Polperro is first Sugar Smart primary school in Cornwall

Polperro Primary School has been crowned the first SUGAR SMART primary in Cornwall.  The initiative, which is promoted by the Healthy Schools team at Cornwall Council, encourages teachers, staff and the children into making small steps to reduce the amount of sugar in their snacks, drinks and to work towards a healthier lifestyle.

Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver launched the SUGAR SMART initiative to try and cut down on the amount of sugar being consumed by children across the UK and just last month Richard Lander in Truro was recognised as the first secondary school to receive the status.

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Portfolio Holder for Children and Wellbeing and Cabinet Member at Cornwall Council, Sally Hawken, said: “Polperro Primary has shown a real passion for developing a healthier school and they should be proud of their hard work.  Looking at lunch boxes and the foods provided in school is easy to do, but it does take a commitment from the whole school, including parents and governors.

“I would like Polperro to inspire other schools to take on this challenge and to become SUGAR SMART.”

The Healthy Schools team have created a five-step guide to being SUGAR SMART and tips include; changing the contents of vending machines, charging less for healthy snacks and promoting healthier lunches.

Healthy Schools Advisor, Harriet Kretowicz, said: “In order for a school to achieve SUGAR SMART status we are looking to promote healthy lunches and snacks.  They also need to promote drinking water above all other drinks, so no fizzy drinks or high sugar squash.

“We are also looking for that whole school approach, where they engage not only the children, but staff and the wider community and that is something Polperro have been really good at.” 

Scientists say that no more than 5% of our total energy intake should come from sugar. This means different amounts of sugar for different age groups:

  • For children aged 4 to 6 years old the maximum amount of added sugar per day is 5 sugar cubes or 19g.
  • For children aged 7 to 10 years old the maximum amount of added sugar per day is 6 sugar cubes or 24g.

Teacher at Polperro, Jane Wills, said: “It has been a lot of hard work, but it has also been something we really wanted to do as a whole school, so we’ve all bought into the idea of making sure children that attend Polperro School are able to live a healthier and happier life.  If we can help with that in any small way at all, then that has been the key purpose for us.”

Jane added they’ve noticed other benefits from becoming sugar smart: “The children have certainly become calmer and we’ve seen more focus and lot better levels of concentration.  Also throughout the lesson, if you feel as though there is a dip in their concentration you get everyone up and active, just to burn a little more energy and wake us all up.”

For more information on becoming SUGAR SMART teachers are being encouraged to visit the Healthy Schools Cornwall website


Story posted 15 April 2019