Health and Wellbeing

Freebrough Academy is proud to have been awarded the Extended Healthy Schools Award for the last three years. We aim to support the health and wellbeing of students and staff at the Academy in a number of ways including:

• Promoting  positive emotional health and wellbeing  so students can better understand and express their feelings.

• Providing a balanced lunch menu and educating students about how to maintain a healthy diet.

• Promoting a range of opportunities to be physically active and show how physical activity can improve health and well being.

• Covering PSHE which includes sex and relationship education, drug education (including alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse) and staying safe online.

• Using our web page and social media pages  to provide students and parents/carers with links to key information that supports health and wellbeing.


The Dangers of Energy Drinks

Energy drinks are not allowed in Freebrough Academy.  Students who bring them in will have them confiscated.  This is because of the well documented risks they pose to the health of young people.

Excessive caffeine consumption in energy drinks had been associated with causing seizures, mania, stroke and sudden death.

In fact, as little as 400mg caffeine can kill you.  Just ONE can of Monster contains 160mg.

Symptoms of caffeine overdose are listed below:

  • Jitters, restlessness, and nervousness
  • Increased heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Heart palpitations (cardiac arrhythmia)
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Cardiac arrest


Self-harm is common amongst teenagers – but that doesn’t make it any less shocking for a parent when they find out that their child is hurting themselves.

If you find out that your child is self-harming it is very important to make sure that they know you are there to support them.  You can find some very useful advice on what to say (and what not to) if you ever find yourself in this situation by clicking on the link below:

Click here to visit the ‘In Our Hands’ blog


Help is at hand

If you are self harming of you are worried about someone who is Time 4 You School counselling Service, based at Freebrough Academy, could help.  You can visit their webpage by clicking here.  You can also seek help and support from your tutor, pastoral leader or head of school.


Staying Safe in the Sun

While the warm summer weather is a real treat here in North East England, we all need to be aware of the health risks associated with excessive sun exposure.  We recommend that on hot days students apply sunscreen before school and throughout the day if they are taking lessons or break times outside. Students should also carry plain bottled water to sip during the day to ensure they stay well hydrated.  Energy drinks, sports drinks and fizzy drinks are not suitable.  The information below from the NHS website gives some useful tips on how to stay safe in the sun.

What sun protection factor (SPF) should I use?

Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. The higher the SPF, the better. Go for broad-spectrum sunscreens, which protect against harmful UVA and UVB rays. Make sure the product is not past its expiry date. Most sunscreens have a shelf life of two to three years.

What is broad spectrum and the star-rating?

Broad-spectrum products provide protection against the sun’s UVB and UVA rays. The sun protection factor, or SPF, is a measurement of the amount of UVB protection. The higher the number, the greater the protection. In the UK, UVA protection is measured with a star rating. Sunscreens has from 0 to 5 stars. The higher the number of stars, the greater the protection.

How long can I stay in the sun?

Don’t spend any longer in the sun than you would without sunscreen. Sunscreen should not be used as an excuse to stay out in the sun. Instead, it offers protection when exposure is unavoidable. The summer sun is most damaging to your skin in the middle of the day. Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm, under umbrellas, trees, canopies or indoors.

Should I reapply sunscreen if I swim?

Water washes off sunscreen and the cooling effect of the water can make you think you’re not getting burned. Water also reflects UV rays, increasing your exposure. Even “waterproof” sunscreens should be reapplied after going in the water.

What should I do if I get sunburn?

Painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, will ease the pain by helping to reduce inflammation caused by sunburn. Sponge sore skin with cool water, then apply soothing after sun or calamine lotion. If you feel unwell or the skin swells badly or blisters, seek medical help. Stay out of the sun until all signs of redness have gone.

Are children more at risk of sunburn?

Young skin is delicate and very easily damaged by the sun. Use at least a factor 15 sunscreen and choose a broad-spectrum brand that has a four- or five-star rating. Apply it to areas not protected by clothing, such as the face, ears, feet and backs of hands. Choose sunscreens that are formulated for children and babies’ skin, as these are less likely to irritate their skin.

My child has eczema. What sunscreen should I use?

Some sunscreens may aggravate eczema. Check the label for any ingredients that you know your child is allergic to. Test any new sunscreen on a small area before applying it to the whole body. Put on your child’s emollient and steroids first then put the sun protection cream on 30 minutes later. Remember to put more sun protection cream on regularly throughout the day and especially after swimming.

What are the symptoms of heat exhaustion

Heat exhaustion occurs when the body cannot lose heat fast enough. If it’s not treated quickly, it can lead to heat stroke, which is a much more dangerous condition. Signs of heat exhaustion include faintness, dizziness, palpitations, nausea, headaches, low blood pressure, tiredness, confusion, loss of appetite and hallucinations.

What should I do if someone has signs of heat exhaustion?

Get them to rest in a cool place, ideally a room with air conditioning. Give them plenty of water. Avoid alcohol or caffeine as this can increase levels of dehydration. Cool their skin with cold water. Use a shower or cold bath to cool them down or, if this is not possible, wet flannels and face cloths in water and apply to their skin. Loosen any unnecessary clothing and make sure that the person gets plenty of ventilation. Monitor their condition closely.

Should I cover up my mole when I’m in the sun?

If you have lots of moles or freckles, you’re more likely to develop skin cancer, so you need to take extra care. Avoid getting caught out by sunburn. Use shade, clothing and sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 to protect yourself. Keep an eye out for changes to your skin and report these to your doctor without delay. Skin cancer is much easier to treat if it is found early.


Dental Hygiene

Looking after your teeth is a crucial part of looking after your health.  Poor dental hygiene is linked to a number of health issues.

You can help to keep your mouth healthy by:

• Not smoking

• Visiting your dentist regularly

• Keeping food and drinks containing sugar to mealtimes only (please see the guide below to see how much sugar is in some common food and drinks)

• Brush your teeth and gums last thing at night and at one other time each day

• Choose a toothpaste containing at least 1350ppm of fluoride.  Use a pea sized amount


Let’s get Sugar Smart – Get the Sugar Smart App!

SUgarOver the last year or so, here at Freebrough Academy, we have been working with students in assemblies, teaching them about how much sugar is in drinks.

Change4Life have launched a healthy eating campaign, called Sugar Smart, which focuses on the dangers of consuming too much sugar. They have launched a new app called Sugar Smart to help families visualise the sugar lurking in foods – available to download for free from the App Store or Google Play. The app allows you to scan barcodes and find out the sugar content in a variety of everyday foods and drinks.Sugar

  • Get the app – Download the Sugar Smart app (App Store or Google Play)
  • Start scanning – Scan the barcodes on food packaging at home and at the shops
  • Reveal the sugar – See the number of sugar cubes lurking in everyday food and drink. You’d be surprised just how many there are!

Kids are said to be consuming THREE times more sugar than they should be based on the maximum daily added sugar recommendation, according to the Sugar Smart website.

The maximum daily amounts of added sugar are:

  • 4-6 years – 5 cubes max (19 grams)
  • 7-10 years – 6 cubes max (24 grams )
  • 11+ years – 7 cubes max (30 grams)

Please note that one cube of sugar represents 4g of sugar

Further information, including recipes and ideas for healthy swaps, are available on the Change4Life (insert hyperlink) website to help parents take control of the sugar in their child’s diet.