Childhood Eating and Exercise Policy
The McDonalds “golden arches” is the second most recognized symbol in the world; the first is the Christian Cross.
Much has been written, spoken, and generally splashed extensively across the media regarding the issue of childhood eating and exercise patterns. It is indeed an alarming truth that many of the young people growing up today do so with far more choices at their disposal than in previous generations. When these choices involve food and the use of leisure time, the options often presented by the corporate marketing machines often lure children away from some of the more common sense options presented in many homes and schools. Peer pressure further increases the negative exposure exponentially.
At Georgiana Molloy Anglican School we believe that education is a partnership between the home and the school and that as such it is the responsibility first and foremost of the home to establish sound practices in children regarding food choices and the use of leisure time.
If we assume that a child eats three times a day, then they consume1095 meals per year, plus snacks. Based on approximately 280 school days per year (and the assumption that one meal, lunch, occurs at school on those days), even with the assumption of 100% eat-right compliance at GMAS, GMAS could only control 25% of a child’s total eating habits. Therefore 75% of a child’s meals will be outside GMAS’s control. That 3:1 ratio will be enough to produce obese children if healthy eating patterns are not followed in the home.
So whereas GMAS will put a lot of effort into the 25%, we will be less successful without parent support. GMAS therefore aims to promote education and awareness for children and for parents. That is; attack the 75%, not just the 25%.
Georgiana Molloy Anglican School believes that its role in the issue of healthy eating and exercise is therefore pivotal, and must work in partnership with families to educate and facilitate appropriate eating and exercise patterns in the young people that it serves.
The Equation for Success
Essentially, to avoid weight gain “calories out” must equal “calories in”. To lose weight calories out must exceed calories in. Therefore Georgiana Molloy Anglican School and parents must address the issues of children’s exercise and eating.
Promotion of Healthy Eating
At Georgiana Molloy Anglican School, this is done in three ways:
C. Café GMAS
1. Healthy eating addressed developmentally across the K-12 curriculum across all 8 learning areas.
2. The 7 learning areas other than Health and Physical Education proactively seeking opportunities to integrate healthy eating themes wherever possible. For example: The entertaining and powerful “Super-Size Me” documentary within the English curriculum.
3. Specific emphasis given to healthy eating in all outcome levels within the Health and Physical Education learning area.
4. Consistent messages given to students through 1, 2, and 3 above.
5. Incorporating healthy eating issues within the Middle School Integrated Focus themes and Junior School class themes.
6. Compulsory short fruit time and brain food breaks within the school day with the precise timing of such being determined by each classroom teacher for junior school and the first years of middle school.
7. Provide access and funds within the Professional Development budget for Staff Professional Development in the area of healthy eating for children.
8. Engagement of a dietician / sports nutritionist to assist in curriculum planning and staff professional development.
9. Café GMAS Manager and other appropriate staff to participate in the annual Healthy Choice Food Expo.
1. Communicate to parents the school’s proactive stance regarding healthy eating and strongly try to elicit support from parents in urging them to support the school in supporting their children by maintaining consistency through what food and drinks they allow their children to bring to school.
2. Provide parents (in conjunction with 1 above) with specific examples to assist them regarding unhealthy food and drink items that Georgiana Molloy Anglican School would strongly prefer were not brought in and consumed by children at the school.
3. Principal to mandate to parents that certain named unhealthy products cannot be brought into the school and be consumed by students under any circumstances. For example: lollies, chips.
1. Café GMAS to become Five Star accredited within the Star Canteen Accreditation Program (STARCAP).
2. Planning of Café GMAS menu to emphasize foods that contribute significantly to meeting children’s energy and nutritional needs.
3. Café GMAS (and P and FA) do not supply and sell food and drink products that do not contribute positively to a child’s energy and nutritional needs.
4. Café GMAS not to take the view that stocking some healthy items amongst the unhealthy ones delivers on its responsibility to promote healthy eating.
5. In achieving 2, 3 and 4 above, implement via a graded series of steps to coincide with several end of term menu changes so that Café GMAS income is maintained through students being introduced slowly to the changes. (There is no point in a radical sudden reformation of the menu if no-one then partakes in Café GMAS food and drinks anymore.)
6. Use of the Star Choice Registered Products Canteen Buyer’s Guide to assist with 2 above.
7. Subscribe to and implement suitable strategies from the Can-Team newsletter and website.
8. Liaise with the WA School Canteen Association.
Promotion of Exercise
At Georgiana Molloy Anglican School this is achieved in five ways:
B. Co-Curricular Program
C. Break times during the school day.
D. Traveling to and from Georgiana Molloy Anglican School.
E. Positive Role Models at Georgiana Molloy Anglican School.
1. Georgiana Molloy Anglican School to critically examine the merits of team sports and individual sports within the curriculum. A balance is needed between teaching team sports such as football, cricket and netball, and more individual sports such as golf, athletics, fitness training and triathlon. The latter group allows less gifted to compete against themselves or play on a more social level. The rationale behind this being that these more individual sports may be participated in for a longer portion of one’s life than the team sports that for most are played only in the school years.
2. Exercise addressed developmentally across the K-12 curriculum across all 8 learning areas.
3. The 7 learning areas other than Health and Physical Education proactively seeking opportunities to integrate exercise themes wherever possible.
4. Specific emphasis given to exercise in all outcome levels within the Health and Physical Education learning area.
5. Consistent messages given to students through 4, 5 and 6 above.
6. Incorporating exercise issues within the Middle School Integrated Focus themes and Junior School class themes.
7. Provide access and funds from within the Professional Development budget for Staff Professional Development in the area of exercise for children.
8. Ongoing participation for students in activities such as “Jump Rope for Heart.”
9. Younger students (when residential areas become closer to the school) participating in the “virtual school bus” to promote for walking to school.
1. Continual promotion of the Co-Curricular Sporting Program to children.
2. Critically examine the merits of team sports and individual sports within the Co- Curricular Program (as in 3 above).
3. Creation of student transport modes and times as the school grows to enable greater participation in the Co-Curricular Sporting Program after school hours.
4. To assist with 3 above, try to offer some co-curricular sporting training sessions at lunch times rather than before or after school.
5. Encourage pride in sporting participation through uniforms, team names, and acknowledgement of participation and achievements.
Break Times during the School Day
1. Georgiana Molloy Anglican School seeks to improve the participation rate in exercise during free play before school, at morning recess, lunch time and after school.
2. Monitor equipment usage and facilities and within budgetary constraints, provide increased facilities and equipment to further promote active participation.
3. Liaise with P&FA Parent Liaison Network (PLN) regarding enlisting parent helpers to supervise activities at break times to allow greater scope of activities while staffing levels are relatively low.
4. Continue to maximize usage of staff for campus supervision having due regard for the Industrial Award, Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, and Anglican Schools’ Commission Workloads Policy.
5. Consider provision of a simple fitness circuit for students around the perimeter of the campus as in some city parks with consideration of 4 above.
6. Consider provision of a supervised gymnasium style fitness circuit in an under cover area with consideration of 4 above.
7. Provision of sporting equipment for students to use at break times, and an operational model that makes this access user friendly for students so they don’t find difficulty in accessing gear and consequently give up trying.
8. Encouragement of student games at break times supervised by the staff members on campus supervision duty and / or senior staff.
Traveling to and from Georgiana Molloy Anglican School
1. Georgiana Molloy Anglican School to examine whether we can increase the number of students walking or riding to school through the provision of safe paths and cycle ways.
2. Ongoing lobbying for 1 above.
3. Increase the provision of suitable bike storage at the school to encourage students to cycle to and from school.
Positive Role Models at Georgiana Molloy Anglican School
1. Walking the walk is a powerful motivator compared to talk alone. Georgiana Molloy Anglican School aims to create opportunities to showcase the good habits of staff regarding exercise.
2. The recent provision (and future increased provision) of change rooms and showers encourages staff to ride to work. It might be also enable some to exercise at other times subject to other duties.
3. The creation of Georgiana Molloy Anglican School Staff sporting teams and modified staff versus students sporting teams.
4. Promotion of parent events in school sporting competitions to promote parents as partners with Georgiana Molloy Anglican School in modeling exercise.
Childhood obesity is a growing concern in modern society. Its roots lie with unhealthy eating and poor exercise patterns. Georgiana Molloy Anglican School is committed to working with families to proactively educate children in relation to this issue, and to facilitate for children sensible and realistic alternatives to promote active and healthy lifestyle choices.