Newborough East Primary School is the first school in Latrobe Valley to achieve benchmarks for seven health priority areas of the Achievement Program, which promotes good health and wellbeing by using an evidence-based framework for all early childhood services, schools and workplaces.
Newborough East Primary School registered with the Achievement Program (AP) in 2012 and, with the support of Latrobe Community Health Service (LCHS) Health Promotion Officers, has become the first school in Latrobe to reach all benchmarks for seven health priority areas. The AP journey has been a slow but extremely rewarding process and Newborough East is proud to provide health and wellbeing opportunities to positively support their staff, students and families.
Different layers of action were required in the priority areas of healthy eating and oral health, safe environments, sexual health and wellbeing, mental health and wellbeing, sun protection, tobacco, alcohol and other drugs and physical activity and movement. This involved the school reviewing current policies, ensuring staff and the curriculum were supporting the health objectives and that health messages were communicated clearly to students and their families. The benchmarks could only be achieved with the support of the students and their families who contributed to healthy school events and attended and engaged in school information sessions.
Key successes the school achieved over this time included:
- Canteen meets the School Canteens and other Food Service Policy
- Child Safe Code of Conduct implementation
- Mental Health First Aid Training for support staff
- Therapy in Schools program – providing a wide range of health professional’s onsite.
Newborough East Primary School continues to lead the way in supporting the health and wellbeing of their school community by being a lead school in the implementation of the Respectful Relationships Initiative, a primary prevention activity designed to stop violence before it starts by addressing the deep-seated gendered drivers of family violence. Being a lead school in this space, specialised staff at Newborough East are also available to assist with the Respectful Relationships Initiative in partner schools.
Newborough East Primary School has been able to achieve such success due to the ongoing support of its Principal and Assistant Principal and their understanding of the important role the Achievement Program has in the health and wellbeing of the school community.
Successful progression through the Achievement Program requires effective leadership, including a school ‘Champion’ who understands the important role of the AP and who confidently promotes and supports the school’s health and wellbeing plan. Newborough East Primary School has been fortunate to have had several champions, starting with the ongoing support of its Principal and Assistant Principal, and continuing through to the canteen manager and school crossing supervisor. However, the true success for the school is having each and every school community member support the implementation of the Achievement Program, positively impacting the health and wellbeing of students, their families and community.
To start your Achievement Program journey, register today!