The School Time Obesity Prevention (STOP) programme provides a school-based intervention to raise awareness of healthy eating and physical activity and to allow children aged eight to eleven years old to explore how they can positively impact their lives through food and activity choices. An important secondary aim of the programme is to, over time, reduce the overweight and obese population in school children.
The programme is presented by qualified, experienced nutritionists and exercise professionals and the motivational workshops use interactive learning materials to work with and educate children and teachers, providing homework challenges to include parents in the process of change. The programme incorporates all of the recommended aspects of a school based intervention, dovetailing and supporting the PSHE curriculum.
The programme uses interactive materials to educate children and teachers in their own schools, as well as providing information and homework to take home to the whole family. Children attend a combination of nutritional workshops and activities on a weekly basis. Also, assistance is given to the school to improve the school environment, particularly for those children with weight difficulties.
Take home materials and homework challenges provide families with an opportunity to set whole family goals and to work together to overcome hurdles and barriers to healthy eating and being active as a family. Parents will also receive a guide to take home which contains information and resources that are delivered during the workshop. Teachers will mark the family homework and provide feedback to the children. This cements the child, teacher parent connection.
All three Year 5 classes at Billinghurst Primary School completed the 6 week STOP programme. We received some great feedback from staff and children from Year 5 saying how they learnt to eat healthier and how the programme ties into the curriculum.