Phys Ed Health Curriculum

Phys Ed Health Curriculum

The Government of Ontario has mandated all school boards across the province to use the re-issued 2010 Health and Physical Education Curriculum (Grades 1-8) and all school boards are expected to follow this directive. Our expectation as a Catholic School Board is to continue to create a climate of inclusivity, respect and equity for all our students. 
The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education, Interim Edition (revised) 2010, includes information which highlights the “importance that students be connected to the curriculum; that they see themselves in what is taught, how it is taught, and how it applies to the world at large. The curriculum recognizes that the needs of learners are diverse, and helps all learners develop the knowledge, skills, and perspectives they need to be informed, productive, caring, responsible, healthy, and active citizens in their own communities and in the world”( p. 3).

It is essential that our parent community be aware of the Ontario Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document, Grades 1-8: Family Life Education. The content speaks to the “attitude with which teacher’s approach family life education is critical, as teachers are important role models for students... discussions related to health topics will be closely tied to students’ personal lives and… the learning is structured in a way that protects the self-respect and promotes the well-being of all students. Teachers should follow the principle of “first, do no harm” and ensure that the learning setting is always physically and emotionally safe (p.6).

Both statements, refer to the individual strategies and judgement of teachers as being key to the learning process and we will back them in doing so. Teaching is crucial to student success.

The 2010 Health and Physical Education curriculum also emphasizes the need for students to feel safe and accepted. “It is also critical to student success to create an atmosphere in which students of all body shapes and sizes, abilities, gender identities and sexual orientations, and ethnocultural, racial, and religious backgrounds can feel accepted, comfortable, and free from harassment” (p. 11).

As we are not using the 2015 curriculum this year, we will focus on what is still a positive message from the 2010 curriculum. Here are some examples:
  • Mental health, body image, substance abuse, violence, harassment, child abuse, gender identity, sexual orientation, illness (including HIV/AIDS), and poverty will continue to be discussed within an open, caring, sensitive way and in an atmosphere of mutual respect. (p.30)
  • The study of healthy relationships, particularly with respect to bullying/harassment and violence prevention, should include a focus on sexist, racist, and homophobic behaviour. (p.30)
  • All students must be made aware of issues of privacy, safety, and responsible use, as well as of the potential for abuse of this technology, particularly when it is used to promote hatred. (p.64)
  • Apply living skills (e.g., decision –making, assertiveness, and refusal skills) in making informed decisions and analyze the consequences of engaging in sexual activities and using drugs. (p.201)
To reiterate, we as Catholic schools, teach the Family Life Curriculum which promotes important educational values and goals that support the development of Catholic character. These include recognizing each person as a gift of God’s love, respecting the uniqueness of each person, employing the conscience for moral decisions, participating in building a just society, and responsibly stewarding the gifts of creation. Many of these values are reinforced in other curriculum areas, as well as by society itself. Working together, homes, schools, churches, and communities can be powerful allies in motivating students to achieve their God-given potential and lead lives reflective of their inherent dignity – lives that are fully human (p.3).
Our principals, teachers and all who are called to share leadership in Catholic schools will, model the core concepts of the family life education curriculum by creating a school environment that reflects the value and dignity of each individual and strive to fulfill the responsibilities of his or her role in a conscientious and wholehearted manner.
We will continue to support our teachers in implementing a curriculum that includes safety, equity, and respect for all students.
Maria Vasanelli
Interim Director of Education
cc: Kerry Desjardins – Superintendent of Education
 Rima Mounayer – Superintendent of Education