A Caldicot primary school has participated in a project to encourage families to help their children to be a healthy weight through healthy eating and physical activity. The project, organised by partners from Monmouthshire’s healthy schools scheme, sports development team and school health nursing service aims to promote a happy, healthy start in life for children.

All children at Dewstow Primary School have participated in cookery sessions overseen by experienced food technology teacher Richard Shaw of Cooking Together, an organisation that works with all age groups.  It demonstrates how eating healthily can be affordable, interesting and fun.  In addition, an emphasis is placed on safety, hygiene and well-being.  The food prepared at Dewstow ranged from rainbow couscous salad, sunshine pasta salad and fruit muffins to fruity crumble flapjacks, crunchy coleslaw, lunchbox pizzas and healthy wraps.

Headteacher Gill Bray said: “We encourage all of our children to eat healthily, take part in physical activity and to play.  We value the importance of working with our families and know that when our children are happy they are more able to play and learn together.”

The healthy cookery sessions have run over four days during the summer term, including cookery sessions for parents. The two workshops for parents held on Wednesday 6th June centred on healthy lunchboxes for children and “me size” meals – a reference to suitable portions for individuals.

A focus has also been placed on exercise at Dewstow with Monmouthshire’s sports development team training all Year 2 pupils to become Foundation Friends, a new programme set to be established more widely in Monmouthshire.  These pupils offer support to their class colleagues to play games and be physically active as well as being a positive role model for younger pupils in the school.  Dewstow Primary has also embraced the Year 5 Playmaker programme and has two Young Ambassadors in Year 6 to ensure wellbeing is established throughout the school.

Councillor Richard John, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member for children and young people said: “A balanced diet and exercise don’t solely impact on physical health – they have a direct effect on a young person’s ability to learn.  Pupils who eat healthily and are active are more focused and more likely to achieve in school.”

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