Based on the World Health Organisation’s model for health-promoting schools, the Achievement Program is viewed globally as the best practice approach for enhancing health, wellbeing, learning and development outcomes. A health-promoting school’s approach is broader than implementing some health and wellbeing activities (although these are important). It involves integrating health in planning and policies, creating a healthy culture and environment, and involving the whole school – students, staff, teachers and families – in the process. Forging partnerships with the local community is also important. Through the Achievement Program, health and wellbeing becomes embedded in a school’s culture, becoming a part of everyday school life.
SWH Health Promotion Officer Nikita Wheaton says Derrinallum P12 has been leading the way with healthy eating and oral health for years. ‘School champion, Sandra Torney is a woman of many talents. She runs the canteen and cooks everything from scratch. Even staff members line up for a lunch order!’ Nikita says.
And no wonder. Check out what’s on the menu: quiche & salad, baked potato, fried rice, homemade pizzas, souvlaki, apricot chicken, soup, Asian salad, tuna salad, fruit salad, sandwiches, popcorn, carrot & poppy seed muffins, Nippies milk, milo and water.
When Nikita started working with the school in early 2015 the canteen was already well on the way to ‘being amazing’. Since then, she’s worked with the school to ensure it received the Healthy Eating Advisory Service (HEAS) accreditation. This is no mean feat. For schools to meet HEAS criteria their canteen menu must have more than 50 percent green foods (everyday foods) and less than 50 percent amber foods (select carefully). Derrinallum P12’s menu blitzed both these targets. It boasts 73 percent green and 27 percent amber. The HEAS assessment brings with it the tick of approval from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy.
And the menu development isn’t the only key activity the school actioned to achieve this prestigious status. Other key initiatives include:
This commendable list of life-changing outcomes puts Derrinallum P12 in the enviable position of being one of only two schools (Koroit & District Primary’s the other) in the entire Great South Coast region to achieve the Healthy Eating & Oral Health benchmark. It’s come about by Nikita, Sandra Torney, Derrinallum P12 wellbeing coordinator Bree Huggins and the wider school community (staff, students and families) working together. Everyone’s been involved and everyone’s been regularly engaged and updated.
So what next for this impressive Corangamite school? There’s eight health priorities on the Victorian Government’s list. With Healthy Eating & Oral Health ticked the school’s now setting its sights on Mental Health & Wellbeing.
photo 1 > The whole school celebrates!
photo 2 > Year 7 student Audrey Ringe holds the award certificate that no other school in the Corangamite Shire has.
photo 3 > Derrinallum P12 wellbeing coordinator Bree Huggins (from left), Derrinallum P12 Year 7 student Audrey Ringe, SWH health promotion officer Nikita Wheaton, Derrinallum P12 canteen manager Sandra Torney and Derrinallum P12 acting principal Valerie Lobry.
photo 4> Healthy Food = Happy Kids. Cody Maslin (from left), Kelly Hill, Dillon Gordon, Simon Cameron, Charlotte Henderson and Violet Dalton celebrate Derrinallum P12’s award with wellbeing coordinator Bree Huggins, our SWH health promotion officer Nikita Wheaton and canteen manager Sandra Torney.
photo 5> Biannca Neil (left) and Sky Davidson in the award-winning canteen.