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Children say 'don't smoke' at our gates

Published Tuesday, 02 June 2015

Schoolchildren at Carterhatch Junior and Infant schools in Enfield are launching a campaign to encourage parents not to smoke at the school gates.

They are devoting a whole day to learn about the health risks linked to smoking but are particularly keen to prevent cigarette smoke wafting into their playground at home time.

Carterhatch is the first school in Enfield to say ‘no smoking at the gates’ where some parents smoke while waiting for their children at home time because smoking is not permitted in the school playground.

This ‘no smoking at the gates’ initiative, from parent governor, Marina Haque, has been welcomed and supported by Enfield Council which is providing information and arranging fun activities in the afternoon.

Marina said, “Although a ban on smoking at the school gates cannot be legally enforced, children will be asking their own parents politely to stop smoking there.“

A plaque designed by the children reminding people not to smoke will be unveiled at the school gates. At all times the children will be polite when they approach their parents and we are confident that they will cooperate with the children’s wishes.”

Cllr Ayfer Orhan, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Children’s Services and Protection, added: “Children are the best advocates to be saying ‘don’t smoke near our school’.

“This pioneering approach is a bold move and a great example of the successful work going on in our schools which is helping to develop healthy attitudes and changes to life styles.”

During the day classes will be working on projects to reinforce the message to quit smoking. Passive smoking, health risks and the costs of smoking will feature in their work.

They will be designing posters, creating fact files and writing raps. Through drama, older pupils will be developing ideas to show the effects of peer pressure on young people to smoke.

A pledge wall containing the children’s messages about smoking will be displayed in the playground. It will remind visitors about the expectations of the school’s pupils and then moved into the school reception area for visitors to see.

Cllr Nneka Keazor, Enfield Council’s new Cabinet Member for Public Health & Sport, said: “Improving health for Enfield’s residents is a priority. It is not only about healthy diets and exercise, but it is also about smoking and harmful habits that can cause serious health problems. The children at Carterhatch are doing a first class job in bringing this to our attention and their campaign should go from strength to strength.

Headteacher, Paul Barraclough, summed up: “Marina, our staff and children are making a huge effort and I am sure that parents will understand and respond.

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