In June 2018, Junior School Leidschenveen became the first of the British School in the Netherlands campuses to undergo the Healthy Schools self-validation process and be awarded Healthy School status.
Healthy Schools is a UK-based initiative that provides a checklist to help schools assess and develop their support of student and staff health in the areas of PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education), Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and SEMH (social, emotional and mental health).
If a school is deemed to have successfully fulfilled an adequate number of requirements set in the Healthy Schools toolkit, they are awarded Healthy School status. This means they join a community of schools across the UK and beyond who are leaders in well-rounded health support programmes.
Getting Students Involved
Junior School Leidschenveen has undergone an extensive self-assessment process, determining which areas of its health programme are outstanding and which need improvement, then creating plans to improve upon those areas. One example where JSL saw a need for improvement was in further implementing healthy eating initiatives.
The student council was asked to share ideas of what they could do to help their classmates make healthier eating choices. They came up with the idea of “Fruity Fridays”, a programme where staff provides fresh fruit for students, which is delivered directly to the classrooms. A group of Year 2 students also took it upon themselves to form a Litter Collecting club, and members spend their playtime throwing away any rubbish they found in the play area, to ensure their school environment stays healthy as well.
Another example of new programmes that have been enacted at JSL with great success has been the Daily K, a daily 1 kilometer run around the sports field for students from Foundations to Year 6. Student feedback has been all about noticing their personal growth:
“I have more energy” – Leonardo
“I can run faster” – Chloe
“I’m running longer and longer and longer and longer” – Ben
The impetus for undergoing the validation process was not only to provide students and staff with a healthy school, but to ensure everyone in the community was aware of the very many different factors that go into overall health. BSN Health staff is happy to report that students are more aware now of the many aspects of their personal health and wellbeing, as well as that of their classmates and families.
In the future, Junior School Leidschenveen hopes to invite a Healthy Schools inspector from the UK to visit and perform an official check to reinforce their current self-validation.
Well done to students and staff for their effort towards promoting a healthier British School in The Netherlands!
Find out more about The British School, where Student Health and Mental Wellbeing is key.