Measuring What Matters: Health skills and competencies
Health education supports students in adopting healthy lifestyles from an early age, and provides them with the self-regulatory skills and competencies they need to make healthy decisions and engage in health promoting behaviours.
Why it matters
Teaching students the habits and skills that provide a foundation for health improves their chances for academic success. It leads to increased productivity, improved life expectancy, greater capacity to cope with life’s challenges, and can reduce the risk of both chronic disease and mental illness.
Capacity for making healthy choices
- Students develop a sense of personal responsibility for their own health and the choices they make.
- Students develop strong relationships with caring others (peers, teachers, parents, and community members)
Eating and sleeping
- Students understand the importance of making healthy eating choices.
- Students understand the importance of impulse control and strategies that lead to them make healthy eating choices.
- Students learn to identify obstacles to making healthy eating choices and have problem-solving strategies to assist them in overcoming these obstacles.
- Students understand the importance of sleep, the factors that put their sleep at risk, and how to overcome these factors.
- Students develop an awareness of their sleep needs and how their bodies are influenced by their sleeping patterns.
Personal safety and appropriate risk-taking
- Students can assess the risks associated with the health choices they make.
- Students are able to identify social risks and develop strategies to resist peer-pressure and respond effectively to risky situations.
- Students have a strong sense of self-esteem and confidence to resist outside pressures to engage in risky behaviour.
- Students mitigate potential risks and reduce unnecessary risky behaviour through the help of strong relationships with caring others (peers, teachers, parents, and community members).
- Students have the movement and physical literacy skills needed to participate in and enjoy a range of activities.
- Students understand concepts such as body and spatial awareness, center of gravity, laws of motion and force.
- Students learn to self-reflect on their strengths and areas for improvement, set attainable and realistic goals, monitor and evaluate performance, and develop strategies to obtain goals and overcome obstacles.
- Students develop focus, concentration and perseverance skills and strategies.
- Students develop an appreciation for physical activities and personal fitness and understand the value of being physically active.
- Students learn to cooperate with others, include others in activities, and develop helping skills, responsibility and respect for others.
- Students have a secure sexual identity and develop a healthy sense of self-esteem and self-worth in relation to their sexual identity.
- Students respect the sexual identities of others.
- Students understand the importance of intimate relationships that are caring, respectful and non-violent.
- Students understand the role of social media in sexual health and how to be respectful and responsible in that context.
- Students have the capacity to manage risks and make healthy decisions regarding their sexuality.
Understanding and management of mental illness
- Students understand mental health issues and the impact that stigmatization can have.
- Students can recognize emerging mental health issues in themselves and others.
- Students can identify their emotions and manage their emotions.
- Students are able and willing to seek help for mental health issues for themselves and others.
- Students are able to develop caring and supportive relationships with their peers, teachers, and family and community members.
- Students have productive coping, problem-solving and resilience skills to overcome stressful and challenging situations.
For a detailed set of competencies that support mental health, please see the social-emotional learning competencies.