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2019 Elementary Health and Physical Education Curriculum Helps Keep Kids Safe
August 21, 2019 6:00 A.M. Ministry of Education
TORONTO — The Ontario government has released the revised elementary Health and Physical Education (HPE) curriculum. It is now available online, along with a parent-friendly resource on what children will learn in each grade.
Following the province's largest consultation on education, the elementary Health and Physical Education curriculum has been updated to reflect public feedback, research and advice from experts.
The province is introducing an enhanced and inclusive Health and Physical Education curriculum for Grades 1-8 that relates to the everyday experiences of students. It provides them with the skills and knowledge they need to lead safe, healthy, and active lives. As a result of these enhancements, the elementary Health and Physical Education curriculum will make Ontario a leader in teaching students about:
- Mental Health, including Social-Emotional Learning Skills
- The effects and consequences of vaping and cannabis
- Cyber safety, including bullying prevention and digital privacy
- Healthy eating and body image
- Healthy relationships, including consent
Recognizing the importance of safety for Ontario's youngest students, our government has also released The 2019 Addendum to The Kindergarten Program, focused on concussion prevention and online safety. It will be available for implementation starting in September 2019.
"This modernization will keep kids safe in and outside of the classroom," said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. "Ontario is a leader in critical areas including mental health, cyber safety, and consent, underscoring our commitment to building an education system that prioritizes inclusion, safety, and respect."
The province is also partnering with School Mental Health Ontario (SMHO) to enhance learning about mental health in the curriculum. It is also collaborating with Ophea — a leader in physical and health education — to support educators on implementing the revised curriculum.
Ontario recently announced Education that Works for You, a new plan to modernize learning, modernize classrooms and empower educators to better prepare students for the realities of today's modern world. Investing in student learning is a key component of the Ontario government's vision for education.
- Parent resources and more information on the elementary Health and Physical Education curriculum and The 2019 Addendum to The Kindergarten Program can be accessed on the ministry website.
- Ontario is investing $2.25 million to support school boards with the implementation of the revised elementary Health and Physical Education curriculum, and The 2019 Addendum to The Kindergarten Program along with other curricula.
- The human development and sexual health component of the Health and Physical Education curriculum is generally taught in the second half of the school year, and educators will have access to professional development services to strengthen their knowledge of the subject matter.
- The ministry will release online resources for parents who may want to introduce specific topics at home whenever their child is ready. These resources will be available in the 2019-20 school year. More information will be provided at a later date.
- The government has issued a policy/program memorandum that requires boards to develop a policy/procedure allowing parents to exempt their child from instruction of the sexual health education component of the elementary Health and Physical Education curriculum. The policy/program memorandum can be accessed on the ministry website.