The average human brain weighs just 1.4kg, yet devours 20% of your daily energy. Food for thought indeed and something that has both intrigued and fascinated neuroscientists for years. Your body’s supercomputer deserves the healthy nutrition that it craves. Shockingly, according to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, on an average day 20-30% of teenagers skip breakfast. As a teacher who struggles to be the early bird, I can empathise with students who drag themselves out of bed at the very last minute before embarking on the school run: the ‘snooze button’ is many teenagers’ best friend. Nevertheless, if we skip breakfast, we are ill-prepared for the day ahead – our brains are deprived of the energy they need – our CPU is unable to operate efficiently.
Our assembly topic this week was ‘collaborate with your teachers – eat breakfast!’. Whilst the tone of the assembly was humorous, with students and teachers feeding one another using spoons attached to 1m rulers, the message was a serious one. There may be many key ingredients in creating a successful and rounded education for students; it would have been easy for me to deliver a time-honored assembly on the importance of homework, revision, CAS or choosing a university. However, ensuring students have eaten a healthy breakfast trumps, in my mind, all of these things. Without breakfast, our brains are starved of the energy for which they hanker. Without breakfast, everything that occurs between starting school and morning break is starved of efficiency.
5-Day Breakfast Selfie Challenge
To encourage all students to break with bad habits and ensure they eat a healthy breakfast every morning we introduced a ‘5-day breakfast selfie challenge’ with prizes to be won. Perhaps the biggest prize of all being a week of energy-fueled learning.
With 86 entries to the competition, my Monday morning was spent busily judging happy and healthy starts to the BIS day. The standard of entries was high, with students demonstrating both creative flair for selfie-taking and good decision making for healthy breakfasts. Theophile Oubrier in Year 7 submitted a fantastic entry with a clear understanding of what a healthy and nutritious breakfast should contain, which is why he was the overall winner.
"I am very pleased to have won the Breakfast Selfie Challenge. It was a great pleasure to participate. I know that having a good breakfast is very important. As you may all know, it is very important for you to be able to concentrate in a school day or at work. Well, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! It boosts your energy levels throughout the morning and makes you focused in class. Therefore, you must have a healthy breakfast containing a range of different food groups. Not just apples or bananas! A little bit of fat (one or two biscuits), calcium and potassium (dairy product like yoghurt or milk), proteins (ham), carbohydrates (grains), and much more..." - Theophile Oubrier, Year 7
Congratulations to all of our runners up – Junseo Bae; Rohan Gupta; Jessica Hwang; Rosie Battersby; Chae Rim Lee; Kanghyun Park and Julia Aafjes.
I am confident that breakfasts will remain a fixed part of our BIS students’ routines. Let the learning commence!
Lee Falconer, Assistant Headteacher – Teaching and Learning