Adam Jenson, Year 2 Teacher, Chaddlewood School, Plymouth
As a Year Two class teacher, I know just how important it is to get children engaged with their health and wellbeing from a young age.
This is especially important during the summer months, when the children are at risk of sun exposure. In the past, some of the children have struggled to grasp some of the more abstract terms that we have to teach them as part of the national curriculum, so in order to get around that, we take them to a beach to help make learning more tangible for them. It’s surprising how many children have never been to a beach before, even though we’re in Plymouth where there are plenty around. These kind of visits helps them to engage with vocabulary around coasts and estuaries and as part of the visits, we do a lot of work about the importance of sun safety.
The Boots Soltan Sun Ready resources have been a great help in prepping the children about sun safety behaviours ahead of the trips to the beach. They’ve been brilliant in developing their understanding about staying safe in the sun and getting into good habits ready for their adult lives, so they don’t encounter any future problems with their skin.
We have a crowded timetable at the best of times, so as teachers we need to find ways to fit in lots of different areas of education into each day at school. Given that we go to the beach for other parts of the children’s education, the sun safety resources fit perfectly, and haven’t required any additional work which is always bonus when you’re pushed for time as a teacher.
Before we used the Boots Soltan Sun Ready resources, we would go to the beach and the children wouldn’t think to bring any sun cream, so we’d have to share it out. Since using the resources, the uptake of children applying sun cream independently has increased hugely. The children are getting into good habits and taking the initiative, as well as sharing the information with their parents at home which is brilliant.
Through the resources, I think the children developed the knowledge that there are very simple ways of staying safe in the sun and that it’s not necessarily just applying sun cream and knowing about the moderation of it. Also, as a benefit for us, learning these methods gives the children more independence.
The Year Two age group is when the children start finding themselves and really develop their own individual personalities, and because they’re the oldest year group in Key Stage One; they like to be seen as the grown-ups. For example, as a teacher we want the children to be at the stage where they write with joined up handwriting automatically, without us having to ask them. It’s the same with sun safety; we want them to go to the beach and know the importance of grabbing a hat or applying sun cream straight away.
The sun safety poster design competition this year was a brilliant idea and an ideal opportunity to give something to my teaching assistant, because it’s a very straight forward assessment opportunity. It got the children thinking about how they would stay safe in the sun, but it also allowed me to have a look around the class to see who had ideas of what this involved.
I’d recommend the Boots Soltan Sun Ready resources to other teachers. The site is very simple to use, it’s a good starting point for the teachers and the children love it because the resources are very colourful and fun, as well as being informative.