30 Shiphay Lane, Torquay TQ2 7DY
T: 01803 613215

Y7-11 Absence: 01803 653 750

South West Secondary
School of the Year 2019

30 Shiphay Lane, Torquay TQ2 7DY
E:   T: 01803 613215
Y7-11 Absence Line: 01803 653 750

South West Secondary School of the Year 2019

The 9 Habits Project

Our teenage girls face a huge range of pressures. Stress about school, body image worries, early sexualisation, bullying both on and off-line, and uncertainty about the future, all pile on the pressure. The rise of social media means the girls have to live their lives in the public domain, to present a personal ‘brand’ from a young age, and to seek reassurance in the form of likes and shares. According to the Department of Education, in 2017 more than one in three teenage girls suffered from anxiety or depression, a rise of 10 per cent over the previous decade. These problems are compounded by a loss of community, parents working longer hours and a rise in childhood obesity and diabetes.

In an effort to counter this tide we are attempting to create a Blue Zone school based on the work of Dan Buettner and National Geographic, who studied the 5 places in the world where people live the longest and have low levels of chronic disease. These sites are found in Japan, Italy, Greece, Costa Rica and California, and are known as Blue Zones. The researchers were surprised to discover that although these long-lived communities were many miles apart they had nine habits in common!

Here is our version of these habits:

We cannot all move to a Blue Zone, however, if we encourage some of these habits, not only might it help our daughters live longer, but there is evidence that it could make them happier as well.

To find out more detail about Blue Zones and our 9 habits click on the links to our student book, the ‘Little Handbook of Health’ and our ‘Guide for Parents’.

As a school, we are aiming to provide as many opportunities as possible to help our girls develop these habits. For example - we have created a quarter mile circuit through our grounds that girls can walk around at break times (moving), we are increasing the number of house activities they can be involved in (belonging), and we have stipulated that our new caterers provide Blue Zone food choices (feeding/planting), etc.

We are working to create a 9 Habits habitat and will include a link to our provision map when completed.

This approach has begun to enjoy some success in America and we are hopeful that if we can gently introduce some small habit changes then our girls will not only will survive modern times, but will thrive in them.

Perhaps they can emulate Mrs Pemble who, at 99 years old, is our oldest ‘Old Girl’. Mentally alert and active, she is pictured below being interviewed by our youngest student, Emily Kitchen; there is an impressive 88 years difference in their ages. It came as no surprise to find that Mrs Pemble has practised all 9 habits during her lifetime!

EVERY DAY IS OPEN DAY...Call us on 01803 613215 to arrange a tour or email us:

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