First SUGAR SMART school is recognised by Cornwall Council

Richard Lander School in Truro is the first secondary in Cornwall to be recognised with Sugar Smart status by the Healthy Schools Programme from Cornwall Council. 

That means the teachers, staff and students have all taken steps to reducing the amount of sugar in their snacks, drinks and are working towards a healthier lifestyle. 

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The Sugar Smart campaign is a national initiative and is supported by the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and Sustain, and it looks to optimise health by promoting healthy diet and reducing sugar consumption. 

Portfolio Holder for Children and Well Being and Cabinet Member at Cornwall Council, Sally Hawken, said: “I would like to congratulate Richard Lander on achieving this status.  Simple changes can make a world of difference, such as removing unhealthy options from vending machines and simply opting for the low sugar varieties of foods.

“These are really simple steps to take, but it will take a whole school approach to implement and to secure results. Teachers, governors, parents and pupils need to be consulted and then a healthy eating message can be embedded across all school activities. I would like Richard Lander to inspire other secondary schools to take on this challenge and to become Sugar Smart.”

A five-step guide to being Sugar Smart has been created by the healthy schools team and tips include; changing the contents of vending machines, charging less for healthy snacks and promoting healthier lunches.

Healthy Schools Advisor for Truro, Paula Chappell, said: “There is a lot of thinking that goes into becoming Sugar Smart. The school council were involved heavily in the decision, because this move needs to come from the students; they need to be involved in making those changes. The school also had to demonstrate how they were encouraging more water drinking and how they’ve made changes to their tuck and lunch menus.

“Richard Lander is also a healthy school, which means they continually and consistently think about the health and well-being of all their staff and students. It’s also about how their students think about their own health and well-being and how they can make small changes in their life in regards to health behaviour.”

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.

Head of Godrevy at Richard Lander, Jamie Bridger, said: “Essentially we are hoping it improves attendance, because there has been a real link between health, attendance and attainment, especially in Key stage 4. If our students have a healthier diet and lifestyle it could have a huge impact on their futures.”

The school council have been instrumental in implementing these changes.  13 year old Martha Holmes added: “I found it easy to adjust and I think it’s a really good idea to make everyone in school healthier. 

"At home people may not try some of the healthier options, but in school they can and they may really like it.”

For more information on becoming Sugar Smart teachers are being encouraged to visit: https://www.cornwallhealthyschools.org/about-healthy-schools/meet-the-team/