We pride ourselves on the quality and the effectiveness of our programme and we have been overwhelmed by the positive testimonies that we have received. Highlighted in the video and in the text below are some of those testimonies.

I am writing to you on behalf of the staff at St. Mary’s Primary School, Maghery to commend the Healthy Kids Programme. We have introduced various aspects of the programme during this academic year, such as the golden mile. The Healthy Kids Programme has been delivered to KS2 pupils (Primary 5 – Primary 7) from September 2015. We are delighted to say that everyone involved has fully embraced the scheme and we fully endorse the aims and objectives set out in the information pack provided at the start of the school year.

The programme has raised the awareness of the importance of healthy living. It has promoted and improved the level of pupils participating in physical activities, both during and after school. Healthy Kids has highlighted the need for us as staff to actively encourage the implementation of our healthy eating policy. It allows us the opportunity to involve parents in open discussion with their children about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and to make them aware of the activities which are taking place in school.

The Healthy Kids Programme has been delivered with such professionalism by trained coaches who are knowledgeable and skilled in this specific field of physical development. Our children are happy and energetic as a result of the programme. They strive to improve upon their personal scores. This has been one of the most successful, enjoyable and beneficial schemes introduced for physical education to date and our hope would be that this will continue to be delivered.

Conor Diamond, St Mary's P.S Maghery
I have recognised my less able pupils within physical areas wanting to take part in more PE lessons, and as a result developing a more positive approach to physical activity. The Healthy Kidz coaches are fantastic role models for the children to learn from; positivity and encouragement are key factors in the enjoyment of the programme.
Stuart Corkin, Dickson P.S
The Healthy Kidz programme focuses on a Healthy Body/Healthy Mind. This has led to improvements in concentration & mental attainment.
Gerard O'Hagan, Lurgan Model P.S
This year the school has been participating in the Healthy Kids Programme. This has been a great success and has been well received by both the pupils and staff. The children have been participating in the Golden Mile challenge. They have completed a three week programme with a local dentist and are currently engaged in the second block of fitness coaching. The quality of coaching is very high, the fitness activities are varied and well prepared and most importantly the children really enjoy participating. There is a noticeable improvement in the pupils overall fitness, their flexibility and willingness to exercise. We hope that the programme will continue in the next school year.
Joan Aldridge, St Mary's, Derrytrasna
The results in testing showed great improvements and it made children very aware of the different areas they were developing.
Eilish Casey, Presentation P.S
The were really keen to participate in each session and are looking forward to the next time you run this programme again.
Mark McConville
Kids are thoroughly enjoying the challenge. An excellent fun way of maintaining and teaching the children the importance of keeping our bodies fit and healthy. I have found that on their return to class the children are appearing more alert.
M. Hagan
The programme is fantastic and has been a wonderful inspiration to the pupils within school. We have seen the results for each pupil from the start of the programme and every pupil has improved their fitness when retested at the end of the programme.

We have see the classes who have taken part in this programme practice the techniques at break time and lunch time within our school. This is a marked improvement as many of the children who took part in the Healthy Kidz programme would not have chosen to exercise during break and lunch but now they are enthusiastic and want to exercise and improve their fitness.

I feel this programme should be offered to all children in Primary schools and KS1 would also benefit from this programme as I believe the earlier we start encouraging children to be healthy it will benefit them and encourage them to continue developing their fitness.

Yvonne Mulholland, Presentation P.S
The school community of St. Patrick’s Derrynaseer are fully in favour of this very beneficial programme. Participation in it this year has enthused the most reluctant of our children to become actively engaged in physical activity. At the start of this school year, in my own class, 3 children were able to run a mile within the given 10 minute time slot. Yesterday, 20 from 25 of the children completed the mile while the others completed a significant proportion of it.
Kevin O'Hara , St Patrick's P.S, Derrynaseer
This programme encourages all children to take part, including those children who may be reluctant to take part in PE. There is a sense of personal achievement and each child has his/her own goals to achieve.
Anne Doran, St Teresa's P.S
My Year 6 class thoroughly enjoyed the programme. It was challenging, motivating and at the right level for my class. As a teacher I noticed an improvement in the children’s physical capabilities and their attitude to both PE and classwork.
Lorraine Spence, Lurgan Model P.S
Without doubt ‘The Healthy Kidz’ project has been one of the most beneficial projects to come into schools in years. Not only are pupils enthusiastic in their approach to physical exercise but their attention in class has improved immensely. The Healthy Kidz programme should be an integral part of the curriculum as its impact is clearly being felt in all aspects of the curriculum.
Gerad Guy, KS2 Co-ordinator
Many of my children who were previously uncomfortable with competitive PE games really enjoyed the individual challenge it provided. The programme has a place in any school where healthy lifestyles are promoted.
Colette Clarke, St John the Baptist P.S
The club has proved extremely popular with all the children who attend and has had a real impact in their attitude towards fitness and a healthy lifestyle in general. It has made a real positive impact to the whole school.
D. Tighe, Presentation P.S
Children love the programme and enthused to participate, as many have limited physical activity outside of school. They are aware of the importance of physical activity to their health and development, and it is delivered in a fun engaging manner by highly trained coaches. We cannot recommend this programme enough.
Gareth Ryan, Presentation P.S
Coaching was superb. Great variety every week, working on 5 areas, speed, flexibility, balance, strength and agility. The coaches have demonstrated that you do not need expensive equipment to have fun and challenging PE lessons. Coaches really encouraged pupils and spurred them on. Music was excellent along with sessions. The music boosted the session. Fun element. One pupil said the coaches made hard work fun (James McStay). A lot of thought went into planned lessons. Pupils said the sessions were far better than any PE lesson a teacher has taught. Coaches encouraged pupils not to compare themselves to others to try and get their own PB.

I have noticed a huge improvement in fitness of pupils esp those pupils who are not that active outside of School. Pupils are now using a variety of different language such as core for tummy, stretch, warm up, cool down etc…

Parents have been asking me how they can buy the activity bands and that their children are requesting fit bits GPS watches as birthday presents.

Important to keep/ maintain the programme to keep all pupils fit and healthy because not all pupils are members of fitness clubs outside of school.

We are huge fans of physical literacy in P6C.

Aisling Burke, Tannaghmore P.S
I wish to express my gratitude to those who delivered the wonderful PE programme to my class.

The children enjoyed it immensely and so did I. I have noticed that it has greatly benefitted the children. They are more energetic, alert and aware of the importance of exercise and this should be a compulsory part of the curriculum for every child in N. Ireland.

I look forward to having the team back again in the future to continue their wonderful work.

Orla Gorman
Having spoken to and met with principals and other teachers of local schools, they have been informing me about a healthy kidz programme and how this is having a positive impact on the children and indeed their school. The children involved are really enjoying it and the teachers can see the benefits. As a result we have started the golden mile challenge in our school for P4-P7. We would be very keen and appreciate if this programme could be supported so all our pupils could avail of this excellent programme.
Kirsty Andrews
Physical Literacy Programme results speak for themselves. Children improved in all areas. The coaching team were excellent. They highlighted how we can improve our fitness with minimal sporting equipment. Programme is extremely well structured. Instruction given are clear and concise and all children know exactly what activity they are involved in and what they should be doing. Programme is brilliant for teachers like myself who lack confidence in teaching P.E. Brilliant ideas for future lessons. Children have taken part enthusiastically in the Golden Mile. Levels of fitness are continually improving.
C. Cunningham, Tannaghmore P.S
As a primary 6 teacher, I feel that the Healthy Kidz programme is very beneficial to my pupils. The children are well motivated and highly engaged during each weekly session. They have also developed an awareness of areas such as agility, speed, strength, balance and flexibility, and are very keen to improve on personal scores.
The coaching is well managed and the set-up is fast flowing and easy to follow. Also, the activities for each focus area are different every week which ensures that the children do not lose interest at any stage. Furthermore, it is evident how the pupils are keen to improve on their own fitness levels, through requesting to complete their golden mile each week!

I think it is important that the programme is continued as it has been a valuable resource for the children in my class which they have thoroughly enjoyed.

Rachel Douglas, Tannaghmore P.S
I think the Healthy Kidz programme is excellent. It is very structured and covers all 5 areas of speed, agility, flexibility, strength and balance. The children are reminded of these areas every week. It has definitely increased the fitness of my pupils as shown by an increase in their scores after the programme. At the end of every lesson the children are out of breath and their heart rate is up.

The coaches are excellent and deliver the programme in a fun way with music. They are very encouraging and respond well to the children. They are extremely well organised.

The pupils love the lessons. They are now keen to improve their own fitness and have realised how unfit they actually are. Pupils enjoy trying to beat their own personal best during the Golden Mile challenge.

I think it is vitally important that this initiative continues because children are increasingly living more sedentary lives. Obesity levels are also on the increase and for some children this is the only form of exercise they do all week.

Emma Robinson, St Anthony's P.S, Craigavon
As a PE lesson it is very intense, with few breaks between activities. Children need stamina to take them through the entire lesson. The results show that performance has increased for most if not all children. They have a better understanding of what helps them improve their fitness levels and have been encouraged to become more active outside of school.

The coaches were always professional and well prepared. They ensured the lessons were interesting and delivered at an appropriate level. Everything moved at a good pace and the coaches, particular the lead coaches, displayed good management of the group. It was very useful to have a number of adults available to help with the smooth running of each station.

All of the pupils have a better understanding of the areas that impact upon their athleticism. They can confidently name each of them and discuss how they can be improved.

The programme is an excellent tool for teaching children the importance of staying healthy and active. It links very well to PDMU and a number of the fundamental PE skills. The children are always excited about taking part and have formed a good relationship with all of the coaches. If the programme could be developed further to include some of the statutory areas of PE, such as games, dance, etc. I believe it could form an integral part of any schools PE curriculum.

Primary 5 - St Brendan's P.S
1.The Coaching programme is incredibly important for my pupils to motivate them to increase their activity and fitness levels. The activities set up are always challenging, frequently changed and well balanced to encourage the children to develop their core skills such as strength, speed and agility. The lessons are fast paced and really engaging and the children really do get a fantastic work out. By the end of each session they have always worked up a sweat and pushed their fitness levels to the max!

2. The quality and delivery of the coaching is always outstanding. All of the coaches are extremely well prepared for each lesson and very confident in delivering the sessions. They are able to quickly develop a strong rapport with the children with their positive and cheerful disposition. They are very approachable and friendly, yet have respect of the children and know how to deal with behaviour effectively.

The sessions were very well planned and always offer the children opportunities to develop and progress. Furthermore, the coaches often help the children to acknowledge and reflect on their own learning by discussing what each activity strengthens or develops.

The coaches always arrive early and set up their equipment meticulously so that the lessons run very smoothly with easy transitions. The coaches provide the equipment from their own stock and are able to offer a much more extensive range of engaging resources. Otherwise, if I were to set up the lessons independently I would not be able to offer any where near the same standard due to lack of school equipment and preparation time to set up the lessons.

3. The program has had a very positive effect on my pupils. They all thoroughly enjoy PE and really look forward to the coaches coming in each week. I have noticed in particular, that it has raised the self esteem of certain pupils who may have not always enjoyed PE in the past, especially those who are shy or less able with their physical skills. The sessions are often taught via a range of playful team games and I think this has helped shy children to settle in and feel more at ease to take part.

4. I think that it is so important to continue this program in the future. I am sure that many teachers will agree that it has had an immensely positive impact on the children’s development and enjoyment in PE. It offers the children a unique experience to have their lessons lead by professionals who have specialist knowledge and skills to best support the children. My pupils have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to enjoy and succeed through this program this year and I really hope that it will continue well into the future.

Maria Keating, Carrick P.S
The programme was very beneficial. All the children in P6 who participated increased their fitness level and developed greater knowledge and understanding of how to maintain their fitness.

The programme successfully created awareness, instilled greater enthusiasm and improved pupil confidence in terms of completing a significant physical challenge over a period of weeks.

The programme helped foster a greater sense of responsibility towards their physical fitness and the benefits of exercise in relation to their overall well-being.

The individual/team dynamic of the programme aided children with issues or concerns regarding their own personal fitness/body image. These children gained greater confidence and sufficiently raised their own self-esteem by taking part in the programme.

The coaching was of a high standard, delivered professionally and a positive rapport was quickly established and maintained throughout. The knowledge and expertise of the coaching team was evident at all times and the aims and objectives of the programme and each lesson were clearly communicated to the children.

The children received precise instructions; they were constantly encouraged and praised for their efforts. The coaching staff were well organised, managed the learning environment effectively and promoted positive attitudes and behaviour throughout the programme.

As class teachers in P6 we were actively involved and well-informed by the coaching team as to the rationale and practicalities of each lesson.

The general fitness levels have improved in P6 – whilst to varying degrees- all children have made gains. Aside from physical improvements other benefits/positive effects have been; improved listening skills, greater concentration, ability to follow instructions, greater level of interest in personal fitness/well-being; the importance of setting targets; positively working towards a goal and experiencing a sense of achievement and celebrating success at the end of the programme.

The programme created a buzz, there was an eagerness to take part and perform well – the children looked forward to each lesson and they all developed a healthy regard for competition and being competitive in a positive and inclusive manner.

The programme is important because there is such a need for proactive initiatives which target the important area of children’s physical health and well-being.

The programme is important because it is relevant and relates to the NI PE curriculum as well as PD&MU. The children have come to realise that we all have a vested interest in their health, that this is a serious responsibility they have to themselves, and that the school and outside agencies all have a stake in their health and happiness.

Healthy Kids is important because it equips the children with the knowledge and skills to look after their own health. Hopefully it can instil a willingness, on the part of the children, to continue to nurture and develop positive attitudes towards a more active lifestyle through better choices in school and at home.

Primary 6 - St Brendans P.S