What are principals saying about MWEW?

School leadership is emerging as a key theme from interviews with Principals involved in the Move Well Eat Well program in Tasmania.

Interviews provide important insights into the sustainability of the program in dynamic and busy school environments. It enables planning to be targetted to meaningful program design, and the development of appropriate support materials and resources.

Importantly, it enables Move Well Eat Well to remain fresh, and well linked to current primary school issues.

Ange Miezitis, former Principal at Moonah Primary School 

"The Move Well Eat Well brand provides a meaningful way of linking what we do under one umbrella. It connects what we are doing across the school for our staff, parents and other schools. We use the MWEW brand in conversations with parents and our School Association. For example we recently had a discussion about fundraising using foods and we could point to being a Move Well Eat Well school and then ask if what was being suggested would fit with that".

Grant Robinson, former Principal at Taroona Primary School 

"The way we got involved was very much a grass roots process. A parent who was on the School Association promoted the idea of MWEW to the school. Gaining the Award was really an affirmation of the School values- health and fitness is really what we do here. It does act as a catalyst for other things and creates an expectation about health and wellbeing."

Maureen McKeown, former Principal at Snug Primary School 

"For Snug Primary, the Move Well Eat Well framework aligns with the school's values framework, and they wouldn't have it any other way. Principal Maureen McKeown explains, "We have a strong supportive school values framework that we have built in partnership with the community, students and staff over time. When we take on new things at school, they must align with our values otherwise they just don't get effectively embedded and don't progress. When we think about the Move Well Eat Well healthy eating and activity messages, we can see they reflect our priorities of Community, Acceptance, Respect, Excellence and Safety. By seeing these links and taking an explicit whole school community approach, eating well, and regularly being active, have become normal for our students."

Sue Tucker, former Principal at Hillcrest Primary School

"Things have changed at our school with Move Well Eat Well. We are noticing an increased awareness of healthy snack options, we are linked up with the Devonport CWA to learn cooking with a focus on using healthy local produce, and we are pleased with an increase in active play before school."

Lachie Wright, Head, Scotch Oakburn Junior School

To embed Move Well Eat Well across the whole school was initially viewed as perhaps taking a lot of time and work, but while there was some extra work to begin with it is really easy to maintain now.  Once we had started it became quite easy. 
When we received the Award many people noticed. Students and parents began to ask us for information on healthy snacks- MWEW has helped generate this conversation

Collette Bell, former Principal at Kempton Primary School

We've seen the benefits from participating in the Move Well Eat Well program in all aspects of our school community. Children are more active and thrive on trying out a new fruit or vegetable, water is part of our everyday school life and the community are thinking more carefully about how they can support healthy living in young people. Whole school Move Well, Eat Well events (for example school walks), are involving students, teachers, parents and community members. It's fantastic to see so much enthusiasm about being active and healthy eating across the school community!

Brigid Knight, Head, St Mary's College

The beauty of Move Well Eat Well is that it really doesn't take any real additional effort once you have the systems and momentum in place. The MWEW messages have become embedded in the school community, and staff see it as "just what we do". There has been a big change in our parent community since we started MWEW and junk food in lunch boxes has really reduced. We discuss MWEW with all new families at the school so expectations are clear.

Jeffrey Triffitt, former Principal at Burnie Primary School

'Receiving the Award gave us a push to do something new (e.g. the bike education program) and it has meant that we think about health and wellbeing more across the whole school/ whole year than we might otherwise do.

It works well because it is a normal part of what we do every day. It provides a way of talking about healthy eating and physical activity which is consistent across the school. The resources are very useful.'

Kerry McMinn, former Principal at Albuera Street Primary School

"The Award was an acknowledgement of how far we have come as a school. It means that we focus on sustaining what we have in place. It encourages us to want to do more in terms of health and wellbeing.

The real difference for us is that it is more than one teacher doing these health and wellbeing activities - it is everyone all working towards the one goal. MWEW is embedded across all classes and we live it on a day to day basis. It is what our school is rather than a separate program. Staff will say that it is 'just the way we work'."

Bonnie Jeffrey, former Principal at Goodwood Primary School

"Active After- schools, our garden, and our sustainability activities fit together with being a MWEW school. The links are seamless. MWEW gives it a priority and acts as the 'glue' that holds it all together."

Rod Linhart, former Principal at St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

"We have now completely changed our canteen menu to include green and amber foods, our 10:00am fruit and water breaks now have approximately 97% participation, our school filtered water tank is now operational, our rewards now do not include lollies, 'Make-It-Up-Mondays' sees a lot more home made fare in lunch-boxes, our whole-school daily fitness has begun and 'Stride To School' Fridays begin in March. We had our swimming carnival yesterday and we offered a BBQ lunch for the first time - the fresh fruit and water were very big hits! I am amazed at how quickly and whole-heartedly our school community has embraced the healthy living principles."

MWEW is in all our documentation and is part of our School Improvement Plan and part of our professional learning."