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Support for the Updated Health and Physical Education Curriculum

Archived Backgrounder

Support for the Updated Health and Physical Education Curriculum

Ministry of Education

"Ontario's students need and deserve an updated Health and Physical Education curriculum. Despite some debate, our sense is that there is overwhelming support for curriculum that recognizes the world as it is in 2015. Having strong HPE curriculum will help to ensure that all students have the knowledge and understanding that they need to make wise decisions, understand themselves and others, and keep themselves safe. This curriculum is long overdue and at People for Education we are very happy to hear that it will be ready for the fall of 2015."

-- Annie Kidder, executive director, People for Education

"Children and young people need to be equipped with social skills which enable them to manage their relationships with others constructively and to be able to respond to bullying appropriately, and a revised Health and Physical Education curriculum will help them acquire these skills. It is very important that the issue is introduced progressively, starting with young children and introducing more complex subject matter as they get older."

-- Paul Gillespie, president and CEO, KINSA

"Having access to relevant, up-to-date, and developmentally appropriate sexual health education in the schools is a key factor in determining the sexual and reproductive health of young people in Ontario. Building on the 2010 revision, the introduction of the new sexual health curriculum is an important step to ensure that the youth of Ontario have the information they need to protect their health and well-being."

-- Alex McKay, Ph.D., executive director, The Sex Information and Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN)

"Educators and policymakers are under enormous pressure to find ways to address school violence, dating violence, homophobia, substance abuse, bullying, and similar problems affecting youth. It's a tall order, and there is no quick fix. However, these problems can be addressed by teaching youth the basics of developing healthy, non-abusive relationships. Healthy relationships are part of the solution to these problems, and they can be taught as part of a modern curriculum - just like other academic, social, and athletic skills - by providing accurate information and offering lots of practice, examples and feedback."

-- David A. Wolfe, Ph.D., ABPP, senior scientist, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and professor of psychiatry, University of Toronto

"Planned Parenthood Toronto strongly endorses the implementation of the updated curriculum.   Youth need and deserve accurate information about sexual health that goes beyond pregnancy and disease. The updated curriculum addresses many issues, including consent, in age appropriate ways that will enable youth to make informed choices. We congratulate the Ministry, and thank them for doing the right thing."

-- Sarah Hobbs, executive director, Planned Parenthood Toronto

"As a subject association representing Health and Physical Educators across Ontario, we are very excited to implement this long awaited, world class curriculum that is relevant to the 21st century world in which our students live and learn. This curriculum will enable us to support our students in acquiring the critical physical and health literacy skills they need to thrive within a supportive and inclusive classroom environment and school community, to lead healthy active lives and to promote healthy living within their communities."

--   Joanne Walsh, past president, Ontario Association for the Support of Physical and Health Educators

"OAPCE welcomes release of the new Physical and Health Education Curriculum in which our parents, teachers and students across Ontario were extensively consulted and surveyed over the past months. We, as the voice for parents in Ontario Catholic education, along with our Catholic educational partners will continue to work with the Ministry to ensure the curriculum reflects the teachings of our faith."

-- Brian Evoy, president, Ontario Association of Parents in Catholic Education

"Embedding mental health literacy and social-emotional skill development into regular classroom instruction has considerable benefit for Ontario students. School Mental Health ASSIST is pleased that the revised Health and Physical Education curriculum will provide strengthened and significant opportunities for students to make connections between healthy active living and mental well-being, and to enhance skills to support self-awareness, healthy relationships, adaptive coping, and help-seeking."

-- Kathy Short, Ph.D., C.Psych., director, School Mental Health ASSIST

"The introduction of a revised Health and Physical Education curriculum will have a major impact on the way Ontario students develop the skills and knowledge needed to make lifelong choices for healthy, active living. The Health and Physical Education curriculum (Grades 1-12) will energize Ontario's education system by bringing schools and communities together to support effective implementation - helping an entire generation get a healthier start. The curriculum focuses on skills and strategies that can be transferred from the context of the classroom to healthy, active living outside of the school, lessening the burden on our healthcare and social services systems and ultimately assisting Ontario's children and youth in reaching their full potential while at the same time improving their health throughout their lives."

-- Chris Markham, executive director and CEO, Ophea

"The Ontario Public Health Association welcomes the release of this new Health and Physical Education Curriculum.  We're encouraged to see that it recognizes the critical role that the social determinants of health play in influencing student performance. The new curriculum will help students gain vital knowledge and skills and lay the ground work for their lifelong health and well-being.  We look forward to working with the ministry and others to build on this solid foundation."

-- Larry Stinson, president, Ontario Public Health Association

"Youth engaged in dating relationships are navigating new and complex situations.  They are obtaining sexual health information from a variety of sources, such as their own experiences, peers, parents, schools, the media, among others.  We strongly believe that educators play an important role in challenging stereotypes and reshaping attitudes and beliefs regarding sexual violence and what constitutes healthy relationships. We applaud the Government of Ontario in its commitment to updating the Health and Physical Education curriculum and its effort to empower Ontario youth and building their capacity to navigate the complexities of today's online and offline relationships."

-- Lianna McDonald, executive director, Canadian Centre for Child Protection

"The release of this new curriculum is a positive, progressive step forward for teachers, students and parents. The importance of including LGBTQ2S language in curriculum ‎is key to creating a safer, healthier learning environment for every student. It will be an invaluable resource for empowering students to make informed choices for themselves at every stage of their development."

-- Helen Kennedy, executive director, Egale Canada Human Rights Trust

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