Lancashire school wins the Wise up with Water challenge

A CBBC presenter has delivered a workshop, including 12 fun and fascinating experiments such as ‘make your own urine’, ‘make your own sweat’ and ‘save my plant’, today [Monday 2 February], to a primary school of 37 pupils in Clitheroe, Lancashire.

Stefan Gates, who presents the children’s TV programme Gastronuts, held the ‘Wacky Water Workshop’ at Bolton-by-Bowland CE Primary School after they won a national competition to encourage children to drink water. The workshop was a demonstration of water-based science experiments designed to educate children about the importance of drinking water and staying hydrated.

The Wise up with Water challenge, which was launched by the Natural Hydration Council (NHC) in partnership with The Children’s Food Trust, comes at a time when schools are being advised to ensure children are making healthier food choices.

To enter the challenge, schools across the country were invited to create ideas to encourage pupils to drink water. Bolton-by-Bowland Primary School key stage 2 children came up with a range of ideas for the challenge that could be implemented across the school to encourage everyone to drink water. Ideas included:

• Creating posters and sending home newsletters to highlight the importance of drinking water
• Nominating a pupil to be the ‘water champion’ for drinking lots of water and challenging the other children to keep up with him
• Replacing water labels with sticky labels saying ‘drink me’ to encourage the pupils to drink water.

Stefan Gates, whose ‘Gastronut’ and ‘Incredible Edibles’ shows have made him a much-loved figure among British children, said: “I really enjoyed delivering the workshop to the children. They came up with some brilliant ideas for the challenge that not only encouraged their classmates to drink more water but also their families.

“Water is very important for development and concentration in school. Taking part in the Wise up with Water challenge has encouraged children to really think about how much water they drink and just how important it is.”

William Mellin, 10, a year five pupil and ‘water champion’ at Bolton-by-Bowland Primary School, said: “It’s been great learning about all the amazing things water can do. I really enjoyed taking part in the challenge. I already drink lots of water and was really pleased to become the water champion. Now my friends are choosing water too and it’s really fun for us all to drink together.”

Joanne Eidsforth, teacher at Bolton-By-Bowland said: “I am so proud of the children for winning this nationwide competition with their fantastic hydration ideas. They made some really engaging posters and newsletters, and even suggested creating a wristband to remind people to drink water. Here at Bolton-By-Bowland we are really committed to teaching the children about how to live healthily and water has a big role to play in that. It was fantastic to be rewarded for our ideas with a visit from Stefan, everyone had a great day.”

To mark Bolton-by-Bowland’s competition win the NHC and Children’s Food Trust have launched a follow up competition on Twitter asking schools to submit their top tips to encourage people to drink water, using the #waterwise.

Myles Bremner, director of The School Food Plan said: “It’s great to see schools getting on board with the Wise up with Water challenge. It is so important that children understand the importance of a healthy diet and drinking water is very important to that. Bolton-By-Bowland is doing an amazing job of embedding the importance of drinking water throughout the school and the children have come up with some great ideas to make drinking water fun.”

Dr Patricia Mucavele, Head of Nutrition, at The Children’s Food Trust, said: “All children should have access to free drinking water throughout the school day to help them stay hydrated. We challenged children to come up with some simple and easy ideas to encourage their classmates to choose water and loved the winning school’s suggestion of swapping sugary drinks for water at home.”

Kinvara Carey, General Manager, Natural Hydration Council, said: “We were really impressed with the ideas the school came up with. Encouraging healthy hydration habits and general awareness of basic hydration from a young age is important. The new school food standards launched at the beginning of the year emphasise making water the drink of choice and it being one of the healthiest ways to hydrate.

“We hope even more schools will now get involved in our Twitter competition to share their own ideas to encourage healthy hydration.”

The #waterwise Twitter competition will launch on 2 February and will close on 15 February. Twenty-five schools will be picked at random to win £20 of Tesco vouchers.

Wise up with Water is free to access and the resources will be available throughout the 2015 academic year. Materials are available to all primary school teachers and families across the UK, and include curriculum-based lesson plans designed to creatively educate children on the role of water in the body and healthy hydration.

To download the resources please visit:

www.childrensfoodtrust.org.uk

-ENDS-

Published 2 February 2015