As one of Lead Teachers from the Gloucestershire Health and Wellbeing Team it has been fascinating to see the Facts4Life resource develop from its initial concept through resource development and then testing of the materials in schools.

From the outset the intention was not just to better inform young people about homeostasis, illness and the benefit of a healthy lifestyle but to bring about a change in their attitude towards their health. Being responsible for, and confident in the ability to manage their own health (and illness) were key overarching aims.

When the materials were tested at Elmbridge Junior School in Gloucester we asked the children to complete a pre and post visit questionnaire which comprised of six statements which the pupils had to rate from ‘strongly agree’ through to ‘strongly disagree’. At the end of the unit of work we were able to compare their ratings to see whether, as a group, their attitudes had changed. The changes in children’s and post response showed a significant shift with more pupils afterwards, for example, agreeing that most people recover from illness with no medical intervention and disagreeing that they need to see a doctor when they are ill.

We are very encouraged by these early findings and are optimistic that they will be replicated when we run the full pilot in schools later this academic year. The Facts4Life project looks all set to make a positive difference in the lives of our young people!

Pete Kirby