April Feature Healthy School: Sir William Osler Elementary School | Ophea.net

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April Feature Healthy School: Sir William Osler Elementary School

Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 13:46

We are excited to have 327 registered Healthy Schools, representing 50 school boards across the province for Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification 2017/18 school year! You can find out if schools from your board have registered by viewing the Registered Schools List.

Every month until June, we’ll be sharing the experiences of select registered Healthy Schools who have been active on Twitter using #HSCertES; bringing you their success stories, challenges and ideas to support you in making your school a healthier school. Sir William Osler Elementary School is our April Feature Healthy School. We caught up with Rosie Kott to learn about their experiences with Healthy Schools Certification.

1. What is your Healthy Schools priority health topic? What inspired you to choose this topic?

Our Healthy Schools priority topic is Mental Health.  We used feedback from several sources, including our students, and input from our Public Health Nurse when choosing our priority topic. The City of Hamilton had a focus on the 5 Ways to Well-Being (Connect, Be Active, Be Creative & Play, Take Notice, and Keep Learning) and we thought that teaching our school about these strategies and helping individuals apply them, would benefit our school to build community and the well-being of everyone. 

2. How does your school team encourage students and staff to make healthy choices?

Our school team encourages others to make healthy choices by offering nutritious food choices weekly and offering healthy options at school events and activities.  Some examples of this are: Apples instead of chips at school events, fruit infused water, the purchase of a hydration station, and fruit kabobs for sale to students. We have also been working to raise money to purchase a second hydration station for the upstairs at our school.

3. How has your school team motivated your school community to be healthy?

Beginning in November, our school offered a variety of daily Nutrition Break Activities (our school`s “NBA”).  These included a games club, tabata club, yoga club, Just Dance activities, and intramural sports.  These were very well attended!  Many older students enjoyed both leading and attending these activities.  It was great to see how they would interact, help, and encourage the younger students.  Students were able to connect with students that they may not otherwise have interacted with and to build relationships. 

4. Tell us about a success, no matter how big or small, that your Healthy Schools Team has had this year.

We have raised awareness about mental health issues, helped to break down the stigma, and helped students develop coping strategies. Junior and Intermediate students participated in workshops related to resilience and building skills to enhance their overall well-being.  Displays were set up around the school that promoted acceptance and positivity.

5. How have students been engaged as leaders within your school community as a result of Healthy Schools Certification?

Students have taken great initiative in creating posters and announcements to share the different opportunities going on in our school.  They also have enjoyed assisting with our fundraisers by preparing and delivering items to classes.  Many students became leaders of tabata, dance and yoga.  Others enjoyed teaching other students how to play games during our games club.  It really has been amazing to witness the enthusiasm of the students and their amazing skills in regards to leadership. 

6. Does your Healthy Schools Team have any upcoming events or activities that they’re excited about?

We are very excited about our upcoming “Ways to Wellness” evening that will be held May 9th.  Our event will include activities that students can attend with their families.  All activities will provide families time to “Connect” and interact while having fun.  Each of the activities focuses on one of the 5 Ways to Well-Being that we have been learning about this year.  Our local Moksha Yoga will be at the school and teach about the importance of stopping and “Taking Notice”.  We will also offer an art station where families can draw together allowing them the opportunity to “Be Creative and Play” In our gym, there will be new games to learn and play, an opportunity to “Be Active” and fitness stations run by leaders from Crunch Fitness located in the community.  There will also be a coding room where everyone can “Keep Learning” with Micro:bits.  We are so pleased to have received a Speak Up Grant to assist with this evening and our school will benefit greatly from the new games and yoga mats that we were able to purchase.

Rosie Kott
Sir William Osler Elementary School
Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board

Looking to make your school a healthier place? Check out the HS Certification Guidebook. To see what healthy schools are up to follow #HSCertES on Twitter!