Pupils thinking of an active future

H_7854A new exhibition on how children will stay healthy in the future was unveiled at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge today, Wednesday 18 March.

The striking exhibition showcases the art of pupils from St Philips C of E Primary School in Cambridge who were asked to explore how they can stay active in the modern world.

As part of a joint research study by artists and scientists, the children were asked a series of questions on what being active means by Dr Helen Brown, Career Development Fellow at the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR). They developed their thoughts in three creative workshops run by artist Sally Todd from Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination (CCI).

“Run a marathon”, “run round a laboratory inventing things”, “power a peddle-driven helicopter”, “run to London and back”… These are some of the answers from pupils at St Philips C of E Primary School in Cambridge when asked the question: “In twenty years time a good way to keep more active would be…”

The 30 schoolchildren, many of whom were born in the hospital, will see their work displayed for the first time in the Addenbrooke’s Treatment Centre (ATC) on Wednesday 18 March.

Addenbrooke’s Arts has worked in partnership on this project with the Cambridge Institute of Public Health, CEDAR and CCI as part of the Cambridge Science Festival, which runs up until Sunday 22 March.

This research project comes at an important time as recent statistics show that only 32 per cent of boys and 24 per cent of girls are getting the recommended one hour of daily physical activity.

Dr Helen Brown, Career Development Fellow at CEDAR, commented: “This project has been a fantastic example of how art and science can interact to help children explore active futures. Part of our remit at CEDAR is to develop programmes to ensure young people live healthy and happy lives, and so learning from the children themselves has been extraordinary. Their innovative ideas for active building and active policies has been inspiring – and it was great fun to see them being so creative.”

Daniel Watkins, Year 4 teacher at St Philips Primary School, added: “I was impressed with the enthusiasm and seriousness with which they undertook the project. They developed a greater awareness of what being healthy means and how they can be agents of change for the future. Lots of pupils demonstrated confidence in their own ideas and were brave enough to take on the challenges posed by the artist and scientist involved. I know they are proud of what they achieved by working together.”

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Notes

  • Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) is one of the largest and best known hospitals in the country. As well as delivering care through Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie, it is also: a leading national centre for specialist treatment for rare or complex conditions; a government-designated biomedical research centre; one of only five academic health science centres in the UK; a university teaching hospital with a worldwide reputation; a partner in the development of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. CUH’s vision is to be one of the best academic healthcare organisations in the world.
  • The Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) is studying the factors that influence dietary and physical activity related behaviours, developing and evaluating public health interventions, and helping shape public health practice and policy. CEDAR is one of five Centres of Excellence in Public Health Research funded through the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, and is a partnership between the University of Cambridge, the University of East Anglia and MRC Units in Cambridge. The Centre acknowledges the support of the Medical Research Centre, National Institute for Health Research, Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, the Economic and Social Research Council, and the University of Cambridge. www.cedar.iph.cam.ac.uk Dr Helen Brown was the lead scientist on this project. Helen is undertaking a Career Development Fellowship at CEDAR and the MRC Epidemiology Unit under the supervision of Dr Esther van Sluijs. She is investigating effective family-based intervention strategies for increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviour in children. See more at: www.cedar.iph.cam.ac.uk/people/cdfs/helen-brown
  • The Cambridge Institute of Public Health generates evidence and knowledge to improve the public’s health, using our research, teaching and analysis to promote well-being, prevent disease and reduce health inequalities. The Institute, originally set up in 1993, is a vibrant, multidisciplinary partnership of academics and public health professionals, based at the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. www.iph.cam.ac.uk
  • St Philips C of E aided primary school is a vibrant city primary school in Romsey in Cambridge. The project involved working with a class of Year 4 students at the school and their teacher Daniel Watkins.
  • Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination (CCI) is a creative organisation that works with artists to play with ideas and make them grow. Exploring intriguing spaces and challenging questions alongside people of all ages, we are interested in how we can enable everyone to discover their own powers of imagination and curiosity and how we can share these as widely as possible. www.cambridgecandi.org.uk