Silverton Primary School in Noble Park North has been hailed for its innovative development of a physical activity app, which is supporting 480 students, staff and families to keep active while remote learning.
The Healthy Schools Achievement Program, supported by the Victorian Government and delivered by Cancer Council Victoria, shone a spotlight on the school’s contemporary approach to promoting health and wellbeing through its state-wide competition, which invited all schools across Victoria to share their ideas on how they were supporting students’ health and wellbeing while remote learning.
Silverton’s physical education teacher, Mark Blundell, said the idea spawned from the desire to make PE lessons accessible to everyone, of all abilities, in their school community.
“We wanted to encourage students to get up and away from their computers. Our app’s intention was to encourage children to get outside and chose what type of physical activity they wanted to do in their dedicated sport time,” Mr Blundell said.
The app provided fun activities which saw students get their heart rate up through dancing, jumping or skipping; improving their hand-eye coordination with an array of ball sports such as basketball, soccer cricket, netball and AFL; and engaged children in exciting challenges sparking healthy competition with fellow schoolmates and to achieve personal bests.
Gianluca, a student at Silverton Primary, rose to the occasion when it came to the challenges and enjoyed getting involved in a variety of activities.
"The games were really enjoyable and I'm glad Mr Blundell created the app because it definitely gave me ideas on what physical activities I could do. My favourite activity is the Find My 60. It definitely gives me motivation to exercise for 60 minutes or more," Gianluca said.
Even in these trying times, Silverton Primary aimed to adapt much loved school activities to the at-home environment, which saw the school conduct a virtual cross-country race.
“We were able to align our school curriculum to the remote learning environment. Our virtual cross-country is one great example of this. Children were encouraged to keep active and run over a specific two-week period, with each run contributing to school House points,” Mr Blundell said.
Head of the Achievement Program, Tope Adepoyibi, was impressed with the creative way Silverton Primary School adapted its health and wellbeing initiatives.
“I was blown away by how quickly the school created an app that has positively impacted the whole school community. With remote learning making it more challenging for some children to keep active, this tool is a great option to promote physical activity.”
“The schools’ competition uncovered many heartwarming responses from school communities from all corners of Victoria, but I give special mention to the three winning schools: Silverton Primary School for its Physical Activity App, Rowville Primary School for its cooking challenges and Cobden Technical School for its gratitude tree,” Ms Adepoyibi said.
The Achievement Program encourages all schools to get involved in free health and wellbeing initiatives, with Ms Adepoyibi stating that schools don’t have to go it alone.
“When it comes to supporting health and wellbeing there is free help at hand. Programs such as ours can help schools support health and wellbeing during this time and beyond,” Ms Adepoyibi said.