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St Joseph's R.C. Middle School

Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy Lifestyle

Social & Emotional Aspect of Learning (SEAL)

Mr Rosier has developed a SEAL programme which is delivered in assemblies and key follow up lessons led by RE teachers. There are 5 broad social and emotional aspects of learning: self awareness; managing feelings; motivation; empathy and social skills. Self awareness enables children to have some understanding of themselves and how they relate to others. Managing feelings is about using a range of strategies to manage for example, anxiety or anger. Motivation enables learners to take an active and enthusiastic part in learning. Motivation enables the learners to set goals and work towards them. Empathy involves understanding others and seeing things from another’s point of view. Social skills enables the children to relate to others, take an active part in a group, resolve differences and support the learning of others.

PSHE Programme

We also have five of our teaching assistants who are qualified in social and emotional learning and they work on a 1:1 basis with several of the children covering the aspects listed above.

Travel Plan

At St.Joseph’s we have a well established Travel Plan which has been approved by both the DfE and the Local Authority and this year we are raising awareness of it and ask that parents and pupils support this important initiative. The Travel Plan encourages all the children who live in Hexham to regularly walk, cycle or scoot to and from school. Currently 84% of eligible children are supporting the Plan. This year with parental support, we would hope that the total is nearer to 100%.

The benefits of the Plan are:

Firstly, the children are getting much needed exercise and secondly, there are fewer cars on the so-called “school run” which reduces congestion on Hexham’s roads and in the school car park. This reduces the risk of accidents for pupils. Five Minute Walking Zone around our school is also an important part of the Plan. The Zone was originally drawn up by our School Council in 2008 and is supported by both the Local Authority and Hexham Town Council. The idea is for those children who are brought to and from school in a car to be dropped off and picked up at least five minutes walk to and from school. It will also reduce congestion around the school, especially in Highford Lane and provide the children with much needed exercise.

The outer limits of the zone are:

  • Alexandra Terrace to the north
  • Hextol Terrace to the east
  • Bishopton Way & St. Matthew’s Road to the south
  • Shaw’s Lane to the west

Click here to see the five minute walking zone boundaries

Cycling Guidance

Cycling to and from school is a great way of providing exercise, especially if you live in Hexham, but you should follow our Safe Cycling Guide:-

  • Learn what road signs mean and take a cycling proficiency test.
  • Check that your lights and brakes work, and your tyres are pumped up.
  • Use cycle lanes where you can, and avoid really busy roads.
  • If you have to cross a busy road, get off and walk across, checking there is no traffic coming.
  • Always find a safe place to cross.
  • You should wear a helment, and bright reflective clothing.

A National Standard Cycle Training course took place at St. Joseph’s in October 2014 with 55 Y5/6 pupils. A total of 67% of the pupils achieved Level 2; 31% achieved Level 1. “We were very impressed by the general aptitude of the pupils at St Joseph’s. Staff were very friendly and supportive of the training. Trainees were keen and prompt for sessions showing great enthusiasm. We look forward to seeing everybody again for more Bikeability next year! Jason Patient, Coordinator, Cycle Experience.

Healthy Snacks

We encourage the children to eat healthy snacks instead of such things as crisps or chocolate bars at break times..


We encourage the children to drink water throughout the day to avoid getting dehydrated. We have two water coolers in school and the children should bring in their water bottles and refill them during the day. It is recommended that children should drink the equivalent of 6-8 glasses per day.

Sports activities

Throughout the school year there are opportunities for all the children, regardless of their ability, to take part in a range of sporting activities at lunchtime or after school. They include: football, rugby, dance, netball, cricket, rounders, basketball, tennis, lacrosse, canoeing and athletics. Details about the different clubs and activities are displayed on the PE notice board in the hall and are listed on this website under the Clubs section at the top of this page. These activities are in addition to the two hours of PE taught each week.

School lunches

The government introduced new food based standards for school lunches and our school lunches conform to these standards For those children who bring packed lunches to school we ask parents to refrain from including confectionery, crisps or fizzy drinks. This year the number of children eating our school lunches has risen to about 57% For further advice and guidance on packed lunches do not hesitate to contact Catering Services at County Hall 01670 533409 or go to the Schools link on the County website: which will also list the menu choices for the current term. We also have a School Food policy which aims to ensure that all aspects of food and nutrition promote the health and well-being of pupils, staff and visitors to our school. For further information about the national standards go to their website: Northumberland County Council is launching Fuel for Life which is a campaign to encourage children to eat a school meal at lunchtime. The campaign will target parents as well as pupils themselves, in order to highlight the importance for children to eat well-balanced, nutritious food in school. The campaign aims to turn around the falling up-take of school meals amongst pupils of all ages. Although school meal take-ups is marginally better in Northumberland than the national average, the Fuel for Life campaign aims to further increase the take up, through the promotion of the benefits of school meals compared to packed lunches or other alternatives. The benefits of children eating a healthy balanced meal at lunchtime are well documented and research by the Soil Association has shown that “Healthy school meals lead to better behaved pupils who are more alert in class.” The campaign aims to increase school meal take up year on year. The campaign is supported by a Fuel for Life microsite This site will be developed further as the campaign develops. Initially it will provide background to the campaign and the benefit of eating a nutritious midday meal, and will link to other relevant sites.

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