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Rotherham Healthy Schools Programme Parents'/Carers' Handbook

Contents Healthier Living & Learning

- Page 3

Smoking & Young People

- Page 18

Healthy Eating

- Page 5

Top 10 Revision Tips

- Page 23

Drugs, Alcohol & Tobacco

- Page 6

Physical Activity

- Page 8

Falling Out & Bullying

- Pages 10-11

Sex & Relationship Education

- Page 12

Personal Safety

- Page 15

Helping the Environment

- Page 16

Proud to be publishers to Rotherham Healthy Schools Funding Solutions provided for all sponsorship, events and publications. For further information on how we can assist your organisation please contact Vincent Wimsey on 07975939944


Healthier Living and Learning Your child’s school has chosen to be involved in Rotherham’s Healthy Schools Scheme and as such is working on the national and local standards to improve the health and well being of the pupils and staff. We know that children and young people are better able to do their best at school when all their needs, including physical, social, emotional and academic, are taken care of. The aim of the programme is to help schools be healthy, safe and happy places to learn which can therefore help to improve your child’s life choices, achievement and opportunities. Schools can only claim to be a Healthy School if they have been awarded the basic National Healthy School Status. This requires them to meet a number of stringent requirements in the following areas; • Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE education) including sex and relationship education and drug education • Healthy Eating • Physical Activity • Emotional Health and Well-being In Rotherham , we have written some advanced standards which schools can work on, to develop the work further if they choose. As a parent, grandparent or carer, you can help your child to make healthy choices. This booklet gives you a brief summary of the areas addressed within the Healthy Schools scheme as well as ideas for you to try. If you would like to become more involved in Healthy Schools work, please contact your child’s school. Useful website:



Healthy Eating Eating habits develop during childhood. If children are encouraged to enjoy healthier food and drink at an early age, it is more likely that they will continue these healthy habits into adulthood and have a positive effect on the way they feed their own children in the future. A healthy diet can improve your child’s health and well-being. Schools are working with the Rotherham Healthy Schools Scheme to ensure that your children are given information and opportunities to learn about the different types of food, and where they come from. The Food in Schools Programme is a government scheme to ensure that all schools are providing a healthy diet and consistent messages about healthy eating to all children and young people. As a parent/carer you can help to support your child and school by: • Getting involved with activities at your child’s school to improve food, i.e., healthy tuck shop, breakfast club or growing their own vegetables • Supporting the school's healthier snack policy, by encouraging your child to bring healthier snacks or to buy their snacks at the healthy tuck shop, rather than the shop on the way to or from school • providing your child with a balanced diet; including food from the main three food groups: Fruit and vegetables to protect against diseases and infections and avoid constipation Proteins used for growth i.e. meat, fish, and dairy products that contains calcium for healthy teeth and bones Carbohydrates, which are energy giving foods i.e., bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and cereals, (that fill us up so we’re less likely to snack) • Trying to avoid processed foods as they contain added fat, sugar, salt and additives that can alter a child’s behaviour • Encouraging your child to eat breakfast, i.e. cereals, toast • Getting your child involved in shopping, food preparation and cooking whenever possible. Let them choose a recipe, and ask them to help pick fruit and vegetables at the supermarket. Children like being involved and are more likely to try things if they’ve been involved in the process • Sitting down at the table to eat meals and use this time as a positive time to talk to your child about their day or the things they wish to do • Not labelling food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. All foods in moderation can be part of a healthy diet • Encouraging your child to eat without watching TV/DVDs, as eating in front of the TV can distract from the feelings of fullness and may lead to overeating • Being a positive role model by eating healthily yourself. Buy and try new fruits and vegetables, drink water between meals and your child will learn from your good example • Rewarding your child with attention (kisses, smiles and hugs) and pleasant activities, i.e. outings to the park, going to the swimming baths, rather than food Useful Websites


Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs are a fact of life in today’s society and most children and young people will come into contact with them in some form or other as they grow up. Talking to your child about them, in a way that they can relate to, is not always easy. It’s vital that you have access to the right information, and have an understanding of the pressures and influences your child will encounter as they grow up. In doing so, it may force you to examine your own attitude and use of alcohol and drugs. Good drug education provides pupils with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to make informed decisions. Young children are taught about medicines in school as part of their drug and safety awareness. As they grow older the school will discuss issues around smoking and alcohol. Awareness of drug use and misuse including illegal drugs, is covered later. Even at a young age children may be given some awareness of hypodermic syringes or needles as, unfortunately, these are thrown away irresponsibly and can pose a health hazard. All schools take the issue of drug use in school very seriously and have a policy outlining how they will deal with it. If you want to know more, contact your child's school. What does the law say about alcohol? • It is against the law to give alcohol to children under five years of age • It is against the law to sell alcohol to anyone under 18 years old • It is against the law for anyone under 18 years of age to buy or attempt to buy alcohol • 16 year olds are permitted to buy or be supplied with certain types of alcohol (beer, cider or wine but not spirits) with a substantial meal • The police can confiscate alcohol from anyone under 18 who has possession of alcohol in a public place • It is against the law for an adult to buy alcohol from an off-licence on behalf of anyone under 18 years of age How you can support your child? Find out about drugs to improve your understanding and increase your knowledge so you are aware of the warning signs. Don’t assume that if your child’s behaviour is causing concern, they have been taking something. Children and young people, like adults, are sometimes moody. When giving medicines, explain that sometimes we need medicines, which are types of drugs, if we are ill, but that we only take medicines which are meant for us. Make sure that medicines are kept out of reach of children and supervise their use. Let your child know that they can talk to you about anything. Alcohol and drugs are not taboo subjects and are not off-limits. Think about your own drug taking – are you a good role model in terms of alcohol use and smoking? Remember that breathing the smoke from your cigarettes can seriously damage children’s health. If you are concerned that your child is using drugs or drinking alcohol excessively, the most important thing is not to panic but to have a conversation with them. Try to talk calmly and find out more about what they are using and the impact it is having. Useful websites and contacts Know the Score (Rotherham Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Agency) – Tel. 01709 836047 National Drugs Helpline - FRANK 0800 776600 or SYPADS ( South Yorkshire Drugs Helpline) – Tel. 01709 371222


Young people can see a Know the Score worker by phoning 01709 836047. During term time at all college campuses and secondary schools, you can always phone and ask.

KNOW THE SCORE Thomas Rotherham College A modern Sixth Form College for 16-19 year olds The widest choice of Advanced Level courses in the local area State-of-the-art, modern facilities for study and recreation Fully equipped gym and fitness centre

A tradition of achievement... ...A future of opportunity Thomas Rotherham College Moorgate Road Rotherham S60 2BE 01709 300600


Physical Activity ?

Being physically active contributes to the physical, social and emotional well-being of all children, young people and their families. Schools are increasingly aware of the health issues facing children and young people due to the lack of physical activity. To help tackle this issue, schools promote physical activity through: • The physical education curriculum • Out of hours clubs/activities • Walking/cycling to school if appropriate • Encouraging physical activity at breaks and lunch times Many Rotherham schools have developed their playground areas and children and young people have undertaken training as play leaders to help organise participation in physical activity. The aim is to introduce more physical activity into daily lives through active travel, play, sport and dance. You can help your child by: • Walking to school with your child so that you can teach them road safety skills for when they become more independent and start at secondary school. If you do need to drive to school, park a little way away and walk at least the last part of the journey • Building some activity into your leisure time together; walking the dog, kicking a ball around, going to your local park, going swimming. Make it fun and enjoyable • Supporting them to participate in after school clubs and, with activities they enjoy, encouraging them to attend clubs/classes in your local area i.e. dance, Tae Kwon Do, swimming, skipping, and gardening • Trying to spend less inactive time in ‘couch potato’ mode. TV and video games are fine in moderation, but limit the time children spend just sitting • Using weekends and holiday times for your family to do more activities together. Look out for family activities ie sponsored walks, fun runs, orienteering so you can all have fun together at your own pace. Websites





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Falling out and bullying Children make new friends and fall out quite regularly as they are growing up and find different interests. This is part of growing-up and should not be confused with bullying. What is bullying? Bullying is generally accepted as being hurtful comments spoken or via texting, e-mails, or on web-spaces (Bebo, My Space) or physical harm that is repeated over a period of time. Bullying can be Physical – hitting, kicking, tripping, spitting or taking someone else’s belongings, emptying their school bags etc. Verbal – name calling, making offensive remarks Indirect – spreading rumours / nasty stories, excluding others from a group/not letting others join in. This can be done via mobile phones, cyber-bullying online via chat rooms, emails etc. Children and young people don’t always tell you that they are being bullied but look out for the following signs. • Your child complaining about minor illnesses, or not wanting to go to school • Being anxious, not wanting to go out • Torn clothing, losing possessions or dinner money • Coming home with cuts and bruises • Changes in mood/behaviour, being aggressive or withdrawn (although this is quite normal behaviour and part of growing-up) How can you help? • If you suspect your child is being bullied talk to them and try to find out what’s happening • Reassure them that they done the right thing by talking to you and keep a record of any incidents • Contact school and make an appointment to see your child’s class/form tutor • Calmly explain to the teacher what has been happening, give specific dates, times and names of other children involved • Stay in touch with school and let them know whether things improve or not. Ask what you can do to help • All schools have an anti-bullying policy and take instances seriously Further advice regarding cyber-bullying • Stress to your child about being careful about who they give their number to • Check when the message was sent and keep a record of the sender’s number (if available) and the message • Report incidents to the police if necessary • Change the ‘sim’ card • Talk to your child about safer use of the internet, be careful about giving out email address • Contact the company/people who host the site, as they should be able to offer advice


What to do if you suspect that your child is bullying others Your first reaction might be disbelief that your son or daughter is being accused of bullying. You can expect them to deny it. But before you dismiss the thought out of hand, listen to what the school has to say about it. You need to take what the school says seriously and work with staff on a solution. There are times when people are unjustly accused of being bullies but a thorough investigation should reveal this. Don’t panic, sit down, talk to your child, listen to them and try to stay calm. Sometimes children bully others because they don’t realise that it is wrong. They could be copying older family members/siblings or other people whom they admire, and who haven’t learnt better ways of mixing with other children and how to make friends. They could also be going through a difficult time and are expressing their feelings in an aggressive manner. Talk with your child and explain that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable and makes other children unhappy. Discourage other family members/friends from using aggression to get their own way. Make an appointment to talk to your child’s class teacher/tutor and explain what is happening and work together to stop the bullying. Give your child lots of praise and encouragement when they are being cooperative and relating well with others. For further information/advice contact Rotherham’s Anti-Bullying Officer Tel: 01709 382121 Useful Websites


Sex & Relationship Education Sex and relationship education is one of the more sensitive areas of the school curriculum and tends, unnecessarily, to make people ill at ease. Children and young people are bombarded with underlying sexual messages from TV, films and magazines. They also hear a lot of incorrect information from their friends. This important area of the curriculum enables them to learn facts and develop the knowledge and skills to deal with the pressures they face today, and will face as they grow into adults. Effective sex and relationship education does not encourage young people to have early sex. Evidence clearly shows that it actually helps young people to delay sexual activity and enables children and young people to: • Be aware about the changes they will experience as they go through puberty • Explore their own behaviour, both positive and negative, and the impact it can have on others • Develop the skills required to deal effectively with unwanted behaviours from others • Deal more effectively with incidents such as peer pressure or risk taking behaviour • Have a better understanding of their emotions and feelings and the effect and impact they can have on their behaviour • Receive accurate and honest information to enable them to make well-informed choices and decisions You can help your child by: • Answering your children’s questions honestly at a level they will understand. If you don’t respond, your child could pick up the wrong message and feel that it is wrong to talk about sex and relationships, and refuse to talk about it at a later date. • Checking out what they mean when they ask a question. For example, “Where do I come from?” might mean “Where was I born?” not “Where do babies come from?” • Supporting school by attending any events put on specifically for parents to receive information about sex and relationship education and asking to see the school's SRE policy and scheme of work. • Not being afraid to say, “I don’t know”. Use this as a chance to look up the answer together. • Getting yourself ‘clued-up’ by reading leaflets relating to sexual health issues from Health Centres/GPs, libraries or schools as your child grows up. Websites - -




Personal Safety Personal safety covers a wide variety of issues, many of which form an important part of the PSHE education curriculum, giving your child the knowledge and skills to keep themselves from harm. As a parent, grandparent and/or carer you can support your child to be aware of some of the risks and dangers that could lead to harm, by giving them the knowledge and skills to avoid those dangerous situations. How can you support your child? • Demonstrate safe crossing of the road using pedestrian crossings where possible • If your child cycles on the road, make sure they follow the Highway Code, ensure lights on the bike are working, wear a helmet and try to wear reflective clothing • Never park on the zigzag yellow markings outside the school gates; they are there for a reason • In the hot weather, send your child to school with a sun hat, bottle of water and make sure they have applied sun cream or have it in their bag • From an early age, teach your child their address and telephone number in case they get lost. Make sure you explain who are the safest people for them to speak to e.g. a police officer, shopkeeper or a parent who has children with them • Encourage them to talk to you about anything at all that worries them. If they want to talk to someone outside the family or school, make sure they know about the freephone service offered by Childline • Ask them to tell you if someone touches them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable Accessing the internet safely • If your child has access to the Internet, make sure it is protected using effective filters,and you know what sites they are accessing. At home, try to have the computer in a prominent place in the house so that you can keep an eye on your child’s Internet activities. •

If your child uses a chatroom, make sure they never give out personal details such as their home address, e-mail address, age or what school they attend. Make sure they know never to make arrangements to meet someone they have met on the Internet unless you know about it and have approved it; if such a meeting is taking place you should accompany your child and arrange the meeting in a public place.

• Try to get involved with what your child is doing on the Internet. Ask them what their favourite websites are and how they work – let them show you and familiarise yourself with the content. • Ask the school for guidance on recommended websites to enable their learning to continue at home. Useful contacts and websites Childline 0800 1111 Anti Bullying Alliance – Kidscape – Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents –


Helping the environment Climate change is recognised as probably the most significant challenge facing us all. However, simple changes to our lifestyle can make a difference. Many schools are now taking this work forward by linking in with the Government’s ‘ Sustainable School ’ initiative. How to reduce your impact Energy saving at home Don’t leave appliances such as TVs, stereos and DVDs on standby Replace light bulbs with energy efficient ones Turn your thermostat down by 1 degree C Wash your laundry at 30 degrees C Buy energy recommended appliances Use green energy (energy which is made from sustainable sources) Install cavity wall insulation and top up loft insulation to 270mm Sustainable shopping and recycling Buy locally produced, seasonal food Choose food without excessive packaging Avoid plastic bags – take re-usable bags instead Buy items made from recycled materials Grow your own food – in window boxes, allotment or the garden Use your blue box for recycling glass and cans, blue bag for paper and green bin for cardboard and garden waste Getting around Leave the car at home for short journeys and combine journeys you do need to make in the car Consider car sharing Choose a fuel efficient car when you change your car Have your groceries and provisions delivered to your home Drive gently – careful acceleration uses 60% less fuel than pulling away fast Encourage your child to walk or cycle to school or organise a rota for the school run Use public transport whenever possible Useful websites and contacts Green electricity suppliers –


With over 1.3 million members working across the public services, being part of UNISON means you have the full weight of the UK’s biggest public sector trade union behind you.

UNISON also has a thriving Young Members organisation so why not check us out? Find out more Call 0845 355 0845


Smoking and Young People There are lots of reasons why young people smoke. Even if a parent smokes, showing disapproval about smoking plays an important part in children and young people choosing to stay smokefree.

The effects of secondhand smoke on children and young people. Breathing in the smoke from other people’s cigarettes is called secondhand smoke or passive smoking. Research has shown that secondhand smoke is capable of causing cancer and heart problems in young people. Approximately half the children in England live in houses with at least one smoker, and unlike adults, children and young people have no choice about being exposed to tobacco smoke. Over 17,000 children are admitted to A&E every year in the UK due to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is also linked to the following: • Irritation to eyes, nose and throat • Headache, dizziness and sickness • Aggravation of asthma and other allergies • Increased risk of coronary heart disease

So it’s important to: • Discuss smoking and the benefits of being smokefree with your child • Make your home and car smokefree • Ask visitors to smoke outside, they will understand • Support and encourage your child not to start smoking or stop smoking • Keep playing and eating areas smokefree School nurses are supported by Rotherham NHS Stop Smoking Service. If your child wants help to stop smoking you can ask your school nurse or contact Rotherham NHS Stop Smoking Service, to: •

Get encouragement from others

Get practical advice, support and encouragement

Get tips on how to handle cravings

Get support that really works

Share tactics and practical advice

• Get patches, gum and other stop smoking medication (children under 12 cannot be prescribed medication)

You are much more likely to stop successfully if you use NHS Rotherham Stop Smoking Service. For more information please ring 01709 302444 or visit



Education Maintenance Allowance Do you qualify?

What is EMA?

Are you 16, 17 or 18 years of age? Are you, or will you be doing at least 12 hours of guided learning per week on a further education course or work based learning programme? (See the website for full details of qualifying courses/ programmes) � Is your family’s income less than £30,810 per year? �

If you go to college, stay on at school or do work based learning after 16 you may get up to £30 per week plus bonuses to help you carry on learning. EMA is a cash award which doesn’t have to be paid back and doesn’t affect any benefits your family may be receiving.

If so, you should apply for EMA without delay.

For more info: visit or call 0800 121 8989

21 01 080 89 89


NEIGHBOURHOODS & ADULT SERVICES FOOD, HEALTH & SAFETY TRADING STANDARDS Get It Sorted! Become a smart shopper! Bought some faulty trainers, or been overcharged on your mobile? What can you do to sort it? Rotherham Trading Standards can help! You’ll find lots of useful information to make you a smart shopper on our website or call us on 08454 04 05 06.

Are you old enough? The law imposes age restrictions on the sale of certain products such as cigarettes, alcohol and fireworks. It is illegal for shopkeepers to sell these types of products to underage customers. Are you old enough to buy the following products:

Whilst we would discourage smoking and the excessive use of alcohol, if you are old enough and want to buy these types of products you will need to be able to prove your age to shopkeepers. The best way to do this is to get a photo ID card which incorporates the officially accepted PASS hologram. There are three different ID cards that you can apply for; the Citizencard, Validate card or the Portman Proof of Age card. Contact us on 08454 04 05 06 for further information on how to get a photo ID card. If you have any information about retailers who deliberately sell age-restricted products to

What are you eating?

underage children, please pass this on to us by phoning the above number.

We are being advised all the time to eat less salt, less fat, and less sugar! How do you know what’s in the food you’re eating? Read the label; look at the information on the ingredients list and the nutrition panel, if there is one. Go to for the low down on healthy eating and to find out what those labels actually mean!

Scores on the Doors Helps you choose where to eat. The website shows how well food businesses are complying with the food hygiene regulations. Check it out at

Food, Health & Safety / Trading Standards, Howard Building, College Lane, Rotherham, S65 1AX



Top 10 Revision Tips Revising for tests and exams can be a worrying time for children and young people. These tips will help you and your child. 1. The right study environment is important. Clear the study workspace of clutter and make sure there are no interruptions. Make sure the space is airy and at a comfortable temperature - not too hot, not too cold. 2. Getting plenty of sleep allows the brain’s ‘Theta’ and ‘Delta’ waves to buzz. A brain needs this time to sort out information that has come in during the day. 3. Thirst and hunger affect learning. Eating a balanced diet and plenty of ‘brain food’ such as fish and green vegetables can help. 4. Drinking plenty of water is important. Avoid fizzy pop and other sugary drinks. 5. Avoid too much chocolate, sugar, and foods with additives. They can interfere with the messages being passed from one brain cell to another. 6. Make sure they take regular breaks – about every 20 minutes 7. Exercise improves ‘brain power’ as the brain uses up to 20% of a person’s total oxygen intake. Regular aerobic exercise improves the mood and helps when children and young people are stressed. 8. Memory can be improved by finding a simple way of helping children and young people to remember something long and complex. For instance, to remember the colours of the rainbow: Richard




Orange Yellow




Green Blue


Indigo Violet

9. Different brain activities can alleviate stress and improve hand-eye co-ordination and concentration. Try this with your child- it’s fun. Nose/Ear change: hold your right ear with your left hand and hold your nose with your right hand. Then switch, so you are holding your left ear with your right hand and your nose with your left hand. Repeat this several times. Practice makes perfect and exercises the brain to make it stronger! 10. Don’t panic! Stress and worry can affect your long and short term memory.


Rotherham Healthy Schools Magazine  

Rotherham Healthy Schools Magazine was distributed to all schools in the area

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