Healthy lifestyles a priority for children attending Peak Sports and Learning OSHC
Peak Sports and Learning offers a unique outside school hours care (OSHC) program for children at Woonona East Public School with a focus on healthy lifestyles.
The service recently spoke with the New South Wales Department of Education about the focus on healthy lifestyles, which marries with the service’s commitment to policies and practices designed to ensure children are safe.
Service Support Manager and Educator Petra Holmes said that having clear expectations around what each day will look like, which children are expected to attend, and what activities are planned is a core element of ensuring adequate supervision, as required under Element 2.2.1 of the National Quality Standard.
Central to the success of the service is communication amongst the educators and throughout the service.
“Communication is the biggest part of what we do as educators,” Ms Holmes said.
”Communicating what will be happening, planning for that and ensuring all staff know where they need to be and when.”
Health and wellbeing are a core element of the service’s day to day operations and philosophy, and are something that all educators are passionate about.
“When you’ve got passionate educators, that’s contagious for our kids as well. They can sense that enthusiasm,” she added.
Healthy eating is embedded in the service’s daily practices and to help promote a healthy lifestyle under Element 2.1.3, and the service also engages with families on Storypark with the aim of encouraging nutritious eating at home, providing recipes and advice on how to pack a healthy lunchbox for school.
“We also run cooking days during our vacation care program, where children take part in making healthy foods and at the end of the day take home the recipes so they can do the same with their families.”
Fruits and vegetables are grown onsite in a school garden, which gives children the opportunity to be involved in planting, caring for and harvesting produce.
In the OSHC program, children will use this produce to prepare meals for the service to share, and to make to take home and share with their families.
“It’s important that the children enjoy the experience and are connected to this process, so that they can understand and value food and where it comes from,” Ms Holmes explained.
Physical activity a priority
Peak Sports and Learning also has a commitment to promoting physical activity for children at the service by developing skills and encouraging a love of movement.
“Some of the children attend our service five days a week and may not be able to participate in sports outside of school. So we try to provide that movement for them every day,” Ms Holmes added.
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