applications is
Friday 4th December 2020
Feeling Good Week application form
Reading Well for children – books to help you feel better
This booklist is targeted at children in Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11). It includes a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers, and to encourage children to read together with their siblings and carers.
The books are all categorised for different aged children (e.g. Age range 0+, Age Range 9+, Age range 3+) and relate to the following subjects / topics:
Healthy minds, feelings, worries and the world around you
- At school
- In the news
Dealing with tough times
- When someone dies
- Getting through a tough time
When you have a diagnosis
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Having a disability
Books to help you feel better
Herts Public Health have launched a Suicide Prevention Network website
The aim of the website is to provide a forum for those working together as a network across Herts to prevent suicide within Hertfordshire. It will be used as a place to publish documents, share news items, update the network, and share our views (via the twitter feed).
It is still evolving but may be a useful site for schools to update on what’s going on locally and who the key partners are.
Self Review to Whole School Approach to Mental Health and Wellbeing
Mental health and emotional wellbeing is a big factor in everyone’s lives.
Some of the latest national statistics give an indication on how it is affecting our young people.
- 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24.
- Small changes can make big differences.
- One in eight 5 – 19 year olds had a mental disorder in 2017 – NHS Digital report November 2018. Mental health of Children and Young People in England, 2017 – November 2018
Self Review Tool
This purpose is to support schools in developing their own whole school approach to improving mental health and emotional wellbeing. As schools find themselves increasingly responding to the mental health difficulties of staff, parents and pupils, the whole school, early intervention approach has never been so needed. This document supports a renewed effort to improve, consolidate or review our early help and prevention within schools. Schools ask – “Are we doing enough?” This document lists approaches, interventions, resources, practice and tools within the local context.
Healthy Young Minds in Herts School Accreditation for Emotional Wellbeing and Suicide Aware Schools Status: The Healthy Young Minds in Herts School Accreditation process will enable schools to achieve kite mark status for their contribution to supporting mental health and wellbeing. It will help to ensure a consistent approach to school-based competency in relation to mental health and wellbeing. The Suicide Aware Schools Status award contains some additional requirements for schools to demonstrate a commitment to raising awareness.
Our multi-agency Self Review panel has been running since September and will review all applications.
Please go www.healthyyoungmindsinherts.org.uk ‘schools’ section.
You will need to register an account to access the ‘Mental Health Leads Toolkit’ where all documents will be found under the link 'School self evaluation tool and kitemark'.
These documents and guidelines support schools obtaining this accreditation, or are to be used to review your existing practice.
The Kite Mark accreditation is fully funded and covers a three-year period.
Young People and Mental Health – Find support in your local library
With Time to Talk day and Feeling Good Week coming up, it is always useful to know where good resources on mental health are available for young people. Hertfordshire Libraries have a scheme called Shelf Help.
Shelf Help: Reading Well for Young People provides 13-18 year-olds with high quality information, support and advice on a wide range of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, self harm, and difficult life pressures, like bullying and exams.
Co-created by health experts and a panel of young people who have experienced mental health issues, a recommended reading list of 35 books helps young people understand and manage their wellbeing and emotional life.
The list include a wide range of self help and information titles, as well as memoir, graphic novels and fiction. Titles include The curious incident of the dog in the night time by Mark Haddon, The perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and popular non-fiction such as Mind your head by Juno Dawson, Blame my brain: the amazing teenage brain revealed by Nicola Morgan and The self esteem Team's guide to sex, drugs and WTFs?!! as well as self help guides Banish your body image and Breaking Free from OCD.
Libraries are a safe, trusted and non-judgemental spaces which makes them ideal places to access information in confidence. It is free to join Hertfordshire Libraries and to borrow books. Note that under 18s will need a parent or guardian signature to join the library.
For more information about Shelf Help, please see:
Free Online Mental Health Support for 10-to-25-Year-Olds
Children and young people in Hertfordshire can now get free online emotional and mental health support using a website called Kooth.com. If they are aged between 10 and 25 and registered with a Hertfordshire GP surgery, they can sign up, choose an avatar (an online character) to represent them anonymously and have an online chat with a counsellor or therapist. The counsellor or therapist can help with lots of different problems, including family problems, eating disorders, loneliness, bullying, anxiety and depression.
Kooth’s counsellors and therapists are available until 10pm, 365 days a year. Users can talk to other young people anonymously on the forums whenever they like, and keep an online journal.
Users can subscribe to Kooth.com to read its online magazine and can also use Kooth to set goals with their online counsellor or therapist and keep a record of how they are doing. Schools are being offered free training to encourage pupils to use Kooth.com.
Groups of young people in Hertfordshire have tested Kooth using trial accounts, and they felt that online counselling would be really useful for children and young people.
To sign up with Kooth go to www.kooth.com and enter a user name and password. None of the other young people who use Kooth will be able to see this so users can stay safe and anonymous. Visit Kooth.com for more information.
Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools
DfE have launched new guidance for schools on how to identify and support those pupils whose behaviour suggests they may have unmet mental health needs.
- how and when to refer to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
- practical advice to support children with emotional and behavioural difficulties
- strengthening pupil resilience
- tools to identify pupils for likely to need extra support
- where/how to access community support
One in ten children and young people aged 5 to 16 have a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder and around one in seven has less severe problems. DfE have developed this advice and practical tools to help schools promote positive mental health in their pupils and identify and address those with less severe problems at an early stage and build their resilience. This advice will also help schools identify and support pupils with more severe needs and help them make appropriate referrals to specialist agencies such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) where necessary.
Download guidance from:
Welwyn Hatfield Young Chef of 2020 Announced
Nine year old, Lucas Brooks from St Michael's Woolmer Green VA C of E School has won the Welwyn Hatfield Young Chef of 2020. The Year 5 pupil competed against eight other fantastic finalists from Welwyn Hatfield primary schools at Ridgeway Academy on Friday 7th February. Five hundred and fifty children across Welwyn Hatfield completed the Young Chef of the Year Award, which teachers delivered in schools and used to identify the finalists. The award, which was developed by The Food Teacher™ team, here in Hertfordshire, aims to improve long-term health by educating children about food and nutrition.
Lucas chose his Mum as his ‘HERO’ and designed his menu with her in mind. He impressed the judges with his 3-course menu of vegetable and vermicelli soup, Thai salmon with quinoa and honey glazed carrots and apple crumble served with whipped cream. Commenting after the announcement at the awards ceremony Lucas said, “I had great fun and all I did was enjoy it!”
His class teacher Claire Woods commented, “From start to finish the process of the Young Chef award was a brilliant experience for the children. They loved learning new skills and preparing a variety of different foods. As a teacher I found the project well resourced and very organised and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience - we will definitely take part again.”
Lucas wins a days experience working with the Head Chef Andrew Parkinson at The Grove Hotel, the Welwyn Hatfield Young Chef of the Year 2020 trophy, a selection of recipe books and some goodies from Rude Health.
Judges included Chef Harry Lomas (MBE), Head of Culinary at Wembley Stadium, Gemma Hollis from Welwyn Garden City branch of Waitrose and Katharine Tate, Director of The Food Teacher™. Judge Harry Lomas (MBE) was so impressed with the skills, creativity and dishes prepared by the children he expressed the challenges in choosing a winner. “All the children were fantastic and many of the dishes I would add to my menus. It was a challenge finding a winner but Lucas stood out for the quality of his food, the balance on his plate and his independence throughout the afternoon.”
The Food Teacher™ team, who organised the final have worked closely with The Rotary Club of Welwyn Garden City who sponsored and supported the event. John Walton, President of the club commented that, “Welwyn Garden City RC were only to pleased to grab the opportunity of supporting The Food Teacher™ and their excellent work by helping to mount this event. For the last 30 years we have organised a local heat of the Rotary Young Chef competition for secondary age students and this was a perfect complement to that.”
The Mayor, Councillor Roger Trigg and Mayoress Mrs Carole Trigg also attended the event. He explains, “The importance of learning skills including food hygiene and sourcing, together with using cross curricular areas gave the children confidence and enthusiasm which will benefit them and their families for the rest of their lives.”
Many other individuals and organisations enabled the event to take place and the hard work of classroom teachers and parents/carers has been fundamental to its success. Support has also been given from The Restaurant Group plc, the Welwyn Garden City branch of Waitrose, Rude Health, Healthier Fleetwood, Waitrose and Ridgeway Academy. Students from Oaklands College photographed and filmed the event, which will be released in the near future.
The team at The Food Teacher™ add, “Teaching children the importance of food for their health is essential and this challenge provides that opportunity within a practical, purposeful and engaging context. The focus and pride on the children’s faces throughout the afternoon was priceless and we look forward to more events of this nature in the future.”
For further information about this award, for recipes to try at home and for information about the Younger (ages 6-7) and Youngest (ages 3+) Chef programmes visit
Children get cooking across Hertfordshire
This month sees the launch of the Young Chef of the Year Award across Welwyn, Hatfield and Stevenage schools. The Award focuses on celebrating food education in the classroom and giving children hands-on practical experience alongside the message that what you eat is closely linked to your health and wellbeing.
In April 2017 The Food Teacher™, was commissioned to create an innovative and engaging award for 10 and 11 year olds in Fleetwood, Lancashire. This was a project sponsored and supported by NHS funding, local and national sponsors. 450+ pupils took part and following its great success the award is now being made available to all schools across the UK and Ireland with over 4,000 pupils set to complete the award this year.
Thanks to funding provided by The Restaurant Group, over 650 pupils in Hertfordshire, aged 9-11 years will be taking up the challenge and designing a three course ‘Meal for their Hero’ this term. During the 6-week award, the children will learn about making healthy food choices, chef skills, seasonality, cooking methods, food hygiene and safety and where food comes from. The teaching will also cross over into other curriculum areas such as English, Mathematics, Science, Geography, and Personal Social and Health Education.
Coordinating the challenge with the programme of activities and resources is The Food Teacher™ team (local teachers and a nutritional therapist) who feel, “Teaching children the importance of food for their health is essential and this challenge provides that opportunity within a practical, purposeful and engaging context.”
Welwyn and Hatfield Rotary are also supporting the awards by coordinating a grand final to be held in January 2020 where finalists from all schools will compete to become the Welwyn Hatfield Young Chef of the Year.
Karin Hutchinson (Lead Wellbeing Adviser, Herts for Learning Ltd.) comments: “All our pupils need to learn that eating the right food can bring about major health benefits both physically and mentally. The Young Chef of the Year Award provides an exciting context for this learning and Herts for Learning are happy to recommend it to schools.”
Schools in Harpenden, Lancashire, Luton, Greenwich and Ireland have already delivered the awards in their schools or are about to complete the award this term. Schools can sign up at any point in the academic year. Once signed up they receive full website access to the resources (videos’ presentations etc) and printed pupil workbooks, certificates, copies of the award winning books ‘No Kitchen Cookery for Primary Schools’ and ‘Now We’re Cooking! Delivering the National Curriculum through Food’ and equipment packs (an additional cost). Schools interested can contact The Food Teacher™ to find out more or visit the website:
Contacts for further information
Katharine Tate (The Food Teacher™, Director)
Wellbeing Team, Herts for Learning Ltd)
Healthy eating teaching resources
Change4Life’s healthy eating teaching resources
Developed by educational experts, these curriculum-linked resources encourage pupils to become Food Detectives and to learn about sugar and 5 a Day.