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Belfast Healthy Cities

Our vision is that Belfast is recognised globally
as a healthy, equitable and sustainable city

Healthy Cities 21st Century

Belfast Healthy Cities works in partnership with QUB and local schools to deliver 'Healthy Places, Healthy Children' Resource

Belfast Healthy Cities recently hosted a teacher training day at Clifton House, bringing together Key Stage 2 teachers and 'World Around Us' coordinators to learn about the 'Healthy Places, Healthy Children' teaching resource. The event provided a collaborative platform for schools across Northern Ireland to share their experiences with the programme and gain insights for effectively incorporating the resource in the 2024/2025 school year. 

The training day saw a mix of schools new to the programme, and experienced schools, in delivering the sessions exchanging learnings, asking questions, and exploring ways to implement the teaching resource. 

The innovative Healthy Places, Healthy Children (HPHC) resource offers schools a comprehensive seven-unit programme that supports the Northern Ireland primary school curriculum. It empowers students to understand the relationship between health and their environment and practice active citizenship by encouraging them to connect with local decision-makers to share their insights. By researching their local areas, children develop new perspectives and ideas to make their spaces more child-friendly and health-supportive. 

Charlene Brooks, Chief Executive at Belfast Healthy Cities said: "It was great to see so many teachers at the event for our Healthy Places, Healthy Children programme which aims to help children learn, in a fun and interactive way about the links between the built environment and health and well-being. The school children who take part will learn about how they can propose changes to their own school spaces to make them more child friendly, and also how to encourage our local decision makers to get involved." 

Aideen Bradley, from Our Lady's Girls Primary School said: "The children at our school have learned so much through the HPHC programme developed by Belfast Healthy Cities. We were able to successfully transform a green space near to us into a more useable, child friendly place alongside the children who use it." 

In Unit 5, students bring their knowledge together by developing project proposals aimed at enhancing outdoor areas around their schools to create healthier environments. Past projects have included creating new green spaces, allotments, play areas, and installing waste bins. This year, Belfast Healthy Cities is working in partnership with Queen's University Belfast GroundsWell Consortium to provide 12 schools participating in the training with a small grant to implement their proposals. 

Keep an eye out next spring as these projects come to life, showcasing the creativity and dedication of pupils working to transform their school environments into healthier, more engaging spaces. 

For more information about the 'Healthy Places, Healthy Children' programme or to get involved, please contact Belfast Healthy Cities.

 

The Innovation Fund is led by GroundsWell; an interdisciplinary consortium involving researchers, policy, implementers and communities, funded by the UK Prevention Research Partnership. To find out more visit: www.groundswelluk.org.