Staff and students at Crescent Head Public School are harnessing a new suite of interactive skin cancer prevention resources to raise the awareness about the dangers of spending too much time in the sun.
The Sun and UV at School classroom resources were developed by the Cancer Institute NSW in partnership with the NSW Department of Education and other education and health sector organisations including SunSmart.
They provide students with the latest information on sun protection in a contemporary and engaging way and assist them to make healthy, safe, and proactive choices to reduce their risk of developing skin cancer.
Crescent Head Public School administration manager and Stage 3 melanoma survivor Renee Marchment, along with staff from the school, are working to implement the new resources to assist students in making healthy and proactive lifestyle choices that reduce their risk of skin cancer.
"I think it's fantastic that the Department of Education and Cancer Institute NSW are collaborating to get this message out there," Renee said.
"It's an important time of year to remind people about the importance of sun protection and reducing the risks of too much sun exposure."
Renee said all school staff can inspire students to protect their skin. The resources available are easily accessible for teachers and are fun and interactive for the students to use.
"It makes it fun and engaging for students and it's open for all schools to join and implement in students' school lives. It's obvious that a lot of time and effort has gone into creating these resources and they're unique to each stage level."
We're very outdoor people in the Macleay, whether that be in our coastal towns or near the river or on farms, we all need to be proactive about reducing the risks of skin cancer.Renee Marchment
The evidence-based resources are aligned to the objectives, content, skills, and outcomes of the NSW PDHPE and Science K-10 syllabuses and are flexible and easy for teachers to use. They include grab-and-go activities, complete units of work, individual lessons, animations, infographics and links to data repositories.
Renee said she is proud of the team at Crescent Head Public School for getting behind this initiative and encourages other schools in the Macleay Valley to do the same.
"As a team we are all very passionate about this and I'm so proud we're getting involved. These healthy choices around preventing skin cancer need to flow from school, to home and to the community, so this is one aspect where we can make a difference and raise awareness," she said.
As part of the Sun and UV at School initiative, the Cancer Institute NSW has also launched a state-wide Sun and UV at school challenge for NSW primary and secondary schools.
The challenge draws on the problem-solving elements found within the new resources and aligned syllabus and encourages students to design fun, functional and innovative spaces that provide essential shade for their school and community.
Prizes for students and their school are up for grabs, with entries open until Friday October 23. Winners will be announced on Monday November 16 during National Skin Cancer Action Week 2020.
"I think it's great that all schools can join this initiative and get involved in the fun competition," Renee said.
"We're very outdoor people in the Macleay, whether that be in our coastal towns or near the river or on farms, we all need to be proactive about reducing the risks of skin cancer."
Teachers can download the new Sun and UV at School resources and find out more about the school challenge at www.cancer.nsw.gov.au/sun-school.