Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. It is estimated that more than 75% of all skin cancers could be prevented by practising sun protection in early childhood and adolescence.
This Sun Smart policy has been developed to ensure that all students and staff attending Rutherglen High School are protected from over-exposure to the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. This policy documents our sun protection practices in the areas of behaviour, curriculum and environment. These practices will be applied to all school activities including sports, carnivals, excursions and camps. It is to be implemented throughout Term 1 and Term 4.
The goals of the Sun Smart policy are to:
- Increase student and community awareness of skin cancer.
- Assist students to develop strategies which encourage responsible decision making about skin protection.
- Work towards a safe school environment which provides shade for students and staff.
- Encourage students, parents, teachers and staff to wear protective clothing, hats and sunscreen during high risk times such as lunchtimes, sports, excursions and camps.
- Ensure that parents are informed of the School’s Sun Smart policy.
- Encourage all students and staff to wear sun protective hats that shade the face, neck and ears during recess, lunchtime and compulsory during sporting and other high risk activities; wear clothing with sleeves and collars that are made from a closely woven fibre; and apply at least SPF 15 broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen before all outdoor activities and re-apply every 2 hours.
- Encourage parents and guests to the school to be ‘sun smart’.
- School Uniform: Include a Sun Smart hat as part of the school uniform.
- Assemblies: Outdoor assemblies to be held early morning or in shade were possible.
- Physical Education and Sport Education: All students to be protected from the sun during outdoor physical education and sport classes by the use of hats and sunscreen. Maximise the use of indoor and shade facilities. Sport will be timetabled in Periods 1 & 2 in Terms 1 & 4.
- Camps and Excursions: Suitable hats, clothing and sunscreen will be required for all camps and excursions. These items will be listed on the parent permission form.
- Adult role models: Appropriate behaviour should be modelled by teachers and parents to reinforce the policy.
- Sunscreen: Will be available from Staff Room, PE Office in Community Centre, General Office and in the first aid kit for all school excursions.
- Occupational Health and Safety: Hats and sunscreen will be provided for all teachers involved in outdoor activities including yard duty. Physical education and sport education teachers should be encouraged to take appropriate sun protection measures as they are particularly at risk from UV radiation.
- Incorporate sun protection and skin cancer prevention programs into the appropriate Key Learning Areas of the school curriculum.
- Encourage students to be actively involved in initiatives to protect the school community from over-exposure to the sun.
- Promote sun protection throughout the year via the school newsletter, assemblies, daily messages, parents and staff meetings and whole school activities.
- Ensure there is adequate provision of shade within the school grounds for students and staff.
- Schedule sports carnivals to minimise UV risks by holding them indoors or outside the peak UV period between 11 am and 3 pm (daylight savings time).
- Consider temporary shade structures as a short term measure.
- Plan and budget for shade for high risk areas such as canteens and assembly points.
This policy will be monitored by the Principal who will ensure:
- All new staff have been briefed on Sun Smart policy.
- The Sun Smart policy is included as an agenda item for the first January and September staff meetings of each year.
- The Sun Smart policy is presented at the first School Council meeting and Parents’ Club meeting each year.
- The Sun Smart policy is included in the school handbook/school diary each year.
- Sunscreen is included on the school booklist.
- Sun Smart practices are promoted regularly from September through to May.
- Glenview Community Care is contacted annually to ensure that up-to-date information is maintained on Sun Smart resources and policy guidelines.
The Principal and Curriculum and Environment Committee in collaboration with the Student Representative Council will review the effectiveness of this policy each year. They will:
- Review the Sun Smart behaviour of students, staff, parents and guests visiting the school.
- Assess the provision of shade in the school.
- Assess the use of shade by students and staff.
- Check plans for future buildings and grounds with regards to shade provision (in consultation with the School Council).
- Evaluate and update the Sun Smart protection and skin cancer prevention component of the curriculum (in collaboration with the Science, Health and Physical Education staff).