General Health

To nurture the skills of resilience is key to providing young people with the ability to cope with stress, adversity, failure and challenges. Resilience is evident when young people have a greater ability to “bounce back” when faced with difficulties and achieve positive outcomes.

Resilience is required to exert self-discipline in the use of digital devices, to limit screen time and prioritise the importance of getting sufficient sleep.

Enabling children to have accurate, appropriate knowledge about their bodies, their health and wellbeing allows them to build knowledge, skills, and positive attitudes about health. Health education teaches about physical, mental, emotional and social health. It motivates students to improve and maintain their health, prevent disease, and reduce risky behaviours – now and in the future.

By the end of primary school pupils should know:

  • How to recognise early signs of physical illness, such as weight loss, or unexplained changes to the body.
  • About safe and unsafe exposure to the sun, and how to reduce the risk of sun damage, including skin cancer.
  • The importance of sufficient good quality sleep and limiting screen time for good health
  • About dental health and the benefits of good oral hygiene, including visits to the dentist.
  • About personal hygiene and germs including bacteria, viruses, how they are spread and the importance of handwashing.
  • About immunisations.

In relation to Basic First Aid by the end of primary school pupils should know:

  • How to make a clear and efficient call to emergency services if necessary.
  • Concepts of basic first-aid, for example dealing with common injuries, including head injuries.

By the end of secondary school pupils should know:

  • About personal hygiene, germs (including microbes), the spread, treatment and prevention of infection, and about antibiotics.
  • About dental health and the benefits of good oral hygiene and flossing, including visits to the dentist.
  • Late secondary – the benefits of regular self-examination (including screening and immunisation).
  • The importance of sufficient good quality sleep for good health and how a lack of sleep can affect weight, mood, and ability to learn. 

In relation to Basic First Aid by the end of secondary school pupils should know:

  • Basic treatment for common injuries.
  • Life-saving skills, including how to administer CPR.
  • The purpose of defibrillators and when one might be needed.

Issues include tooth decay among young children, which in Peterborough is higher than the England average, although across Cambridgeshire as a whole it is better.

Sleep duration seems to influence weight gain in children and research shows that children who get insufficient sleep at night are more likely to become overweight.

  • Supporting children to protect and support their own and others’ health and wellbeing, including simple self-care techniques, personal hygiene, prevention of health and wellbeing problems and basic first aid.
  • From a review conducted by University of Leeds in 20174on delivering school health programmes they found that:
  • Successful implementation of school health programmes should involve both school staff and parents in the pre-delivery preparatory stages.
  • Teachers can help with delivering factual information such as the relationship between childhood obesity and sleep and time spent on screen based activities or sun protection.
  • School nurses are a valuable resource and well placed to provide good quality evidence-based information and advice on immunisations.
  • Volunteers or trainers employed by local authorities is another option
  • Programmes and activities should be targeted to the age of the children or young people
  • Developing strong, supportive relationships in schools enables childrento protect and support their own and others’ health and wellbeing, including simple self-care techniques, personal hygiene, prevention of health and wellbeing problems and basic first aid.
  • Provide information on healthy sleep tips for children, such as:
    • Relaxation tips to help sleep
    • Knowing how much sleep is needed to be healthy
    • The importance of the sleep environment, including screens in the bedroom
    • Where to go for help with sleep
  • Provide guidance and information on oral health, relevant to the age group, emphasising that regular teeth-cleaning routine is essential for good dental health:
    • Tips to help keep teeth decay-free
    • Toothbrushing tips
    • The importance of fluoride toothpaste
    • How to brush teeth properly
    • Visiting the dentist

For a guided assessment in this area or for tailored support for your school, contact us.