Promising results for The Healthy Primary School of the Future
An interim evaluation of the project ‘The Healthy Primary School of the Future’ (De Gezonde Basisschool van de Toekomst, GBT) shows promising results: children who participate in the GBT programme exercise more, eat healthier and maintain a healthier weight. In addition, teachers and pupils experience notably fewer conflicts and less bullying behaviour in the classroom.
In 2015, the experiment started in Parkstad at four of the MOVARE foundation schools: two ‘nutrition-and-exercise schools’ where everything was introduced, two ‘exercise schools’ where only sports, games and culture were offered. Then, four schools joined the study while not making any changes, the so-called ‘control schools’. A total of 1676 children participated in the study during the first two years.
Lower weight and less bullying behaviour
Prof. Onno van Schayck, UM project leader of The Healthy Primary School of the Future: “If we do nothing, the current school programme will lead to a worrying increase in children’s weight in the next two years. The programme offered by The Healthy Primary School of the Future is shown to be able to reverse this trend. In addition, we see that the exercise and eating behaviour of children clearly changes when The Healthy Elementary School of the Future is introduced. We also see that parents and pupils are very satisfied with GBT after two years. The initial scepticism has given way to enthusiasm. Ultimately, we also identified a very nice ‘side effect’, which we hadn’t taken into account: teachers and students are experiencing significantly fewer conflicts and less bullying behaviour since the start of the Healthy Primary School of the Future.” The Province of Limburg has decided to allocate €850,000 to the project to implement the second phase of the Healthy Primary School of the Future.
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