Students from Year 3 to Year 9 were involved in small information sessions relating to health and nutrition. We were very fortunate to have a high level of expertise coming to the school to share key messages to help our students make the best choices for a healthy lifestyle, be it the area of eating, sleep or wider lifestyle choices.
Dr Doan Ngoc Hai, General Director for Occupational and Environmental health at the Ministry of Health, spoke to our senior students. He was extremely thorough in his presentation and gave an engaging talk that stimulating many questions and comments. There was a degree of humour amongst the students that show how highly they thought of the material and the issues raised. Eye sight, particularly short sightedness, sleep patterns, exercise, and the quantity of time spent watching television or playing computer games were a few of the key messages he wanted to pass on. It was indeed a revelation to me how much students watch TV at home on a weekday evening and at weekends, and those were only those brave enough to respond to the question. What happens at school is often very different from what happens at home, and though these sorts of events, we are helping children make the best decisions about lifestyles from a position of knowledge for themselves, and not because the Principal or parents say so. This will, of course, talk time to embed as good practice.
Catherine Z. Gonzalez, a general practitioner and occupational health medicine specialist from the Family Medical Practice spoke to the Year 5 and 6 students and elicited many good questions from them too. Her material was a little different and paves the way for further personal, social and health issues to be delivered to parents first before embarking on a programme of education with the students. We consider it very important to engage with our parents about these important matters first.
Donkey Bakery leant its support to the World Health Day discussions with an excellent presentation on different food types and their role in contributing to healthy development. Neatly divided into Go, Glow and Grow foods, students from Year 3 upwards were helped to see the contribution that all food types have and the damage that can be caused by too little water, fiber or nutrients as opposed to too much sugar and fat. It was a very full but attractive presentation that will form the basis for a parents’ information session next term and for continued education for the students.
I am very pleased to say that all of the presenters spoke very highly of the listening and questioning skills of the students and how much they enjoyed coming to the school. There will be many such opportunities for days like these – inevitably, this is just the beginning but we have begun an important process.