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Melksham school makes big pledge and supports their pupils to be more active

A Melksham school has been enjoying the benefits of getting involved in this year’s Big Pledge campaign, by helping their pupils to get more active and winning a free professional coaching session.

Forest and Sandridge C.E Primary School has been actively promoting Wiltshire Council’s Big Pledge: London Calling campaign and encouraging their pupils to be as active as possible. Every school that signed up to be involved had the opportunity to win a free coaching session, with Forest and Sandridge being one of the lucky winners.

The free session took place this week with excited pupils enjoying the experience and taking part in a number of activities including javelin throwing, hurdles, a hoops obstacle course and the long jump.

As well as Big Pledge, the school encourages their pupils and parents to get involved in ‘Walk to school Wednesdays’ every week. The school is also working towards achieving gold status as part of the Healthy Schools programme, having already achieved silver. The council programme accredits schools that have provided evidence to show how they effectively support the health and wellbeing of their pupils. The school has taught lessons on sugars in food and discussed the recommended daily amounts of sugar. They have also looked at hidden sugars and how they can be spotted in foods and the importance of balanced diets.

Hannah Campbell is a teacher from Forest and Sandridge C.E Primary School and has been coordinating the Big Pledge campaign at the school. Hannah said: “As a school, we are always looking for ways to encourage children to get active and be healthy, and the children enjoyed the challenge of taking part in the Big Pledge so much last year that we just had to take part again this year.

“Each week, children are so excited and enthusiastic to fill in their recording sheets at home, ready for us to work out a whole school total each Thursday. Children are constantly finding different ways to get active throughout the Big Pledge such as horse riding, bike riding and football, and get so excited to see how many countries we have collected each week. It is great to see their enthusiasm.”

John Thomson, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for leisure and communities said, “Forest and Sandridge is a shining example of a school encouraging children to think more about their health and the importance of being active. If these key messages and lifestyle choices are instilled in children from a young age they will more likely go on to enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle, which will also have a really positive impact on their wellbeing.

“We’re delighted to hear that the children are embracing the Big Pledge challenge and we thank Forest and Sandridge for fully supporting their efforts.”

So far more than 10,700 people have signed up to the Big Pledge challenge which runs until 30th July.

The aim of this year’s challenge is for people of all ages and abilities to ‘collect’ all 30 countries taking part in this summer’s World Championships in London by having a go at a variety of challenges including swimming, running, walking and cycling.

For more information people should visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/bigpledge, where they will also see stories from people who have previously taken part.