Healthy approach pays off

Celebrating healthy schools status at Castle
Celebrating healthy schools status at Castle
Ben Chudley''Ben Chudley warming up for his double event

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STAFF and children at a pre-school are celebrating after being praised for their excellent attention to healthy lifestyles.

Growing vegetables, tucking into fruit at snack time, packing in lots of fun exercise and lessons from a local lollipop man mean Castle Pre-School in Cosham is officially a Healthy Pre-School.

Emma Samson, manager for 18 years, says she decided to enter the city’s Healthy Pompey Scheme to give credit to staff and pupils who were already running a lot of healthy initiatives.

She explains: ‘We are quite an established pre-school and we like to move with the times to be current for the parents, so the scheme is something we wanted to be a part of. A lot of the aspects of it were already embedded in the pre-school, but it was great to have a certificate to work towards and win!

‘The children took everything on board and really enjoyed themselves because the whole programme was so much fun.

‘And we owe a huge debt of gratitude to our parents who have been so supportive.’

She adds: ‘If you give children good habits from an early age, hopefully they’ll continue them throughout their lives.

‘As a pre-school we have to look after the future generations and help them avoid the pitfalls that can lead to obesity or dental and general health problems.’

The scheme is split into four areas, including growing food, physical exercise and personal safety, oral hygiene and healthy eating.

To mark the occasion at Castle Pre-School, the Healthy Pompey Scheme’s mascot Harvey dropped by to award the certificate.

Angela Ryan, the pre-school assistant who led the project with three colleagues, says: ‘It’s been a brilliant experience and the children have thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were thrilled when Harvey paid them a visit.

‘We’ve had hanging baskets with lettuce leaves and carrots, the children grew beans and watercress, and we even had a tomato plant which has only just started to bear fruit!

‘It was nice to introduce more exotic fruits for snack time like kiwis and blood oranges, and the youngsters had so much playing musical chair-type games and learning about the importance of looking after their teeth through song and drawings.’