Cross curricular educational resource for managing allergy in school
It was the diagnosis of her niece's severe egg allergy that turned coeliac graphic designer, Hailey Phillips' mind to allergy management.
She started with a creation of a family of 'allergy characters’ shown in a series of Allergy Adventures’ storybooks, the characters go on magical adventures promoting a positive message about how to stay safe around food. This was soon followed by easy and fun cooking videos with her niece, a website, Allergy Adventures, which includes enticing freeform recipes, rhymes and puzzles to help navigate through what can feel like a maze, when managing allergies.
Next came an 'allergy passport' – a way to distract children going through painful and distressing hospital appointments. This has been very well received and is already being rolled out in clinics across the country.
But Hailey was looking for a more structured, yet fun approach to allergy education for children and this, in due course, brought her to the idea of video workshops for schools.
The result is the Allergy Adventures Workshops teaching children about the allergies, and help build an understanding of how to manage them to keep themselves or their friends with food allergies safe.
There are four 'lessons', each 50 minutes long, aimed at children from 5 to 11 (one series for 5–7-year olds, one for 7–11-year olds), each including lesson plans, educational videos, slides, printable activity sheets and reward certificates. The workshops fall into the area of PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education) but all have cross-curricular links to other core subjects including Science, Literacy, D&T and Art.
The workshops are constructed so that the teacher really needs to have no knowledge of allergy at all – they can just play them – as all the resources are contained within the pack. However Hailey is happy to run workshops based on the videos for schools who feel they need more input.
The four modules cover:
The response from the schools (and children) who have used them has been overwhelmingly positive.
'Your workshop idea of finding hidden allergens is so good. The worksheet looked great. Fab idea.'
And a major plus as far as cash-strapped schools are concerned is that, thanks to the support of the Wellcome Trust, the workshops are entirely free for schools to run themselves.
This means that for no cost and virtually no effort, because the lessons are totally self contained, a school can still tick all the boxes about responsible management of allergy within their school. Or if schools would feel more comfortable, Hailey is also available to run whole year group workshop assemblies or lessons depending on the schools needs.
For more information go to the Allergy Adventures site where you can find all the information about the school workshops and contact Hailey.
For more on the other Allergy Adventures activities, see this blog.