Health Promoting Schools
In 2009 Beech Hill College set out to achieve recognition as a Healthy Promoting School (HPS) with the aim of becoming a school that creates a healthy setting for living, learning and working for both students and staff.
The HPS concept is a whole school approach to health and wellbeing. Studies have shown that there is a direct link between a sense of belonging to school, school attendance, educational attainment and current and future health status. In order to achieve this Beech Hill College strives to provide a healthy environment, school health education, and school health services along with school/community projects and outreach, health promotion programmes for students and staff, nutrition and food safety programmes, opportunities for physical education and recreation, and programmes for counselling, social support and mental health promotion. This is achieved with programmes and initiatives such as; The Buddy System to aid first years with the transition from primary to secondary education, Healthy Eating Policy to promote a healthier well balanced diet, The Newly Developed Fitness Suite to encourage physical activity, The Diversity Alliance Beech Hill College (D.A.B) which is a group for students of all backgrounds with the aim of achieving a more diverse and accepting school community.
Beech Hill College focuses on:
- Caring for oneself and others
- Making healthy decisions and taking control over life's circumstances
- Creating conditions that are conducive to health (through policies, services, physical / social conditions)
- Promoting healthy lifestyle choices that will help prevent leading causes of death, disease and disability such as tobacco use, sedentary lifestyle, drugs and alcohol, violence and injuries, unhealthy nutrition.
- Influencing health-related behaviours: knowledge, beliefs, skills, attitudes, values, support.
Here are a list of just some of the other programmes, services and classes run by Beech Hill College;
SPHEGuidance CounsellorWellbeing CourseAWARE talks
RSEFriends for LifePastoral Care SystemGreen Schools
D.E.A.RSchool Completion ProjectActive School InitiativeHomework Club
BHC Healthy Eating Guidelines
What people eat is known to be one of the key factors influencing long term health. The school day provides the opportunity for having at least one of the daily meals within the school. Food is often a feature of school celebrations. The curriculum provides an opportunity to learn and explore about food and healthy lifestyles. Through these guidelines we aim to help all those involved in our school community, e.g. students, staff and parents in developing positive and responsible attitudes to eating and to appreciate the contribution that good food makes to health.
- Parents should ensure that their child has a balanced breakfast to help them learn and concentrate better in school or alternatively avail of the breakfast club/ canteen in the school.
- A healthy lunchbox includes a helping of food from the bottom four shelves of the food pyramid. Processed meat should only be offered once a week. Chicken, turkey, tuna and salmon are good low-fat options. Jam, marmalade and honey which have high sugar content should not be offered as a filling.
- Some of the healthy snacks that we encourage include fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese, standard yoghurts (non dessert), plain rice cakes, crackers and small scones (plain, fruit or wholemeal).
- Water is available throughout the day at our water fountains. If students do not drink enough water, they may become dehydrated, thirsty, tired and weak.
- Pure unsweetened juices or well diluted sugar free squashes (1 part squash: 8 parts water) may be included.
- Chocolate spreads, chocolate/cheese dips and chewy /sticky bars, sweets, chewing gum, nuts, crisps, cereal bars, fizzy drinks, sports/energy drinks and juice drinks are not permitted. Foods which have wrappers are to be kept to a minimum and disposed of properly to reduce litter and protect our school environment.
- Our school canteen provides healthy food and drink choices in line with healthy eating guidelines and food hygiene regulations
- The dining area in Beech Hill College is clean and comfortable, with adequate tables and seating. The school ensures that adequate facilities for litter disposal are in place. It is the responsibility of each member of the school community to pick up their own litter and dispose of it correctly.
- School-related events / fundraisers will generally adhere to the School’s healthy eating policy and will have a healthy focus, except for special occasions.
- Nutrition & healthy eating will be included as part of the school curriculum.
- Healthy Eating Awareness Events’ will form part of Health promoting Schools Week.
The 'Healthy Eating Guidelines' will be reviewed every two years and the policy will be visibly displayed in the school.