Waikoikoi School

This small rural school in Southland is the proud achiever of Heart Start:Toitoi Manawa as well as our Heart Schools award – for their whole school production on healthy eating and physical activity.

Waikoikoi School, located 20 minutes from Gore, recently received two awards from the Heart Foundation for their commitment to promoting healthy eating and physical activity in their school community. The school was presented with a Heart Start award, as well as a Heart Schools trophy and certificate for their school production based on food, nutrition and good food choices.

A motivated team of parents sacrificed their time to write, direct, and create costumes for a fantastic production titled ‘5+ A Day – The Battle of Good vs Evil’. The production featured strong messages about heart health and was presented at the West Otago Theatre in Tapanui in Term 3, 2014. The whole school was involved, with each child having a role to play in the production. During intermission, healthy food options were supplied instead of the usual ice creams and sweets.

The students spread their positive health messages throughout the community by inviting other local schools and preschools, as well as parents, family members and members of the public. About 400 children and adults attended the production, which is an enormous accomplishment for a small rural school with a roll of 28 students. 

After the production, parents commented on the observed changes in their children’s food choices and increased input in choosing healthier foods when grocery shopping. The school also noticed a reduction in pies brought in to school for heat ups, and received positive feedback from those people who attended the production.