The Revised Health and Physical Education Curriculum
On February 23, 2015, the Ministry of Education announced a revised Health and Physical Education Curriculum that will be in place at all public schools in Ontario in September 2015.
The previous curriculum, in place since 1998, has been under review since 2007. More than 70 health organizations, 2500-3000 educators and 700 students participated in the development of the updated curriculum. Parent consultations were held in the fall of 2014, with 5000 parents participating through School Councils.
The revised curriculum contains new material related to important issues – healthy relationships, consent, mental health, online safety and the risks of sexting – and is more inclusive of Ontario’s diverse population.
Students need information before they make critical decisions that can impact their physical and mental health. The revised curriculum ensures that students are taught about the potential consequences of their choices before they make them.
Two-page summary of the key topics learned in Grades 1 to 8.
Meeting student needs today and in the future
The revised curriculum promotes the healthy development – physical, social, emotional, and cognitive -- of all students, and builds the skills and knowledge to lead and promote healthy, active lives now and in the future.
Living Skills must be developed and practiced from a young age and applied in increasingly complex situations as students get older. These Living Skills relate to 21st century skills such as problem-solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, self-awareness and adaptive skills, resilience, collaboration and coping skills.
The wide-scale use of the Internet, social media and smart phones means that students are constantly connected – to information, to their peers, to the world. Students will learn about safe and respectful use of technology; social, emotional and legal implications of online behaviours such as sexting; and potential risks of sexting on relationships and future employment.
Healthy Relationships and Consent
The foundation for understanding consent is linked closely to skills for healthy relationships. Young children learn not only refusal skills and the skills to stand up for themselves, but they also learn to listen to others, show respect, and to take responsibility for not causing harm to others in age-appropriate settings such as in play or in the school yard. From an early age, the message that consent is a two-way street has been strengthened in the curriculum.
What happens at school can have a significant impact on a student’s well-being. Educators will incorporate strategies that contribute to supportive classrooms for learning in all subject areas, build awareness of mental health, and reduce stigma associated with mental illness. Taking students’ well-being, including their mental health, into account helps build a strong foundation for learning.
Grade by Grade Overviews of the HPE Curriculum