By Em Buchanan
The NHS has revealed that 3 in 10 children are classified obese. Thanks to the increasing availability of electronic devices and microwave meals, more and more 8-11 year olds are spending their weekends plugged into the internet, eating junk food. Arguably, parents and carers are responsible for controlling these habits and allowing them to get out of hand. But what role do schools play in improving the overall health of today’s children?
There are a number of contributing factors behind this issue but if we wish to tackle childhood obesity, we must address advocacy in schools. Ever since Jamie Oliver busted down the doors of the nation’s canteen and publically shamed Turkey Twizzlers (Jamie’s School Dinners, 2005), schools have been unavoidably aware of their obligation to the student body’s wellbeing. However, despite Oliver making substantial waves when it comes to school dinners, there’s still much to be done regarding the overall health of children.
For teachers wishing to incorporate healthy living ideas into their lesson plans, the biggest hurdle of all can be apathy. Typically, health and fitness subjects are dismissed with the disparaging grunt of those who are infinitely overstimulated by iPads, Xboxes, Kindles, Nintendo DS’s and smart phones. If children can watch on-demand TV whilst playing Moshi Monsters and live-tweeting their opinion of the latest episode of Doctor Who, it’s no wonder they turn their noses up at a good old fashioned game of rounders. So how to get them excited about a healthy lifestyle without turning to the self-perpetuating allure of an educational app?
Camp Beaumont is aiming to answer that question. As a UK-based summer camp that organises popular stay-away holidays for school age children, their focus on high energy, skills-focused activities could easily be transformed into lesson plans. In fact, during term time, Camp Beaumont offer a completely free curriculum-based teaching resource called “FUN-2B-FIT.”
“The team behind Camp Beaumont know how vital it is for young people to enjoy an active lifestyle to help protect them from the risk of obesity,” their promotional literature states. “We’ve worked hard to make sure this curriculum-linked campaign is pitched just right for 8-11 year olds, engaging them with fun, interactive lessons that carry an important message about healthy living.” Initially intended for a classroom environment, the pack also includes optional practical tasks that meet P.E and drama guidelines. The more creative practical tasks are openended so that teachers can tailor the lesson to their class. Topics include “What’s Good to Eat,” – an exploration of the nutritional side of food and “How We Feel,” –focusing on emotional wellbeing.
If you want to bring the FUN-2B-FIT campaign to your classroom and tackle childhood obesity head on, Camp Beaumont has taken care to collate all of the teaching materials you need. From interactive whiteboard resources to posters, leaflets and 6 lesson plans, the completely free FUN-2B-FIT pack can be requested for your school by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 020 8973 0040.