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Education that Works for You - Modernizing Health and Physical Education

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Education that Works for You - Modernizing Health and Physical Education

Province Modernizing Health and Physical Education

Ministry of Education

Today, Ontario's Government for the People announced its plan to modernize the elementary Health and Physical Education (HPE) curriculum.

The 2019 HPE curriculum will cover various topics, including active living, movement skills, and healthy living - which is where students learn about human development and sexual health. Following feedback from the largest provincial consultation on education, the government heard the need for an HPE curriculum that is age-appropriate and relevant.

The revised elementary HPE curriculum will be released in late May for September 2019 implementation. From now until the end of the 2018-19 school year, educators will continue using the 2018 curriculum, their professional judgement and age-appropriate resources to teach the students in their classroom.

To ensure parents are respected, the government will provide an opt-out policy similar to other jurisdictions. The ministry will also be introducing online modules for parents who may want to introduce topics at home whenever their child is ready. Both of these options will be available for the 2019-20 school year.

What will Change in the Primary Grades (1 to 3)?

  • Students begin to learn knowledge and skills related to important concepts to support their mental health, including resiliency (grades 1 to 3), as well as healthy eating (grades 1 to 3); personal safety, including concussions (grades 1 to 3); and caring behaviours, including preventing bullying (grade 1 and 3). Students will also learn the proper names of body parts, including genitalia (Grade 1).
  • Students will also begin to learn knowledge and skills on important topics like building positive body image (grades 2 and 3), consent (grades 2 and 3), family and healthy relationships (Grade 2) and online safety (grades 2 and 3).
New Learning in the 2019 curriculum will include:

  • Body image in grades 2 and 3 (not previously taught in primary grades)
  • Bullying in Grade 3 (in addition to existing learning in grades 1 and 2)
  • Concussions in grades 1 to 3 (new mandatory learning)
  • Consent in grades 2 and 3 (not previously taught in primary grades
  • Family and healthy relationships in Grade 2 (new content for mandatory learning)
  • Mental health in grades 1 to 3 (new content for mandatory learning)
  • Online safety in grades 2 and 3 (not previously taught in primary grades)

What will Change in the Junior Grades (4 to 6)?

  • In the junior grades, students will build on their learning related to the important concepts introduced in grades 1 to 3.
  • Students will also begin to learn knowledge and skills on important topics related to substance use, addictions and related behaviours. This is when students learn new information on cannabis and the significant risks of opioids (Grade 6).
  • Puberty (grades 4 to 6), sexual reproduction (Grade 5) and sexual orientation (grades 5 and 6) are also introduced.
New Learning in the 2019 curriculum will include:

  • Concussions in grades 4 to 6 (new mandatory learning)
  • Consent in grades 4 to 6 (not previously taught in junior grades)
  • Family and healthy relationships in grades 5 and 6 (new content for mandatory learning)
  • Mental health in grades 4 to 6 (new content for mandatory learning)
  • Online safety in Grade 6 (in addition to existing learning in grades 4 and 5)
  • Sexual orientation in Grade 5 (in addition to existing learning in Grade 6)

What will Change in the Intermediate Grades (7 to 8)?

  • In the intermediate grades, students will build on their learning related to the important concepts introduced in the primary and junior grades.
  • Students will also begin to learn knowledge and skills on important topics like abstinence (grades 7 and 8), sexting (Grade 7), contraception (grades 7 and 8), tolerance and respect (grades 7 and 8), intercourse (grades 7 and 8), and sexually transmitted infections (grades 7 and 8).
  • Additionally, in the second half of the Grade 8 school year, students will learn about gender identity and gender expression.
New Learning in the 2019 curriculum includes:
  • Abstinence in Grade 8 (in addition to existing learning in Grade 7)
  • Bullying in Grade 8 (in addition to existing learning in Grade 7)
  • Cannabis in grades 7 and 8 (in addition to existing learning in Grade 6, as well as new learning on vaping and opioids)
  • Concussions in grades 7 and 8 (new mandatory learning)
  • Family and healthy relationships in grades 7 and 8 (new content for mandatory learning)
  • Mental health in grades 7 and 8 (new content for mandatory learning)
  • Online safety in Grade 8 (in addition to existing learning in Grade 7)
  • Sexual orientation in Grade 7 (in addition to existing learning in Grade 8)

The revised HPE curriculum will reflect research, benchmarking with other jurisdictions, and the consultation data. The ministry is currently working with School Mental Health Ontario (formerly School Mental Health ASSIST) to enhance learning about Mental Health in the curriculum. The ministry is also working across the government to bring expertise in several areas including concussion, consent and human trafficking.

These curriculum changes are part of Ontario's new vision for education: Education that Works for You. The vision will modernize Ontario's classrooms and provide students with more learning opportunities to prepare them for success in post-secondary education, apprenticeship and training, and the workforce

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