A giraffe named Harold drops in to teach pupils all about healthy living

Children at the St Columba Academy in Fareham had the chance to visit the Life Bus which visited the school. (left to right), Freddie Oliver (nine), Billy Allen (nine), and Donna Hill from Life Education.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142016-9)
Children at the St Columba Academy in Fareham had the chance to visit the Life Bus which visited the school. (left to right), Freddie Oliver (nine), Billy Allen (nine), and Donna Hill from Life Education.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142016-9)

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Children have been inspired to keep themselves healthy, writes principal Jane Hoggarth-Allen.

Excited children welcomed an extraordinary visitor to our school – a giraffe called Harold in the specially-designed Life Education Wessex mobile classroom.

He visited to teach the children more about how their bodies work and what they need to do to keep themselves healthy.

The children entered the magical world of the classroom with an interactive model of the human body, fibre-optic lighting and a multimedia suite.

In the classroom, films and puppets created by Bafta award-nominated puppeteers from the BBC help capture children’s imagination and develop their critical thinking.

The sessions are run by teachers who teach children aged four to 11 valuable life skills on topics such as self-esteem, drug and alcohol awareness, assertiveness and anti-bullying techniques, positive friendships and being safe and healthy.

Every class spent time in the bus over two days with children enthusiastically joining in with a variety of activities that are part of the their personal, social and health education this year.

Life Education Wessex educator Donna Hill said: ‘Children at St Columba had the opportunity to take part in high impact, memorable activities that help them become better informed and more assertive about the health and well-being choices they make for the rest of their lives.

‘The interactive nature of the sessions encourages every individual to become involved and the messages given help children to understand that smoking, drinking alcohol and drug use are all minority activities among young people.’

We are grateful to Fareham Borough Council for part-funding this visit as the life bus brings these important messages to life for the children and helps them to make good life choices both now and in the future.

Life Education Wessex receives no statutory funding and is reliant on raising funds from the local community to support its vital work and we are very grateful for the support of Fareham Borough Council.

Enquiries from individuals and organisations wishing to support the charity’s work are welcomed.

To find out more about Life Education Wessex or request a visit contact Jeanette McPhail on 01258 837 417, email jeanette@lifeeducationwessex.org.uk or visit our website lifeeducationwessex.org.uk