Pupil Health & Well-Being -- an Education Priority..
Pupil Health & Well-Being -- an Education Priority 4 Europe's Schools
Start date: Sep 1, 2015,
End date: Aug 31, 2017
From nursery to university, education must constantly evolve and change its priorities to ensure Europe's future citizens are the happy, healthy, well prepared future workforce we need. In recent years, as traditional social structures have weakened, the role of the school has become even more relevant in this respect. Developing the 'whole child' has become more important than the traditional focus on delivering a narrow curriculum of pure, academic subjects. Meanwhile, concern about the health and well-being of Europe's citizens is growing as economists note the financial implications of an increasingly less active, less healthy, longer living population. Our 'obesity crisis' is repeatedly referenced as a future economic risk to European success.
Bringing together these 2 issues is the focus of our project. How can educators develop the traditional role of schools to focus more firmly on Health and Well - Being and ensure we foster positive, 'inclusive' experiences of physical education and healthy eating? How can schools encourage positive attitudes in all pupils and set them on a path to fitness for life and a healthier, more productive future?
The task begins with up-skilling current and future teachers to lead the attitudinal change we require from all educational sectors. This project seeks to do that by bringing together a number of high achieving schools, aware of this need to 'educate for life', as well as Universities with a Teacher Training remit--including a focus on training Physical Education teachers.
The partnership consists primarily of a University and 2 schools in each of three countries--the UK, Spain and Greece. (An additional partner of a University based fitness facility adds additional expertise and resources to complement the other UK partners and bring the total number in the partnership to 10.)
The group have agreed a 2 year work-plan of collaboration in order to exchange knowledge, bring more focus to the Pupil Health & Well - Being agenda and develop joint resources. 4 joint, transnational meetings and a program of on-going local activities to strengthen education are planned. Joint activities between the schools and Universities involved will be supported.
Ongoing research, knowledge sharing, the development of resources and dissemination & evaluation will all take place as the partnership work together to develop 6 training modules, which the 3 University partners have agreed to incorporate into their future teacher training. The modules will focus on teaching and learning styles, behavioral change, cultural influence and inclusion in schools, as well as more traditional aspects of physical education. They will also form the foundation of our final year training event following our last transnational meeting—a trial run for an ongoing in-service course offer for school staff across Europe, to be offered year on year following the project's end. This annual course will be advertised on the EU Erasmus + Key Action 1 course database and be self-funding, with each of the 3 countries involved hosting it in turn and with a transnational partnership cohort delivering.
All lesson plans and resources produced by the project will be offered free to those who take part, as well as generally via the project web site, which will be funded to continue for a minimum of 5 additional years.
The schools involved are high achieving and focused on 'education for life'. Many of them succeed in areas with high levels of deprivation. The Universities are all long standing trainers of future teachers with different approaches to the tutoring of general teachers as well as specifically to the development of future Physical Education teachers. We want to combine these approaches to develop the most coherent training possible for current and future teachers, allowing them to begin the process of expanding the remit of their teaching and their schools to focus more effectively on establishing healthy patterns of living. This will initially be within the organizations in the partnership, but over the life of this project, should spread locally via local dissemination activities and finally, across a wider European area as the end products are disseminated via our ongoing delivery of our European in-service course for school staff.
Methodology will be scientific and rigorously tested. Meanwhile, the results of our project will be apparent early on in the practice of the institutions collaborating. Curriculum changes in our partner Universities and a whole school focus on Pupil Health in our partner schools will develop rapidly. Longer term change in other institutions and regions will cascade for many years as future (and current) teachers benefit from the training developed and the innovative and inclusive approach to whole school engagement with Health and Well - Being which we believe our focus and our end product outcomes will support.
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