Schools in Dumfries & Galloway have benefited from an innovative approach to educating students on the importance of physical activity, sport and general health & wellbeing.
Delivered at the end of 2018, the Small World project was produced by a partnership between Active Schools, Health Improvement, Police Scotland, Community Learning & Development and the Smoking Matters service. The aim was to give Primary 7 children in the area more awareness and understanding of key health and wellbeing matters as well as supporting their transition to secondary education.
Sandra Proudfoot, Active Schools & community sport officer for the Annan cluster, said: “For us, it is extremely important to deliver appropriate messages about physical activity, sport, health and wellbeing to children.
"We want to help allow them to make important choices and develop good habits at a young age that will hopefully stay with them throughout their life.”
What is Small World?
Held every year since 2011, Small World has continued to evolve and expand on its original concept. In 2018, all Primary 7 students from the 11 primary schools in the Annan cluster were brought together and had the opportunity to experience six workshops:
- Food & Physical Activity (Health Improvement and Active Schools)
- Body Awareness (Health Improvement)
- Smoking Matters (Smoking Matters service)
- Substance Misuse and Anti-social behaviour (Police)
- Peer Pressure (Youth work)
- Social Media (Police)
The project was inspired by the Big World programme in the area, which developed for S4 pupils to prepare them for some of the ‘risks’ they would encounter following their transition from leaving school. From the success of this programme, there was a recognition that a similar opportunity existed to help prepare Primary 7 pupils with their transition to secondary school.
The innovative six-workshop format is a step away from the origins of the project in 2011, when external partners were invited to visit each individual school and deliver their workshop for an hour, rotating between schools over a six-week period.
The delivery team recognise the importance of staying at the forefront of what matters to students. That's why the partners review their offering for each year, considering feedback from teachers, children and the deliverers to ensure they help inform the children on the current ‘risks’ they face. This has resulted in the inclusion of new topics, such as social media, being added to the programme.
Feedback and the future
The feedback from Small World 2018 has been extremely positive, especially from the students themselves. The team received comments such as “it has helped me understand how important it is to keep yourself hygienic” and “I learned that I have to know who I’m talking to online”.
Small World continues to develop and grow and will be repeated in 2019, Sandra Proudfoot confirmed.
She said: “The project will take place again next September with the working groups currently finalising the topics for inclusion."