Case studies

Backup of Schools 20170704

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Want to make some changes around healthy eating and physical activity at your school?

Need help with improving lunchboxes or the food and drinks sold in the tuck shop?

Like some support in developing a nutrition policy, or engaging parents, whānau and the wider community to support healthy eating and physical activity at school?

We can help! Our range of free, curriculum-aligned programmes, initiatives and resources can help you achieve your goals while fitting in with your current workload.

What do we offer?

To help schools achieve a healthier learning environment for students, the Heart Foundation offers three awards:

Heart Start - this programme helps schools who are looking to make some basic changes to the healthy eating and physical activity environment at their school. Schools choose five modules out of a possible eleven to complete, to fit in with their needs and workload. 

Heart Start Excellence - this programme is for schools who want to build on the work they are already doing to improve healthy eating and physical activity in their schools, or those schools who want to excel in this area. Schools choose five modules out of a possible eleven to complete to achieve this award.

Heart Schoolsfor schools who are doing great work around a healthy eating and/or physical activity initative at their school - but dont want to commit to a programme, Heart Schools is a great option. Simply complete a SMART Questionnaire to tell us about your initiative and you are well on your way to getting a Heart Schools award.

The Heart Foundation is also proud to deliver the Food for Thought nutrition education programme to years 5 and 6 students. 

Why take part in our awards?

Your school will benefit from:

  • Quality tools and resources
  • One-on-one support from our Health Promotion Co-ordinator in your region
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Support to meet NAG I and NAG 5 requirements
  • Support to help you engage and consult with your school community, a legal requirement for schools
  • Acknowledgement from a credible organisation and potential publicity for your school
  • Our programmes are linked with the school curriculum

Who are the awards for?

All schools in NZ with a Ministry of Education number can register on this website and take part in our programmes. We have 17 Health Promotion Co-ordinators located throughout the country who can help support your school in completing the awards.

What about secondary schools?

Secondary schools can use our programmes and resources to help meet achievement standards in the following areas: Health and Physical Education, Home Economics/Food and Nutrition, Science, Hospitality and Food Technology. 

Our programmes also provide student leadership opportunities - get your students to drive the programme! Students will gain valuable skills and experience in project management, food and nutrition or hospitality for future careers.

Where do we complete the awards?

Heart Start, Heart Start Excellence and Heart Schools can all be completed on this website. Simply register your school on the website, sign up to the programme you are interested in, and upload your evidence using the links at the bottom of each module. If you need any help, please get in touch with your local Health Promotion Co-ordinator or email us using the contact tab at the top of this page. 


Backup Heart Start 20170701

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Heart Start Toitoi Manawa is a curriculum-aligned programme designed for schools just starting out on the healthy eating and physical activity journey. There are 11 different modules to choose from so whether you're a big urban high school or a small country primary school, you can choose the modules that best fit with the needs of your school. Secondary schools can also take part in our programmes to help meet achievement standards in Health and Physical Education, Home Economics/Food and Nutrition, Science, Hospitality and Food Technology.

To complete Heart Start, you need to choose five modules and show us how you achieved them. If you have a food-service at your school, please include 'My tuckshop rules' as one of your five modules.


  • Setting our direction - helps your school develop and implement a nutrition policy
  • *My tuckshop rules - drives healthy changes to food and drinks sold at school 
  • Fuel up for learning - helps address food insecurity at your school
  • Spread the Healthy word - promotes healthy eating / physical activity to the whole school community
  • Brain booster - students - promotes inquiry learning for students around nutrition and physical activity
  • Brain booster - staff - encourages professional development for teachers
  • Let’s get physical - increases student participation in physical activity
  • Student health team - promotes student-led initiatives 
  • Connecting with our communities - helps you engage the wider community with school-based initiatives
  • Healthy changes at our local shop - provides tools and resources to work with local food outlets to improve the food and drinks sold
  • Fuelled4life  - guides healthier food and drinks at school

* Compulsory for all schools that have a canteen or lunch order system 

Taking part in the FREE Food for Thought programme (for year 5-6 students) completes three of the five modules needed to achieve Heart Start!


Download more module information


Is Heart Start the right programme for our school ?

Heart Start and Heart Start Excellence are both based around the same 11 modules as above. The only difference in the programmes is in the amount of work required to complete each module.

Here are some tools to help you decide which programme fits best with your school: 

  • Heart Start vs Heart Start Excellence - download this document to see what work is required for Heart Start vs Heart Start Excellence
  • Quiz - take our quiz to see which level is best suited to your school

How do I sign up to Heart Start?

  1. Register your school Learn by Heart
  2. Select your journey - Heart Start
  3. Click on the modules you want to complete - remember to need to completefive in total
  4. Upload your evidence to the website using the links at the bottom of each module page
  5. Celebrate your success!

 Once you have completed five modules, we will be in touch to award your school!



Not the right programme for you? Check out Heart Start Excellence or Heart Schools.