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Case Study 5 – Moss Vale PS

 Moss Vale school kids eating fruit

Moss Vale Public School
Live Life Well @ School Case Study

Moss Vale Public School has 570 students. It is located in the beautiful Southern Highlands between Sydney and Canberra, close to the townships of Bowral and Mittagong..

The school’s motto – ‘Helping Children To Learn Well' – highlights the commitment of the school community to ensure that children learn well and identify as being successful learners.

The teachers at Moss Vale Public School have jointly decided that nutrition education and promotion is a key priority for the whole school community: students, staff and families.

They also feel that continuing to promote involvement in sports and physical activity is important and complements the focus on nutrition education and the aims of the Live Life Well @ School program.

While several classes had previously participated in an informal fruit break during the day, the Principal and staff supported the participation of the whole school in the Crunch&Sip® program, as a way of formalising a break for eating fruit or vegetables.

The launch of Crunch&Sip® at the school was attended by fruit and veggie characters, an event enjoyed by students and teachers alike. All classes now participate in the program on a daily basis, with the school canteen selling fresh fruit and vegetables for those students who have forgotten them.

In addition, the school newsletter now features a dedicated section called 'The Green Spot', which looks at different nutrition issues every fortnight and is supported by resources and fact sheets for families, staff and students. Previous 'Green Spot' articles have focused on dairy foods, snacks, breakfast and the importance of drinking water. The feedback from parents and families has been very positive.

Moss Vale Public School has also developed a Nutrition Policy, in consultation with parents and staff. The policy aims to ensure the school environment supports optimum learning by encouraging good nutrition among students, staff and parents and carers. The policy addresses all aspects of school culture, including school functions, carnivals and camps. As part of the consultations on the Nutrition Policy, a decision was made to change the supervised eating times to have lunch first, followed by an afternoon tea.

In addition to the focus on nutrition, Moss Vale Public School has introduced several ‘active activities’, including the inaugural Sports Fair, organised and run by Year 6 students. The first Sports Fair was held at the end of Term 3 in 2009 and students had the opportunity to come dressed in ‘Sports Theme' (for instance, their favourite team colours or uniform). Students donated 20 cents on the day, with the money going to the school’s sponsor child.

Moss Vale Public School also intends to establish a school vegetable garden that will be created and maintained by students and the community. The produce will potentially be used by the school canteen to increase the green foods sold to students. Teachers from the school have also contacted local nurseries and the council to support the establishment of the garden.