What is Facts4Life?
A health resilience programme for primary schools, which:
- helps all take ownership of health
- explores illness
- develops strategies for wellbeing
A training programme and resource that is free to all Gloucestershire schools!
We are funded by Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and Public Health, Gloucestershire. We are part of an initiative to reduce unnecessary demand on vital health services.
What does Facts4Life do for schools?
- Complements key elements of the Science and PSHE curriculum and supports the delivery of the GHLL PinK curriculum
- Helps to create a climate for mental health issues to be addressed
- Facilitates openness about safeguarding by promoting coping strategies to manage risk
- Can be used to promote good attendance
- Encourages participation in physical activity and addresses diet and healthy weight
- Supports schools in the Ofsted judgement on Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare
What do children say about Facts4Life?
- "When we did the healthy body thing, when we had to label everything in our body, it made me think twice about sugar levels because you are not going to have a very healthy body if you eat too much junk [or] too much sugar."
- "Well, I thought that science was just making things...and finding out something. I didn't know that it could be fun the same time as serious. So it kind of made me more confident with science."
What do teachers say about Facts4Life?
- "The intervention was great for our children. The children surprised me with their knowledge and understanding. The children enjoyed the sessions and materials, especially the game."
- "The children were very open during the discussions and were keen to share their experiences. Bereavement was an issue with some children in my class, but this was dealt with sensitively."
- "It fitted in with our science topic of learning for the term."
The resource for Key Stage 1 (including Early Years) and Key Stage 2 is a flexible unit of work that can be taught as a stand-alone topic or adapted to suit the needs of your pupils and your curriculum. It includes a teacher’s book, on-line materials and assemblies.
Using the metaphor of life as a journey, there are three key messages underpinning this teaching resource:
Riding the ups and downs
As we journey through life, our state of health is constantly changing because of the challenges we meet and how we respond to them. Rather than being either ‘ill’ or ‘well’, we move along an undulating path with high points (when we are more well) and low points (when we are less well). Everyone’s journey will be different, but it is in our power to minimise the ‘downs’ and maximise the ‘ups’. It is a normal part of life to be ill from time to time.
Throughout life, our bodies are constantly meeting challenges which knock us off-balance. A variety of processes in our bodies respond to these challenges. For example, a pulled muscle leads to inflammation which helps it to heal. A viral infection may lead to fever which helps to kill the virus. In this way, we ‘loop back’ into a balanced state again. We call this homeostasis. By and large we are very successful at responding to challenges – most of the time, most of us get better from most illnesses without help.
Smoothing the path
How our bodies respond to challenges will depend on a number of factors, many of which we can control. For example, we can exercise so that our heart is strong and keep our stress levels down through getting enough rest and relaxation. We can help our bodies to ‘loop back’ by equipping ourselves with certain things – a bit like putting ball bearings in a wheel so it can roll along smoothly.
Pupil centred: children research those illnesses that affect them and their families and friends, asking questions, finding answers and drawing their own conclusions.
Cross-curricular: as well as science and PSHE. many other areas of the curriculum can link in with this Facts4Life resource, including:
history – e.g. plague (then and now)
geography – e.g. illnesses in different climates
philosophy, politics, ethics – e.g. link between poverty and illness, decisions about who to treat and what treatments to give, availability of free healthcare
environmental issues – e.g. how pollution affects health, the benefits of greenspaces
maths – e.g. statistics about who gets ill, variation in physical characteristics and physicalfunctioning
cross-generational – helps children to understand more about the health of the older generations, and of younger children, fostering understanding and improved caring relationships.
We regularly run free training for Gloucestershire teachers. For details of upcoming dates, contact Sue Burling - firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on the work of Facts4Life, please contact:
Hugh van’t Hoff, Director email@example.com
John Davis, Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelly Green, Schools Coordinator email@example.com
Sue Burling, Project Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit the website http://facts4life.org
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