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  • Outreach

    NSW Evaluation Summary 2014-15

  • Outreach

    National Heart Foundation of Australia. Jump Rope for Heart Outreach, NSW Evaluation Summary, 2014-15. 2015

    Acknowledgements

    The report was prepared by Michelle Daley (Heart Foundation, NSW), based on findings from the 2014 Jump Rope for Heart Outreach program evaluation and 2015 Demonstration Skipping Team evaluation conducted by Margaret Scott, MCS Consultants Pty Ltd

    Program implementation success was due largely to the efforts of Kane Radford, NSW Jump Rope for Heart Outreach Project Officer.

    Thank you to Vicki Wade, Heart Foundation Cultural Lead, for her valuable support.

    The Heart Foundation also wishes to thank:

    Australian Olympian Stephanie Rice, whose donation from winning the TV competition Celebrity Apprentice funded implementation of the 2014 Jump Rope for Heart Outreach program

    Mr Ian Sharp, whose generous donation funded implementation of the Outreach Demonstration Skipping Team pilot project

    The 93 NSW schools who participated in Jump Rope for Heart Outreach in 2014 La Perouse Public School, and the inaugural Outreach Demonstration Skipping Team, the Deadly La Pa Skipping Crew

    ISBN 978-1-74345-115-1.

  • Contents

    04 The NSW Jump Rope for Heart Outreach Program

    05 Program Objectives

    05 2014 Program Implementation

    07 2014 Program Evaluation

    07 Program Outcomes

    10 Ongoing Program Improvement

    13 Case Study - the Deadly La Pa Skipping Crew

    18 Conclusions

    18 References

    19 Appendix

  • 4 NSW Jump Rope for Heart Outreach Program

    The NSW Jump Rope for Heart Outreach Program

    Many Australian children are at a significant risk of developing cardiovascular disease earlier in adult life, with one quarter of all school aged children overweight or obese, and only one in three meeting the current national guidelines of 60 minutes of physical activity a day1. Furthermore, Australian children generally have very low levels of Fundamental Movement Skill mastery2 (such as running, jumping, skipping, catching), which are the skills needed to successfully engage in sport and lifelong physical activity.

    To help address this issue, the Heart Foundation Jump Rope for Heart (JRFH) program has been operating in schools across Australia for over three decades as both a fundraising activity and an important vehicle for raising children’s awareness of heart health and the importance of physical activity and healthy eating. The program is promoted as a fun, non- competitive skipping program and is based on the premise that being physically active is good for children’s cardiovascular health and fitness, develops movement skills, and has added personal and social skill benefits. Skipping is a culturally inclusive physical activity that is loved by children of all ages.

    The Heart Foundation recognised however that many schools have not been able to participate in the JRFH program, due to barriers such as logistics or capacity to fundraise. This includes schools in many disadvantaged communities. Health equity is an important strategic goal for the Heart Foundation as children from disadvantaged backgrounds are at higher risk of developing heart and other chronic diseases later in life. Consequently, in 2013 the Heart Foundation NSW decided to extend the reach of the successful Jump Rope for Heart Program to NSW schools in disadvantaged communities, with a specific focus on remote, rural and regional communities and those with high Aboriginal and culturally diverse student populations. Named Jump Rope for Heart Outreach (JRFHO) this pilot program differed from the regular JRFH program, with participating schools not required to fundraise to receive free program resources and support. A generous donation from Australian Olympian Stephanie Rice funded implementation and evaluation of the 2014 program.

    This report outlines a summary of the 2014 program evaluation, based on implementation in 93 NSW schools who met the program’s inclusion criteria. It also includes a case study of the Deadly La Pa Skipping Crew from La Perouse Public School in Sydney, who were the first Outreach Demonstration Skipping Team, to form after participation in the 2014 program.

    The Jump Rope for Heart program has been operating in schools across Australia for over three decades as both a fundraising activity and an important vehicle for raising children’s awareness of heart health and the importance of physical activity and healthy eating.

  • 5NSW Evaluation Summary 2014-15 heartfoundation.org.au

    Program Objectives

    The objectives of the program were to:

    → increase student participation in skipping, as a form of regular physical activity

    → increase students age appropriate skipping skill proficiency → increase students knowledge of physical activity and

    healthy eating → increase teacher confidence to instruct students in

    skipping skills → support schools to integrate the program and its resources

    into the existing curriculum and school timetable → sustain ongoing program implementation and interest,

    through annual evaluation and quality improvement.

    2014 Program Implementation

    The Jump Rope for Heart Outreach Program was progressively implemented in 93 NSW schools (mostly primary schools) in 2014, reaching almost one third of NSW schools who met the inclusion criteria. There was a specific focus on reaching schools with high Aboriginal student populations, including engaging schools from the NSW Education

    Figure 1: Location of Participating Schools in 2014

    “Students loved the visit and it has made such a wonderful improvement in our school. We still skip each and everyday” (survey respondent)

  • 6 NSW Jump Rope for Heart Outreach Program

    and Communities Connected Communities strategy3. The participating schools were located in metropolitan, rural and regional settings across NSW, with some very small schools in isolated locations (see Figure 1 and Appendix). The school sizes ranged from five to 355 students. An estimated 52 schools had identified Aboriginal students with 11 having more than 30 Aboriginal students, five with between 10 - 30 and the remainder less than 10 Aboriginal students.

    Figure 2: Jump Rope for Heart Outreach Program Components

    “The skipping fitted in perfectly...it was the central focus of our fitness program” (school principal)

    There was a specific focus on reaching schools with high Aboriginal student populations, including engaging schools from the NSW Education and Communities Connected Communities strategy3

  • 7NSW Evaluation Summary 2014-15 heartfoundation.org.au

    Program Components

    Figure 2 illustrates the program components. The program included:

    → a school visit and skills workshop conducted by the JRFHO Project Officer, with ongoing implementation support via phone and email

    → a free resource kit for participating schools comprising skipping ropes, Teachers Manual, skipping skills cards and a music CD

    → school-lead classroom and skipping activities over 4-6 weeks, ideally culminating in a themed ‘Heart Day’ event that involved the broader school community

    → formal evaluation, including a self-report teacher survey and interviews with a sample of schools.

    2014 Program Evaluation

    An independent evaluation of the program was undertaken to determine the effectiveness, appropriateness and benefits for the participating schools and students, and to inform ongoing program quality and sustainability.

    The evaluation questions were:

    → how much activity did the program undertake? → how well was the program implemented/

    delivered by the Heart Foundation? → how well was the program implemented by schools? → what impacts and benefits were there for schools,

    students, and school communities? → what improvements could be made to the

    program and its mode of delivery? → how can the program be sustained locally?

    Data was collected through a confidential online teacher survey and interviews with a small number of school principals/ program coordinators and the JRFHO Project Officer. The online survey assessed the programs impact on student levels of physical activity and awareness of health and fitness; benefits to students, teachers and the broader school community; integration of the Program into the school curriculum; satisfaction with the Program delivery and resources; and suggestions for improvement. There were 46 survey responses, representing almost 50% of participating schools.

    Program Outcomes

    Survey results indicated that the delivery of the program by the Heart Foundation was a positive experience for participating schools (98% of survey respondents rated their experience as

    Survey results indicated that the delivery of the program by the Heart Foundation was a positive experience for participating schools (98% of survey respondents rated their experience as excellent or very good).

  • 8 NSW Jump Rope for Heart Outreach Program

    excellent or very good). There was a consistent response from schools that program delivery and resource quality was of a very high standard (see Table 1 below). Survey comments highlighted strong engagement of the students as a result of the skill and enthusi