8th December 2006 at 00:00
Ages 11 to 14

"Can we have the dice, Miss, to play our game?" is the usual request I hear now from my Year 7 tutor group since a PSHE lesson in which they created their own Snakes and Ladders game based on health, fitness and hygiene.

All it needed was a three-foot snake from IKEA and some skilfully cut out ladders. Movement up the ladder is linked to good health (vitamins, exercise) and the slippery slide down the snake is linked to poor health (tooth decay, saturated fat). Students, who work in groups, have developed their own strategies, pitfalls, climaxes and drama for their board, making each game unique and addictive. Counters to move around the board are miniature burgers, salt pots, apples...

The game generated a great link with our relaunched School Council, where the students keenly campaigned for a wider variety of snacks and pasta pots at lunchtime, showing a shift in awareness about how their bodies function best

Simone Lok is a Year 7 tutor at Hextable School in Kent

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