School’s CHAT praised

Acting Commissioner for Children and Young People Jenni Perkins with Paddy Rooney and Di Campbell, of Clarkson Community High School, and Department of Education statewide services director Lindsay Hale.
Acting Commissioner for Children and Young People Jenni Perkins with Paddy Rooney and Di Campbell, of Clarkson Community High School, and Department of Education statewide services director Lindsay Hale.

The School Drug and Education Aware (SDERA) program recognised schools that had effectively adopted the Changing Health, Acting Together (CHAT) approach at a ceremony in Perth on September 17.

Through CHAT, Clarkson CHS has implemented a range of creative health initiatives that focus on building resilience through innovative approaches to drug and road safety education that relate directly to the specific school context.

CHAT co-ordinator Mick Jackson-Pierce said a whole school approach meant ensuring students learnt appropriate messages and skills through the formal curriculum and classroom practices.

‘These must be supported by policy, guidelines and practices in the student welfare and pastoral care areas,’ he said. ‘Research shows that healthy students are more likely to engage and succeed at school.

‘Students have proven that with the right skills they can make more positive lifestyle choices which, in turn, help them achieve better results in the classroom.’

More than 90 CHAT schools in WA receive additional funding and staff professional learning to create a comprehensive approach to student health and wellbeing.

‘Schools do not operate outside society. They are a reflection of society, which is why it is important to engage with parents and the wider community,’ Mr Jackson-Pierce said.