March Feature Healthy School: Massey Street Public School |

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March Feature Healthy School: Massey Street Public School

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 12:42

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. Massey Street Public School is our March Feature Healthy School. We caught up with Renee Twinney 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 goal at Massey Street P.S. is to give our community a variety of opportunities to increase their physical activity and increase physical literacy.  “Putting the physical into education” is Massey’s priority health focus (slogan borrowed from a t-shirt I now proudly own thanks to an HPE PD session I attended recently).  The book “Spark” by John J. Ratey inspired this focus.  His book and countless research has proven how important physical activity is in literally rewiring the brain to improve cognitive functions, along with extensive benefits of mental, emotional, social, and physical well-being.     

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

Our school makes physical activity a priority every day.  Each class participates in a variety of daily physical activities every morning together as a school, at the same time for 20 minutes:  Mindful Monday (yoga/stretches), Tune Up Your Body Tuesday (HIIT), Walking Wednesday (outdoor nature walk), Think You Can Dance Thursday (Just Dance and Go Noodle videos), Fitness Circuit Friday (bodyweight exercise stations – Tabata style).  At Massey, being physically active has become a part of our culture.  It’s not uncommon to find students checking their pulse to evaluate their heart rate throughout the day.  In addition, to our DPA routines, exercise is frequently used as an energy booster throughout the day; students have become experts in selecting exercise movements to help them re-focus and re-energize their brains and bodies.   

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

Our school team continues to inspire and motivate our school community by keeping them abreast of all the fun and exciting health opportunities offered at our school through a variety of communication methods.  Contests, challenges, assemblies, special event days, community open houses, and focused surveys are just some examples. 

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

Every day that our community is participating in physical activity it is a success.  The most exciting success, however, is being witness to the growth and development of our community’s physical literacy over the last few years.  Students are regularly heard talking about their muscles, correctly naming their muscles, identifying which muscles an exercise is working, naming exercise movements such as squats and/or burpees, mastering fundamental movement and sport skills, independently taking their pulse or using Yoga stretches/Mindful Movements and their breath to cool their bodies down after being physically active, and watching their confidence in themselves blossom is super exciting.  Programs like Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification and their resources, and having a full-time Physical Education teacher have all helped instil the value of daily physical activity contributing to our school’s successes.

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

The Student Athletic Members (SAM) team, was created to provide students with opportunities to help plan, organize, lead, and participate in events like “Take Me Outside Day”, Winter Olympics Play Day, The Terry Fox Run, The Big Crunch, Bike Rodeo, and help organize, set up, and referee Intramurals, lead classes in DPA everyday... the list goes on.  We want to make sure our students are contributing members of our community invested in themselves and others.  Ophea's Healthy Schools Certification helps create these opportunities and gives our school community great pride.   

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

We are now in the middle of organizing our Spring into Health Open House.  It’s an exciting, educational, and interactive opportunity for students, parents, and community members to participate in physical activity together as a community and learn about all the resources and programs we have in the local and wider community.  City of Brampton Parks and Recreation, Canadian Mental Health Association, Girl Guides of Canada, Brampton Library, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Brampton Paramedics, just to name some, will be in attendance to help educate our community.  In addition, Massey is working to reduce our carbon footprint and promote active transportation by hosting our annual community Bike Swap to help recycle and reuse bicycles.   Put Thursday, May 10th at 6 p.m. on your calendar and Spring into Health with Massey Street P.S!    

Renee Twinney, OCT
Massey Street Public School Find them on Twitter

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!