Barwon Valley School thrives in Achievement Program

December 5, 2019 BY

Barwon Valley School held an assembly to celebrate the milestone.

BARWON Valley School recently received recognition from the state government for their work promoting healthy lifestyles for their students.

They are the first special education school in the state to be acknowledged in fulfilling five of the seven health areas of the government’s Achievement Program.

The program is delivered by Cancer Council Victoria and aims to create healthier learning environments by having schools meet a series of goals for different key health areas.

The seven areas are physical activity, sun protection, safe environments, mental health and wellbeing, sexual health and wellbeing, tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, and healthy eating and oral health.

Achievement Program head Tope Adepoyibi visited the school along with Geelong MP Christine Couzens last Friday to celebrate the school’s milestone.

She said she was very encouraged by the changes Barwon Valley School has made.

“It’s wonderful to see Barwon Valley create a fun and positive environment for all children,” Ms Adepoyibi said.

“I’ve personally been inspired by the healthy changes the school has made and by their passion for the health and wellbeing of their community. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

The changes Barwon Valley School has made so far includes growing, preparing and cooking food with shared lunch experiences, mindfulness activities including checking-in with feelings, choosing music to play, participating in community initiatives such as ‘Walk to School’ month or Duke of Edinburgh Award, and celebrating achievements with the Best You Can Be awards.

School principal Anne Hume said participating in the program had seen the school make some major improvements and encouraged other schools to do likewise.

“I encourage all schools to get involved in the Achievement Program. It is a profoundly rewarding and enriching experience for our whole school community, and we look forward to working towards the final two health areas.”

Ms Couzens said Barwon Valley School’s progress would help show other schools the way forwards.

“It’s pleasing to see the program make a real difference in improving health outcomes.

“The school’s healthy changes pave the way for other special education schools, and indeed all schools, in the program to follow suit.”

Barwon Valley School has also looked to upskill their staff and the wider school community. They have done this through various training opportunities and education nights.