A Process for Developing Healthy School Communities

This 6-step process should be followed when planning and developing wellness initiatives. The process is cyclical and should be reviewed on an on-going basis. (Queensland Government. 2005; Health Promoting Schools Toolbox, JCSH 2008)

ProcessModel

Prepare

Careful planning is the key – don’t lose momentum:

  • Identify health champions
  • Form a wellness committee with a cross-section of stakeholders
  • Plan how to embed the initiative into the culture of the school from the start!
  • Understand that not everyone will be on board in the beginning

Create a shared vision

What is the ideal situation – what is the project trying to achieve?

  • Involve a range of stakeholders
  • Consider what a healthy school community should look like
  • Brainstorm how the school can become a happier and healthier place to live, work and play
  • Be ready to communicate the vision to the school community

Determine the priority issues

Consider what has already been achieved and identify the priority issues moving forward.
  • Use assessment or planning tools like the JCSH or TTFM survey data and engage as many stakeholders as possible in the process
  • Target issues for which there are already resources – start with the easiest priorities to gain momentum 
  • Communicate the determined priority areas with the school 
  • Accept that change will take time

Develop an Action Plan

Develop a plan to continue moving forward to build upon the good things already happening in the school community:
  • State each identified goal – make it SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Time-related)
  • Identify strategies and actions required 
  • List human and material resource requirements and specify a budget as required
  • Specify roles and responsibilities 
  • Identify links to the curriculum 
  • Plan to share with the school community

Implement and Monitor

The more comprehensive the action plan, the easier the implementation will be:
  • Hold a launch; let everyone know each time an activity is taking place and exactly what is going to be happening 
  • Keep open lines of communication between all individuals involved
  • Continuously track progress so that amendments or changes can be made to the plan as necessary
  • Ensure everyone is aware of any changes being made

Reflect, Evaluate and Celebrate

Bring closure to activities even as next steps are planned and take time to reflect:
  • Were the planned goals reached?
  • Review the action plan and record results
  • Gather input/data from the whole school community
  • Consider what worked and what did not and analyze why
  • How were the 4 pillars of a CSH approach impacted?
  • Be proud of the achievements and celebrate them

For more please see our Handbook