Health and education are linked. Healthy young people are better learners and are more likely to complete their education. Those with a good education are more likely to have better health status.
Promoting well-being is one of the core goals of the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Achieving Excellence vision. Schools are tasked with developing learning environments that promote and support student well-being – to focus not just on academic success, but also on the whole child so that they may reach their full potential. Ontario’s Ministry of Education recognizes and endorses the Healthy Schools framework in Foundations for a Healthy School.
To create a healthy school, the entire school community works together to help students, staff and parents make healthier choices that promote student wellness and learning. The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit can support your school’s progress towards becoming a healthier school.
How to Create a Healthy School
To get started, talk to your school principal about becoming a healthier school. For more information on how to create a Healthy School, follow the steps below. Have questions? Contact your Public Health Nurse to ask for assistance.
1. Form a Healthy School committee
You can form a committee or join an existing one made up of students, staff, parents and community partners. Your committee needs to meet regularly and work through the steps below to become a healthier school. Together the committee can plan and lead activities to achieve goals and address health priorities.
2. Identify your school’s priority
Gather ideas and information from students, teachers and parents to identify the school’s strengths, needs and interests related to health.
3. Develop and carry out an action plan
Include students in the development of your action plan. Aim to add evidence-informed activities in these five areas over time:
- Curriculum, teaching and learning
- Classroom and school leadership
- Student engagement
- Social and physical environments
- Home, school and community partnerships
4. Evaluate and celebrate achievements
Review, evaluate and celebrate your success in creating a healthier school.
Communicate with the whole school community as you work through all of the steps and plan your school health activities for the school.