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Education

Concerns over kids’ sugar intake

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sugarTHE CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER OF WALES, Dr Ruth Hussey, showed concern when discussing sugar consumption in Wales. Dr Hussey told The Herald: “People across Wales are eating too much sugar. It’s surprising how much sugar there is in some of the food and drink we give our children and these eating habits can have a huge impact on their health.” Figures show, that children aged four to ten years old are the second biggest consumers of sugar, getting 14.7 percent of their energy from sugar.

Medical advice is that no more than 10 percent of a person’s daily calorie intake should be made up of sugar, which is the equivalent of 11 to 14 level teaspoons of sugar a day. However, a can of fi zzy drink such as Coke can contain up to nine teaspoons of sugar, with up to forty teaspoons in a two- litre bottle. Therefore, it becomes extremely easy to go over the amount of sugar recommended in your daily guidelines. For younger children, soft drinks, confectionery and fruit juice are the major sources of sugar in the diet.

Hussey stated: “From cereal in the morning through to puddings in the evening, not to mention the sugary drinks and snacks, it all adds up. “Too much sugar can mean our children facing a life of bad health, from obesity, type 2 diabetes through to dental problems.” When looking at statistics, it’s clear to see that obesity in Wales is becoming a concern, the latest fi gures show that 40 percent of seven to eleven year olds in Wales are obese or overweight. This is partly down to the child’s diet and sugar consumption.

However, it’s not just younger children that this applies to, children aged 11 to 18 get 15.4 percent of their energy from sugar and adults 11.5 percent. ‘Which?’ reviewing company analysed the nutritional content of a range of items targeted by leading manufacturers at children’s lunchboxes and found “that a combination of the most sugary food and drinks could yield the equivalent of 12 teaspoonfuls of sugar in one meal.” Items such as Robinsons orange Fruit Shoot contained nearly five teaspoons of sugar, as well as Munch Bunch Double up containing two teaspoons of sugar.

They stated that these products should specify the amount of sugar in, and stop the products appearing healthier than they actually are. A new drive to help families across Wales cut back on the amount of sugar they eat each week has now been launched. The Change4Life Sugar Swap campaign is aimed at families with children aged four to 11 and offers tips on how to replace sugary foods with healthier options. These include swapping ice cream with sugar free jelly or yogurt, or cakes with wholemeal biscuits.

Hussey said: “With the Sugar Swaps campaign we are helping families take small steps to make a huge difference to the lives of their children.” Families can sign-up for a free Sugar Swaps pack to help them get started and get advice on how to change their eating habits for the better.

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Education

Delight as foundation phase learners return to class

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PEMBROKESHIRE Headteachers have reported very positive returns to school for Foundation Phase Learners.

All Foundation Phase Learners returned to schools on Monday, March 1st and attendance has been reported at almost 90% since.

The Council’s Director for Education, Steven Richards-Downes, said: “A wide range of council services have worked together to ensure that Foundation Phase pupils have been able to return
safely to school.

“I am particularly grateful to all school staff and families for ensure that learning is now available for our youngest learners face to face.”

Headteachers remarked how schools have filled with smiles and laughter following the safe and phased return of Foundation Phase learners.

Cora O’Brien, Headteacher at Waldo Williams School in Haverfordwest emphasised how quickly learners have settled back in to a routine.

“It has been an absolute joy to hear their laughter in the playground and to observe their love of learning face to face once again. I thank everybody in the Waldo Williams School
community for working so hard to ensure that the transition went smoothly.”

Vicky Hart-Griffiths, Headteacher of Ysgol Hafan y Mor in Tenby, said: “It has been wonderful to welcome all our Foundation Phase learners back to school. They are thriving, being amongst
friends and back to a school routine.  

“All the pupils have spoken about how happy they are to have returned and it’s an absolute pleasure to welcome them back and we can’t wait until we have all our pupils back in school.

“The school feels alive again and there’s a positive buzz and laughter once again echoing throughout the school.”

Gareth Lewis, Headteacher at Broad Haven CP School said children had returned “with real enthusiasm, and have been very keen to meet up with their friends.”

Mr Lewis added: “Our parents have been very supportive and positive about the return, and those with older children are very much looking forward to a wider return to schooling.”

Mr Richards-Downes said plans were now turning to more learners returning to schools in the near future.

“We are looking to the next phases of the re-opening of schools on the 15th of March as long as the government guidelines allow.”

Further details will be released in due course.

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Education

Teacher’s gruelling challenge to help visually impaired child

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TEACHER Sion Jenkins is running 100 laps around a famous Pembrokeshire landmark to raise money to help a visually impaired child in his class.

He is aiming to raise £2,000 on crowd funder platform Go Fund Me by doing laps of Carew Castle and Mill in just 24 hours, about one hundred miles in total.

Sion said: “I decided that I wanted to raise money to help purchase a trike/adapted bike to help a visually impaired child in my class.

“Due to his sight, he isn’t able to ride a bike – and is desperate to gain some independence/confidence and ride a bike like every other child.

“On the back of a challenge set by school, to complete the ‘100 challenge’ as a tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore, I decided to tie the two together and have a go at completing this gruelling challenge.

“100 laps of Carew Castle and Mill will total just under 100 miles – in less than 24 hours.”

If you would like to contribute to this epic challenge this is the link:

https://uk.gofundme.com/f/carew-mill-100-laps-in-24-hours?

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Education

Schools partnership promotes the benefits of outdoor learning

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OUTDOOR learning across the county has received a welcome boost over the past 12 months as a result of additional funding secured by the Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools (PODS) project, which has covered the cost of a Co-ordinator working directly with schools.

Thanks to financial backing from the People’s Postcode Local Trust and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust, the PODS Co-ordinator has been able to help with the delivery of high quality, curriculum-linked learning experiences in school grounds and local outdoor spaces.

Part of the Co-ordinator’s role is also to bring together local and national organisations, including Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Discovery team, teachers and head teachers. Pooling their diverse knowledge and expertise, the partnership seeks to share good practice and promote the benefits of taking lessons outdoors.

Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools Co-ordinator Bryony Rees said: “Last summer, the Welsh Government recognised the importance of outdoor learning in the post-lockdown return to school. We have been working hard to support this by giving children and teachers increased opportunities to take their learning outdoors.

“We have already engaged with a number of schools across Pembrokeshire and produced some live webinars. Supporting resources for these can be found on HWB. This has made it possible to reach out to even more schools with practical information, inspiration and advice on delivering outdoor learning programmes.

“Several schools have taken the opportunity to develop their school grounds to support outdoor learning and more recently, Neyland Community School has introduced outdoor lessons every Friday.”

During the most recent lockdown, work has continued online and the PODS website has been developed to provide teachers with some learning resources. Outdoor learning ideas and inspiration for teachers and parents are also shared on the PODS Facebook page (Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools) and on Twitter @PembsOutdoorSch.

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