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Fun and Learning During Healthy Living Week

10 July 2017

The whole academy participates in a range of activities for Healthy Living Week!

We constantly read about childhood obesity, a generation of children who are less active than their parents were at the same age and the increasing prevalence of mental health issues in our young people. Healthy Living Week held from the 12th to the 19th June 2017, is a national initiative to try to address some of these issues and help young people to make good choices to support their future. Samuel Ryder Academy decided to participate in the event, as we believe that it is vital that we not only support our children’s academic achievements but also help to educate them about making healthy choices about their food, exercise and wellbeing. In addition to thinking where their food originates, its journey to our tables and the impact on our planet.

The week commenced with a climbing wall for the secondary aged students, climbing is currently the fastest growing sport in the UK. Our students certainly proved that they have a head for heights! In addition, we had two enormous inflatable boot camps, this activity proved very popular with all the children and a few teachers! It was an absolute delight to see everyone take the challenge as they clambered over the obstacles; “this is the best PE lesson ever!” was a phase we heard repeatedly. Rounders matches to build team spirit were also very popular. In the afternoon, we had Zumba sessions on the field. We also set a challenge in assembly for the students to eat a healthy breakfast for the week and suggested they might like to load a hydration app onto their iPad to monitor their water intake, as we know that our brains function better when hydrated.

On Tuesday, we welcomed David Langley from Sainsburys and Catherine Howard from one of our partner companies NFT. David very kindly brought a mountain of fruit and read the story Handa’s Surprise to Year 1. The story tells the journey of a young African girl who sets of on a journey to visit her friend with a basket of fruit, along the journey, various animals take the fruit from her basket but there is a surprise at the end. The children all touched the fruit, and learnt where it originated from by putting stars on a world map. I do hope you all now know that a pineapple is ripe once you can pull a leaf from its crown! Later in the morning, David worked with Year 9 more able students where they learnt and tested the sugar content of fruits, by using refraction. This was a very interactive session with students initially tasting bananas that were unripe to over ripe so they could also use their sense of taste to make judgements before the machines. This also supports work they do in science lessons.

Reception classes listened to Handa’s surprise on Wednesday then made fruit skewers so that they could taste some of the more exotic fruits. They listened beautifully and from the photographs, you will see they are now experts at creating delicious and healthy fruit skewers.

The secondary students took part in a House quiz, this included questions about food and some blindfolded tasting – as you can imagine there were some very interesting expressions during the session.

PSHE lessons provided an opportunity to discuss what we really mean by healthy living.

Not to leave the staff out of the Healthy eating initiative, we had fruit instead of cake at break time and a High Intensity Interval Training session after school. Feedback suggested that this is something we should do more often, hopefully a new wellbeing session for staff from September.

The secondary school joined the primary initiative by taking part in Mindfulness sessions and on Friday form time we took part in seated exercises.

We finished the week with Smoothie bikes. The children pedalled the bike to make their own smoothie and then had the pleasure of tasting the product of their efforts. A fun end to a very active week.

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