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Integrating Health Checks into Learning

It is well known that health-checks within a school setting can be challenging. The Pacific Science for Health Literacy team have developed this learning resource to support the integration of student health checks into the Healthy Start to Life Education for Adolescent Programmes.


My Health Profile booklet cover
My Health Profile: Student Resource

The Pacific Science for Health Literacy Project team (Cook Islands) identified in 2013 that while health monitoring should ideally be a part of project evaluation, the education sector and wider community were not at that stage ready to embrace this. During the initial phase of the project (2014-2015) it became increasingly apparent that the opportunity for student health checks (already undertaken by the Cook Islands Ministry of Health) to be incorporated into the learning programme could be beneficial to participants, as well as increase understanding of the impact of the progrmame on learning and health. Key evidence that led to the decision to incorporate health checks into the learning programme included:

  • increased engagement from students when learning was set in the context of health issues in their community
  • evidence that the programme was increasing student awareness of their health and encouraging evidence-based decision making by students about nutrition and physical activity
  • increased appreciation within the education team of the potential value of health data 
  • feedback from participating students indicating that they placed a very high value on having access to data about health in their community 
  • feedback from participating students indicating that they wanted to have access to and understand data about their own health

To support empowerment, health monitoring must be an active learning experience. To facilitate this the project team have produced My Health Profile, a resource explaining the health monitoring checks, alongside relevant NCD risk information.

The resource is specific to the Cook Islands but is easily adaptable for other settings. It does not sit alone, but is integrated into the learning module Ko Au e Toku Aorangi: Kai no te Oraanga Meitaki (Me, Myself, My Environment: Nutrition). Contextually relevant learning resources in this series are also available for Tonga and New Zealand, and are available for adaptation to other settings. 

All Year 9 students in Raortonga will receive this booklet to record their health profile. Teachers will incorporate exploration of the profiles in the cross-curricular learning modules associated with the project. Public health will ensure that appropriate follow-up is available. Students have requested that this check be available to them annually during secondary schooling.  

Evaluation of the impact of this resource from the perspective of students, their families, teachers, school leaders and the Cook Islands Ministries of Health and Education will be made available here once this is complete.    

A downloadable ecopy of the resource is available here.