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The Lowestoft school that has 100pc of Key Stage one and two pupils taking part in extra-curricular sports

PUBLISHED: 17:22 09 October 2018 | UPDATED: 20:46 09 October 2018

Red Oak Primary School, Lowestoft, have installed desk pedals to help keep the youngsters fit. Riley using the new equipment. Picture: Nick Butcher

Red Oak Primary School, Lowestoft, have installed desk pedals to help keep the youngsters fit. Riley using the new equipment. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Five years ago Red Oak Primary in Lowestoft had never won a school sports trophy.

Employees from Northumbrian Water and Freedom Group with staff and pupils from Red Oak Primary School in Lowestoft as part of the Make My Day initiative. Picture: Doug BlanksEmployees from Northumbrian Water and Freedom Group with staff and pupils from Red Oak Primary School in Lowestoft as part of the Make My Day initiative. Picture: Doug Blanks

But despite its home of Kirkley being one of the most deprived areas of the country, the school’s incredible commitment to “creating healthy futures” for its pupils means it now has more than 50.

The school hit the headlines this week as it unveiled its ‘desk pedals’ as part of efforts to boost pupils’ performance and encourage a more active lifestyle.

And staff are continuing to tackle childhood obesity and mental health head on.

This includes taking children out of class at a certain point throughout the day so they can walk or run around the school field, introducing an active movement programme that includes new balance boards in each year group and running ‘golden mile’ sessions every lunchtime.

Headteacher Heather Madsen added that as the school is “committed to creating healthy futures” for the pupils, they also had 100pc of key stage one and key stage two children attending extra curricular sports clubs last year.

Combined with regular PE lessons and playground activities, PE co-ordinator and year three teacher, Johnny Lee, said: “In every class at any point throughout the day, a teacher can take the children out for an active walk or an active run around the school field.

“Currently 57pc of our children from year one to year six represent the school in competitive sports and in the last four years we have won 54 trophies.”

Since this newspaper showcased the school’s active classroom initiative, the desk pedals have been featured in the national press and were debated on BBC, ITV and Channel 5 and also on radio.

Mr Lee said: “It has really helped raise the profile. Our headteacher has invested in buying pedal bikes for children in years one to six so that children throughout the school will be able to use them to be more active in their lessons and we will also be using them in certain intervention lessons as well.

“The next step is integrating them into all the classes, and we have also ordered balance boards for the pupils so they can balance, be active and learn as they read, have maths battles or discuss ideas with a set to be available for each year group.

“Current figures in Suffolk show that 17.3 pc of childen in the county spend seven hours a day sedentary. As a school we wanted to get all of our children more active throughout the day.”

Mental health initiatives

Staff and pupils at Red Oak Primary School were celebrating after a campaign of kindness.

Essex & Suffolk Water’s ‘Make my day’ initiative, which celebrates the company’s customers and people, saw the team work with partners at Freedom Group to deliver two friendship benches to the school in Southwell Road.

Red Oak was nominated for the way its staff and pupils support mental health activities, with the benches presented last week.

Pupils have raised more than £3,000 to promote positive mental health, and have even set up an Mental Health Ambassador pupils scheme alongside their Anti-bullying Ambassador Pupils. The benches will be installed in the school grounds, giving pupils somewhere to sit when they are feeling low.

Headteacher Heather Madsen said: “These benches can be used to help our children show they need care, support or friendship from someone else and our amazing Anti-Bullying Ambassadors can monitor these children so we can help to nurture needs quicker.”

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