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Phonics resources to tackle childhood obesity

New resources will help primary teachers to incorporate healthy-eating messages into English and maths lessons

New phonics resources to help primary teachers incorporate healthy-eating messages into English and maths lessons

New resources will help primary teachers to incorporate healthy-eating messages into English and maths lessons

Primary pupils could learn how to cut down on sugar while practising their phonics through new resources that give primary teachers advice on how to introduce healthy-eating messages into English and maths lessons.

The resources, published by Public Health England’s Change4Life campaign, are aimed at helping pupils to understand how much sugar is in their food and drink.

The new English lesson plans will help teachers to develop pupils’ literacy skills, including phonics, vocabulary, grammar and persuasive writing, while introducing children to characters living in "Sugar Smart World”.

The maths lessons, also based around “Sugar Smart World”, help pupils to explore how much sugar is in everyday food and drink and use maths skills to find healthier swaps. 

The publication comes as Public Health England has revealed that the average 10-year-old has already consumed at least 18 years’ worth of sugar.

Schools are being sent "Sugar Smart World" take-home packs which can be sent home with pupils to help them continue their learning about cutting down on sugar at home with their families.

Teaching children about the risks of sugar

It is the first time that Public Health England has developed dedicated English and maths teaching resources for primary schools across England to help children understand how much sugar is in their everyday diets.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said: "Children are consuming too much sugar, and obesity is a very real threat to their health. Educating them on the importance of a healthy balanced diet in their early years can help them avoid serious illness in future.

"The resources are flexible to use and tailored for Reception, key stage 1 and key stage 2 pupils. They complement recently launched dental lesson plans – the first Change4Life teaching resources to help pupils understand the effects of sugar consumption on teeth."

Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman has previously spoken out against schools being expected to tackle issues such as childhood obesity.

But her comments have been criticised by campaigners saying that Ofsted risks undermining "vital efforts that schools are making to support children to eat well”.

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