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Health and Physical Education (1-12)


Physical Literacy

Individuals who are physically literate move with competence in a wide variety of physical activities that benefit the development of the whole person.

  • Physically literate individuals consistently develop the motivation and ability to understand, communicate, apply, and analyze different forms of movement.
  • They are able to demonstrate a variety of movements confidently, competently, creatively and strategically across a wide range of health-related physical activities.
  • These skills enable individuals to make healthy, active choices that are both beneficial to and respectful of their whole self, others, and their environment.
    PHE Canada (Mandigo, Francis, Lodewyk, Lopez, 2008).

Health Literacy

Health literacy involves the skills needed to get, understand and use information to make good decisions for health. CPHA’s Expert Panel on Health Literacy defines it as the ability to access, understand, evaluate and communicate information as a way to promote, maintain and improve health in a variety of settings across the life-course.

A Vision for a Health Literate Canada: Report of the Expert Panel on Health Literacy.
(Canadian Public Health Association, 2008)

Health and Physical Education for the Twenty-First Century

The vision of the Health and Physical Education curriculum is that students will be physically and health literate and have the comprehension, commitment and capacity to lead and promote a healthy active life in an ever-changing, global society. Health and physical education teachers have the opportunity to help students develop critical living skills that will make a long-lasting impact on students’ lives.

The importance of Health and Physical Education in the School Curriculum

In health and physical education, students will develop:

  • the living skills needed to develop a sense of self, developing their identify, building self confidence;
  • learn how to interact positively with others and learn to apply critical and creative thinking processes;
  • the skills and knowledge needed to enjoy being active and healthy throughout their lives by participating regularly and safely in physical activity and learning how to develop and improve their own personal fitness;
  • the personal movement competence needed to participate in physical activities through the development of movement skills, applying movement concepts and movement strategies;
  • and an understanding of the factors that contribute to healthy development, a personal responsibility for lifelong health and a respect for their own health in relation to others and the world around them.