Dream role in active learning

Dream job ... Anna Holland has left teaching after 13 years to take up a role as a Healthy Active Learning facilitator/adviser with Sport Canterbury.

Anna Holland was a popular face among the teaching staff at Ashburton Borough and Tinwald schools, but she has left the profession to take up a full-time role as a Healthy Active Learning facilitator/ adviser with Sport Canterbury.

She wasn’t looking for new career opportunities – she spent the past 13 years teaching pupils from new entrant to Year 8 – but when the role presented she jumped at the chance.

She lives a physical and well-balanced lifestyle and is excited to be part of the healthy active learning team working alongside schools supporting staff and students to improve their wellbeing.

She is based at Sport Canterbury office at the EA Networks Centre.

It was a dream job for the active mother of three and something she could be just as passionate about as her teaching, she said.

The Healthy Active Learning programme is run by Ministry of Health, Sport New Zealand and the Ministry of Education, although Anna’s role is funded by Sport Canterbury.

The programme has been implemented across more than 300 primary and intermediate schools and kura since 2020, with an additional 500 being set up over the next two years.

It has the support of each of its governing bodies with food and drink toolkits, physical activity teachings and education resources to enhance the delivery of the programmes. It is its first year in Mid Canterbury.

‘‘I was not looking for new opportunities, but change is always good,’’ Anna said.

The initiative involved building on work already being done in schools around healthy eating and drinking, and providing quality physical activity programmes, she said.

‘‘It’s a big passion of mine. I feel like it’s come along at the right time.’’

The in-school programme was tailored to suit each school and could involve doing activities with children at lunchtime, or providing staff development to allow them to take such activities, or observing what is already being done in the school and expanding from there.

There is also curriculum resources to improve student wellbeing.

So far 10 Mid Canterbury schools had taken up the opportunity and Anna has spent the past few weeks visiting principals and team leaders, as well as other organisations in the district, building relationships, getting to know their current programmes and discussing her role.

She may spend more time at some schools compared to others depending on their existing programmes and what they wanted to enhance.

Every school is different and has their own needs, she said.