Moate Community School is a Health Promoting School (HPS).
What is a health promoting school?
A health promoting school is one that constantly strengthens its capacity as a healthy setting for living, learning and working.
A health promoting school:
- Fosters health and learning with all the measures at its disposal.
- Engages health and education officials, teachers, teachers' unions, students, parents, health providers and community leaders in efforts to make the school a healthy place.
- Strives to provide a healthy environment, school health education, and school health services along with school/community projects and outreach, health promotion programmes for staff, nutrition and food safety programmes, opportunities for physical education and recreation, and programmes for counselling, social support and mental health promotion.
- Implements policies and practices that respect an individual's well being and dignity, provide multiple opportunities for success, and acknowledge good efforts and intentions as well as personal achievements.
- Strives to improve the health of school personnel, families and community members as well as pupils; and works with community leaders to help them understand how the community contributes to, or undermines, health and education.
Health promoting schools focus on:
- Caring for oneself and others
- Making healthy decisions and taking control over life's circumstances
- Creating conditions that are conducive to health (through policies, services, physical / social conditions)
- Building capacities for peace, shelter, education, food, income, a stable ecosystem, equity, social justice, sustainable development.
- Preventing leading causes of death, disease and disability: helminths, tobacco use, HIV/AIDS/STDs, sedentary lifestyle, drugs and alcohol, violence and injuries, unhealthy nutrition.
- Influencing health-related behaviours: knowledge, beliefs, skills, attitudes, values, support.
Moate Community School in partnership with the Health Service Executive has made a commitment to develop as a Health Promoting School. A Health Promoting School is a school where positive actions are being taken to support and improve the health and well being of everybody in the school community.
A HPS team has been developed at M.C.S. including members of staff, students, parents/guardians who are actively working to develop actions and create awareness which will help to make our school more health promoting. The HPS team are striving to provide opportunities for promoting health within the curriculum, the physical environment and the social environment of the school.
A survey was carried out by the HPS team in early 2014 to provide a better understanding of the local needs, interpretations and priorities in order to create a tailored action plan for the whole school community.
31% of those surveyed felt there was room for improvement within the school in the area of physical health and well being. Following on from the results of a school survey MCS launched a ‘Couch to 5k initiative’ in early January which also coincided with MCS student Alan Mullen’s campaign on RTE’s Operation Transformation.
The couch to 5K initiative has proven to be very successful and enjoyable for all those involved. The walk has seen on average 200 students and a large number of staff completing a 3K walk during lunchtime two days per week.
The route takes staff and students from the Astro Turf car park, make their way through Moate Business College and complete one or two laps of the beautiful Midland amenity park
On Tuesday the 27th of February 2015 students involved in the initiative were invited to a talk by Alan where he gave a very honest and sincere account of his experience on the Operation Transformation show and the challenges he has faced throughout his life.
The HPS team finished 2015 with a 5k and 10K Run and Family Walk on Saturday 16th May. This event was open to all members of the school and the wider community. It was an exciting event and a superb finale which celebrated the culmination of a great years work.