Resources and websites for promoting health in schools

Choosing the best topics for your school

In order to choose the most relevant health topics to focus on in your school, you need to become aware of the needs of students. This can be done by consulting members of your school community; including students, parents, canteen staff and the community health nurse in your school. Carrying out this type of needs assessment will allow you to gain a better understanding of what health issues are a priority for the students in your school.

More information and support can be found on the Western Australian Health Promoting Schools Association’s website (external link)

Healthy eating

Healthy eating initiatives and dietary guidelines

A Happy, Healthy Smile (birth to 6 years) – The Dental Health Services Oral Health Promotion (external site) offer this free resource for teaching sessions for parents and children. It includes colourful A3 teaching cards, teachers’ guide, props such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss. They also offer a range of other educational material and teaching resources.

Crunch&Sip (external site)  – The Cancer Council of WA provides resources and support to assist with implementing a formal break to eat fruit and vegetables and drink water in the classroom.

Foodbank WA (external site) – Provide much of the food for WA school breakfast clubs. Practical nutrition education initiative developed for schools and communities in their network is also available.

Healthy Kids (external site) – The National Heart Foundation in partnership with the NSW government has developed a set of resources and fun ideas for promoting healthy eating and physical activity in schools and for out of school hours.

Healthy Kids Association (external site) – Has a section for teachers which includes: teaching resources, information on school kitchen gardens and healthy fundraising.

Kidsgrow (external site) Resources on sustainable school kitchen gardens for use by teachers

Live Lighter (external site) – Department of Health, Cancer Council and Heart Foundation of WA resources and materials for healthy eating (mostly targeted at adults). There are facts sheets on topics such as sugar in drinks and information for parents on overweight and obesity.

Ngala (external site) – The Eat Play Thrive program is a series of workshops that can be ran at school to assist parents and carers of children aged 1-12 years in creating a healthier lifestyle for their family.  

Refresh.ED (external site) – Refresh.ED is an online teaching resource which provides curriculum support materials at different year levels. Refresh.ED was developed by The Child Health Promotion Research Centre (CHPRC) at Edith Cowan University and is a component of the Western Australian Healthy Children Program. Also includes short nutrition videos and professional learning materials.

Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation (external site) -The Tools for Teachers series includes comprehensive units, lesson plans, proformas and more, with each activity linked to the Australian Curriculum.

Healthy eating resources

Australian Dental Association Each year the Australian Dental Association highlights a different oral health issues through Dental Health Week (external site). The association also provides essential information about how to care for teeth.

Go for 2&5 (external site) – Fact sheets from the National ‘Go for 2 & 5’ campaign including Fruit and Vegetable serves; processed Fruit and Vegetables; and tips to include more fruit and veg in your day.

Nutrition Australia (external site) – A non-government, non-profit, community based-organisation with offices throughout Australia. Nutrition Australia is an independent, member organisation that aims to promote the health and well-being of all Australians. School programs, workshops and resources are available.

Raising Children Network (external site) – This site contains information about children and young people across the age spectrum from birth to young adulthood as well as information for adults about being a parent, partner or grandparent. The information includes videos, graphics and printed material.

WA School Canteens Association (external site) – Healthy lunchbox resources, healthy food and drink flyers, nutritional guidelines and other healthy eating resources.

Professional support

Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (Australian Dietary Guidelines) (external site) – National Health and Medical Research Council- Guidelines and support materials including an educator guide.

Oral Health Promotion (external site) Dental Health Services website provides information on school dental services and general dental health information (pamphlets, posters, books, brochures) for infants, toddlers, school age children, teenagers, adults and special needs groups.

Foodbank WA (external site) – Food for All is a School Breakfast Program coordinated by Foodbank and offers support, guidance and training on setting up and running breakfast clubs/programs.

Talking with Parents about Children’s Weight (external site) – Better Health Company and the Health Department of WA created this free resource to enhance participant knowledge and understanding of child overweight and obesity and equip them with the necessary skills to raise and have a meaningful discussion about child overweight and obesity with parents.

WA Health Promoting Schools Association (external site) – The WA Health Promoting Schools Association advocates and supports a whole school and community approach to health and wellbeing. The Association achieves this through education, coordination and collaboration with school communities and health agencies. Website provides resources on the Health Promoting School Approach as well as links to other programs, articles and research.

Physical activity

Curriculum and classroom support

Active Living (external site) – The Heart Foundation’s website offers a range of professional information and resources to create healthier communities that support active lifestyles. There is specific information for children and young people.

Animal Fun (external site) – Curtin University’s Animal Fun is a unique program designed to promote gross motor skills, fine motor skills and social skill development in young children aged 4-6 years. Based on imitating animal movements, Animal Fun is an inclusive program that allows children to practice and develop their skills within an imaginative, play environment. Links are provided to the curriculum.

Jump Rope for Heart (external site) – National Heart Foundation - An Australia wide fundraising skipping rope event held annually. Schools can register through the website.

Kidsport (external site) – Department of Sport and Recreation provides assistance for families to ensure their children can join sporting clubs out-of-school, teachers and school staff are able to refer students.

Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation (external site) – The Tools for Teachers series includes comprehensive units, lesson plans, proformas and more, with each activity linked to the Australian Curriculum. Currently, the series comprises of four editions: Tools for Teachers 2, Tools for Teachers 3, Tools for Teachers 4, and Tools for Teachers 5 with separate publications released for each edition for students in Years 3 and 4 and students in Years 5 and 6.

Take the Challenge (external site) – A set of comprehensive classroom resources designed for teachers in Western Australia to engage students in healthy lifestyle behaviours.

The Healthy Kids Website (external site) – Under the ‘For Teachers’ tab, links are provided to teaching ideas, resources, planning tools and policies for teachers and others promoting healthy living and active lifestyles in schools.

Practical support for teachers regarding physical activity (external site) The physical activity website includes information about: fundamental movement skills; fundamental game strategies; resources; programs and events; grants and awards; research and parent information.

Physical activity resources

A Healthy and Active Australia (external site) – Website provides links to many Government healthy living initiatives of relevance to children, schools and families.

Cancer Council of WA (external site) – The Cancer Council has resources and information on physical activity and links to national and state campaigns on healthy living.

Nature Play WA (external site) – Nature Play promotes unstructured play in nature.

Raising Children Network (external site) – Evidence based information created by experts in partnership with parents. This site contains information about children and young people across the age spectrum from birth to young adulthood as well as information for adults about being a parent, partner or grandparent.  The information includes videos, graphics and printed material.

Sporting Schools (external site) – An Australian Government initiative, Sporting Schools will develop a national network that links school and sport in new and innovative ways to engage with 850,000 Australian children, and encourage more of them to take part in sport-based activities.

Travelsmart to School (external site) – A program run by the Department of Transport. Travel Smart to School is an online community helping students lead more healthy and active lives. It provides practical ways to teach and develop sustainability in schools and schools can blog to redeem points for prizes and resources.

Professional support

Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (external site) – Leading member-based professional association advocating for quality health & physical education curriculum, supporting professional learning of teachers and promoting active and healthy lifestyles for all Australians.

National Physical Activity Guidelines (external site) – Department of Health guideline documents titled 'Australia's Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Children and Young People' provides tips and resources for all ages (specific materials for 5-12 and 13-17 year olds).

Talking with Parents about Children’s Weight (external site) – Better Health Company provides a free resource which aims to enhance participant knowledge and understanding of child overweight and obesity and equip them with the necessary skills to raise and have a meaningful discussion about child overweight and obesity with parents.

WA Health Promoting Schools Association (external site) – Advocates and supports a whole school and community approach to health and well-being. The Association achieves this through education, coordination and collaboration with school communities and health agencies. Website provides resources on the Health Promoting School approach as well as links to other programs, articles and research.

Injury prevention

Injury Control Council of Western Australia (external site) – the peak not for profit organisation involved in injury prevention and community safety promotion in Western Australia.

Kidsafe WA (external site) – provides Safety in Schools (external site) resources including information booklet, curriculum linked lesson plans, and interactive website for primary school aged children.

Main Roads Western Australia Office of Road Safety (external site) provides information on children and road safety, youth and road safety and novice drivers. Also has games and quizzes which can be used by students.

Raising Children Network (external site) evidence based information created by experts in partnership with parents. This site contains information about children and young people from birth to young adulthood as well as information for adults about being a parent, partner or grandparent.  The information includes videos, graphics and printed material.

School Drug Education and Road Aware (external site) provides information on road safety education.

Mental health and resilience

Mental health and resilience initiatives

Aussie Optimism Program (external site) – An evidence-based mental health promotion program for children in primary and lower secondary schools. It teaches practical skills and strategies relating to social and emotional well-being in children, and makes use of empirically validated psychological and educational techniques.

Beyondblue (external site) – A range of programs for use in early childhood, primary and secondary schools, and tertiary settings. These programs emphasise proven methods, tools and support to help schools work with parents and carers, health services and the wider community, to nurture happy, balanced children. 

Blackdog Institute (external site) – A not for profit organisation leading work in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of depression, bipolar disorder and suicide. The organisation focuses on the rapid translation of quality research into improved clinical practice, increased accessibility for consumers, and delivery of long-term public health solutions.  They provide a range of free curriculum resources. 

Bullying. No Way! (external site) – Promotes working together to create environments where every student and school community member is safe, supported, respected, valued—and free from bullying. The site provides a wide range of games, classroom resources, downloads and facts.

Everybody’s different (external site) – Details how to apply the self-esteem approach in schools, community settings and clinical situations to improve body image conceptions, prevent eating disorders and obesity, as well as foster health, nutrition and media literacy.

Growing and Developing Healthy Relationships (external site) – Curriculum support for teachers regarding relationship and sexual health education for young people. This website was developed in partnership between the Department of Education and the Department of Health.

Headspace (external site) (School Support) – Works with school communities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from suicide.  The service is flexible and is designed to respond to the individual needs of schools. Support is provided by working with relevant education bodies, local headspace Centres and other service providers. 

KidsMatter (external site) – A mental health and well-being framework for primary schools and is proven to make a positive difference to the lives of Australian children. KidsMatter provides the proven methods, tools and support to help schools work with parents and carers, health services and the wider community, to nurture happy, balanced kids.

MindMatters (external site) – Helps schools to support young people to achieve their goals, build relationships and cope with challenges. MindMatters is a framework that aims to promote mental health, prevent problems and enable early intervention.

National Centre Against Bullying | Alannah and Madeline Foundation (external site) – News, research, information and resources to combat bullying. Also links to the e-Smart program which provides a framework to help Australian schools manage cyber safety and deal with bullying.

Resourceful Adolescent Program (external site) – A resilience building program for adolescents aimed at preventing depression.

Reach Out (external site) – A website for young people created by the Inspire Foundation, providing a range of information on mental health, sexuality, body image and many other issues of importance to young people

Raising Children Network (external site) – Evidence based information created by experts in partnership with parents. This site contains information about children and young people across the age spectrum from birth to young adulthood as well as information for adults about being a parent, partner or grandparent.  The information includes videos, graphics and printed material.

Smiling Mind (external site) – Modern meditation for young people. It is a unique web and App-based program, designed to help bring balance to young lives.

Triple P (external site) – The Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) is a parenting and family support system designed to prevent, as well as treat, behavioural and emotional problems in children and teenagers. 

Ybblue (external site) – The youth Beyondblue initiative targets young people aged 12 to 25 and family and friends who are concerned about someone they care about. Includes matters such as: mental health, bullying, cyberbullying, body image and a range of other issues concerning young people.

Professional support

Australian Childhood Foundation (external site) –  A range of resources including books, posters,  training documents and guides to assist professionals to support children from traumatised backgrounds (see for example, Making Space for Learning: Trauma Informed Practice in Schools).  The foundation also provides access to online training and offer courses and workshops for professionals. 

Calm, Alert and Learning: Classroom Strategies for Self-Regulation (2013) – This book provides an in-depth understanding of self-regulation across five domains (biological, emotional, cognitive, social and pro-social) with strategies and example for enhancing skills in students. Pearson Publishing.

Reach Out.Com Professionals (external site) – Recommendations and advice for youth support workers, health professionals and school staff on a range of online interventions, tools and resources that can be used to support young people experiencing mental health difficulties and to build young people’s well-being and resilience.  The site provides information and practical advice on using ReachOut.com in work with young people including the evidence behind ReachOut.com as a resource.

WA Health Promoting Schools Association (external site) – Advocates and supports a whole school and community approach to health and wellbeing. The Association achieves this through education, coordination and collaboration with school communities and health agencies. Website provides resources on the Health Promoting School Approach as well as links to other programs, articles and research.

Young Minds Matter (external site) – Information for parents, young people and researchers on the second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (2015)

Alcohol and other drugs

Alcohol Think Again Campaign (external site) – A Western Australian education campaign. Free resources available.

Celebrate Safely (external site) – Information on issues of social concern including drink spiking, binge drinking and drug use. It considers consequences of drug use and provides facts, mythbusters, party guides and safety strategies as well as a space for young people to contribute their ideas and insights.

Local Drug Action Group (external site) – These groups can provide factual information regarding alcohol and other drugs from a health and social perspective.

National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (external site) – Evidence-based information and resources on cannabis and related harms. It includes youth specific information and details on a curriculum-based program for schools – ‘MAKING the LINK’ – which aims to promote help-seeking for cannabis use and mental health problems.

School Drug Education and Road Aware (external site) – Evidence based information and resources that can help schools implement a best practice whole-school approach to drug education.  Three resources of note include:

Challenges and Choices – A hard copy education resource which links to the Australian Curriculum. It is sent to every school in WA and incorporates resilience, drug education and road safety.

Getting it Together (external site) – A resource that identifies effective drug education strategies and practices for schools, and focuses on the Principles for School Drug Education and the Health Promoting Schools Framework. It aims to assist school communities to implement effective school drug education.  

Connect: A Directory of Drug Education Support Services for Schools

Counselling Online Turning Point Alcohol & Drug Centre (external site) – Free professional counselling service using text-communication for anyone seeking help for their own or someone else’s drug use. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week across Australia. Information and referral options are also available.

DrugInfo Clearinghouse (external site) – Australian Drug Foundation provides easy access to information about alcohol and other drugs and drug prevention.

Drug and Alcohol Office (external site) – Information on support services, professional learning and publications.

Healthway (external site)  Aims to reduce harm from tobacco, alcohol, obesity and to promote good mental health and provides information on, and funding opportunities for, events and programs with a focus on health promotion.

School Health Alcohol Harm Reduction Program (external site) – Curtin University’s school-based curriculum program that aims to reduce the alcohol-related harm that young people experience in alcohol use situations. The program includes training for teachers, and resources for teachers and students.

Chronic diesases and lifestyle choices

Asthma Australia (external site) – Asthma Foundation has a range of publications and resources with up-to-date asthma information to help better understand and manage asthma, and to help support people living with asthma.

The Cancer Council WA (external site) – Work to reduce the incidence and impact of cancer through advocacy, research, education and providing people affected by cancer with support to enhance their quality of life. Cancer Council WA is a non-government organisation and relies on community support to fund their work.

Diabetes WA (external site) – The peak body and voice of diabetes in Western Australia and offers a range of services to help people to understand their diabetes and live well with the condition, as well as information on preventing diabetes.

Fuel Your Future (external site) – A joint venture by Foodbank WA and Diabetes WA, funded by the Department of Health. The program is targeting youth from low socio-economic areas, looking to minimise their risk of developing chronic diseases by way of good food choices. The program has two components. The first is the workshop component, comprising six face-to-face sessions. There is also a complementary online component to the program and social media platforms are accessible through the main website.

The Heart Foundation (external site) – Improves health through funding cardiovascular research, guidelines for health professionals, informing the public and assisting people with cardiovascular disease.

LiveLighter (external site) – Department of Health, Cancer Council and Heart Foundation of WA resources and materials for healthy eating.

Talking with parents about children’s weight (external site) – Better Health Company and the Health Department of WA. This free resource aims to enhance participant knowledge and understanding of child overweight and obesity and equip them with the necessary skills to raise and have a meaningful discussion about child overweight and obesity with parents.

Relationships and sexuality

Curriculum and classroom support

Growing and Developing Healthy Relationships (external site) – Curriculum support website providing a range of age-appropriate learning, Department of Education approved activities and background information to assist teachers to plan and deliver high quality relationships and sexuality education programs.

Relationships and sexuality resources

Be Safe. Stay Well (external site) – Videos developed by the WA Department of Health for international students around sexual health topics and the health care system in WA.

Gender Diversity Guidelines in Schools (external site) – Guidelines to support Western Australian schools to maintain positive learning environments that are inclusive of diversity and safe from discrimination, bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation, intersex difference and gender identity.

Get The Facts (external site) –  A website developed by the Government of Western Australia to give young people advice and information on relationships and safer sex

HPV School Vaccination Program (external site) – A website including lots of resources and information for health professionals, parents, young people and schools about the HPV vaccination.

It’s Time We Talked (external site) – A website developed by ‘Reality and Risk’, a community-based project that supports young people, parents, schools, government and the community sector to understand and address the influence of pornography.

Multicultural sexual health: Professionals (external site) – Online resources for Multicultural population groups in WA, including fact sheets in various languages

Puberty and Relationships Series  

Three booklets for school children produced by the Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Program

Raising Children Network (external site) – Evidence based information created by experts in partnership with parents. This site contains information about children and young people across the age spectrum from birth to young adulthood as well as information for adults about being a parent, partner or grandparent.  The information includes videos, graphics and printed material

Safe Schools Coalition (external site) – The coalition works to help schools be safer and more inclusive for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, school staff and families.

Sex and the Law

Sexual and Reproductive Health WA (external site) – Information sheets and covering a range of topics including; contraception, safe sex, STI’s and young people.

Talk Soon. Talk Often (external site) – A guide for parents talking to their children about sex. This free resource has been developed to help parents initiate regular and relaxed conversations with their children about relationships and sexuality.

The Hormone Factory (external site) – A website with lots of information about puberty, aimed at 10 to 12 year olds.

The Line (external site) – An initiative under the ‘Australian Government’s National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022’. This website is for young people aged 12-20 years which talks about relationships, gender, sex, bystander action, technology and communication. Includes information for parents/carers and teachers also.

The  Freedom Centre (external site) – A service for young people (under 26) to support each other and their communities to be informed, happy and healthy about their sexuality, sex and gender. Their Perth drop-in centre is a safe space to hang out, have fun, meet other LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer & Questioning) young people and get peer-support and info.

People 1st program (external site) – Supports people with an intellectual disability in human relationships, protective education and sexuality, along with parents, carers and service providers. School programs and sessions are available.

SHQ Sexual Health Quarters (external site) – A service that provides a range of clinical, counselling, educational and training activities around sexual and reproductive health.

You're Not Alone (external site) – Produced by the WA AIDS Council’s Freedom Centre and adapted from the Original You’re Not Alone booklet produced by the WA AIDS Council’s Here For Life Youth Sexuality Project Team in 1997. This version updated and rewritten in 2012

WA sexual health network: Indigenous health (external site) – Aboriginal Health Workers and others working in Indigenous sexual health face particular barriers. This site aims to reduce feelings of isolation and to inform, support and inspire sexual health workers.

 

Integrated curriculum and support

Refresh. ED (external site) – An online teaching resource which provides curriculum support materials at different year levels. Refresh.ED was developed by The Child Health Promotion Research Centre (CHPRC) at Edith Cowan University and is a component of the Western Australian Healthy Children Program. Also includes short nutrition videos and professional learning materials.

Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program (external site) – The Tools for Teachers series includes comprehensive units, lesson plans, proformas and more, with each activity linked to the Australian Curriculum.

Take the Challenge (external site) – A set of comprehensive classroom resources designed for teachers in Western Australia to engage students in healthy lifestyle behaviours.

Sun protection

SunSmart Schools (external site) – The SunSmart Schools program aims to minimise student and staff exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun at school and during school-associated activities.

Kid Safe WA (external site) – the lead non-government, not-for-profit, charitable organisation dedicated to the prevention of unintentional childhood injuries. On this website you will find information about current news and events, fact sheets, resources and program information to help you keep kids safe.

The Raising Children Network (external site) – lists sun safety precautions that can minimise UV exposure and prevent skin damage and sunburn for children. It discusses timing, shade, protective clothing and sunscreen.

Parenting and community engagement

Triple P program (external site) – The Positive Parenting Program is one of the most effective evidence-based parenting programs in the world, backed up by more than 30 years of ongoing research. Triple P gives parents simple and practical strategies to help them confidently manage children’s behaviour, prevent problems and develop and build strong, healthy relationships.

Parent and Family Network (external site) – The Parent and Family Network is an email network for parents and carers of 0-18 year olds in the Perth metropolitan area to provide ongoing input into Child and Adolescent Community Health services. The Network is free for parents to join. To register parents can complete the online form (external site).

Cyber safety

The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner (external site) leads online safety education for the Australian Government and protects Australian children when they experience cyberbullying by administering a complaints scheme. The Office also deals with complaints about prohibited online content. Cybersmart teaching resources are available at this site.

The Department of Education and Training (Victoria) have an information page for teachers called Bully Stoppers– being safe online (external site). This page provides information for teachers aiming to strengthen bullying prevention and eventually reduce bullying incidents. The Bully Stoppers program also provides information and tips to help students and parents deal with sexting and other online issues such as cyber safety and cyber bullying.

Produced by

Child and Adolescent Health Service