Recognition of the important role schools play in the promotion of student well-being can be seen in the growing number of policies and programs being implemented in schools across Australia. This paper reports on some initial data from focus group interviews with Year 9 and 10 girls involved in the pilot of a health and physical activity intervention designed to connect them to their local community and reconnect them with their school and their peers. The aim of the program was to build connectedness and resilience by engaging young women in non-traditional physical activities whilst providing them with a sound understanding of health issues relevant to adolescent girls. Situated in a relatively isolated rural community 200 kilometres south-east of Melbourne the program was overwhelmingly delivered by regional and local agencies in conjunction with the local secondary school. The intervention was built on a partnerships model designed with the purpose of increasing participation and access for young women whilst building a sustainable program run in partnership between the school and local agencies and services. The initial data from this pilot indicates the program is having a positive impact on the young women's sense of self and their bodies, their relationships with their peers and in reducing bullying behaviour amongst the girls. However, the data raises some important questions around the adequacy of school-based health education, and the sustainability of approaches designed to be delivered by outside agencies rather than classroom teachers.
Article is a modified version of a paper presented at the Australian Association for Research in Education Conference (2008: Brisbane)
Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.
Field of Research
130210 Physical Education and Development Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio Economic Objective
939904 Gender Aspects of Education
HERDC Research category
C3 Non-refereed articles in a professional journal
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