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 are routinely conducted with schools that have achieved recognition as a Move Well Eat Well Award school, one year after their Award was conferred.

These 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, Principal, Moonah Primary School 2014

"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, Principal, Taroona Primary School 2013

"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, Principal, Snug Primary School 2013

"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, Principal, 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."

Jo Hillman, Principal, Smithton Primary School

"Move Well Eat Well gives our teachers more structure for addressing healthy choices. There have been some flow on initiatives – for example we introduced a breakfast program so that our students have a healthy start to the day, and we are working with our local Council, the police and families to promote bike safety. Move Well Eat Well has also enabled us to be more focussed in our daily PE sessions and helped us to sharpen our policies."

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, Principal, Kempton Primary SchoolWe'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, Principal, 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, Principal, 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, Principal, 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, Principal, 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."

Vicki Hales, Principal, Latrobe Primary School

"Move Well Eat Well has given us a common voice/language across the school community to talk about how we approach health and wellbeing (physical, mental, emotional and social). It underpins everything that we do and tailors nicely to our other programs (e.g. in the mental health area). 

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