Health Guidance

Nutrition

School nurses are on hand to provide nutritional information and guidance to pupils and their families. If it is felt that a pupil requires additional support in this area, the nurse can provide a referral to a dietitian.

The pupil or a family member can then book an appointment with the dietitian according to the instructions provided by the nurse. We recommend that pupils are accompanied to the appointments by a parent or guardian. All appointments are free of charge.

It is recommended that children and young people enjoy five meals at regular intervals each day, i.e. breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner and an evening snack. A balanced diet is important for your health and wellbeing. It is advisable to consume around 400-500g of vegetables each day and around 800ml of dairy, some of which can be in the form of cheese. If there is a lack of calcium in the diet, calcium supplements can be given. It is a good idea to have fish twice a week and to vary the type of fish you eat. It is recommended that under-18s take a Vitamin D supplement of 7.5–10µg per day around the year.

Sleep

School children need 9–10 hours of sleep each night. In the evening, it is a good idea to spend some time winding down and getting ready for sleep. Insufficient or broken sleep can impair your memory and learning, both at school and during leisure activity. You are also more susceptible to accidents when tired as your concentration is affected.

Exercise

School children should be physically active every day for around two hours. Some of this can come from ordinary everyday activity, such as walking to school. Exercise benefits your breathing and circulation, helps with weight control and reduces your risk of falling ill. Exercise can prevent many diseases and is also an effective tool in the management of many medical conditions.

Exercise improves your memory and concentration and makes it easier to fall asleep. It also improves the quality of your sleep. This means that exercise can help you to learn new things and leaves you feeling more energised at school and at after school activities. It is also a great way to boost your mood and self-esteem. Often activities involving exercise are also an opportunity to meet new people and learn social skills.

Drugs and alcohol

Illegal drugs and alcohol are detrimental to children’s growth and development. It is against the law for under-18s to buy or consume alcohol or other intoxicants.