Health and Well-being
The Health and Well-being Area of Learning and Experience (Area) provides a holistic structure for understanding health and well-being. It is concerned with developing the capacity of learners to navigate life's opportunities and challenges. The fundamental components of this Area are physical health and development, mental health, and emotional and social well-being. It will support learners to understand and appreciate how the different components of health and well-being are interconnected, and it recognises that good health and well-being are important to enable successful learning.
Engagement with this Area will help to foster a whole-school approach that enables health and well-being to permeate all aspects of school life.
What matters in this Area has been expressed in five statements which support and complement one another and should not be viewed in isolation. In order to achieve this holistic approach, teachers should seek to draw across all five statements when planning activities. Together they contribute to realising the four purposes of the curriculum.
Effective realisation of the vision described in this Area is fundamental to developing . By developing learners’ motivation, , and decision-making abilities, they can be supported to become .
Learners can also be supported to become by developing their ability to show respect, to value equity, to listen to others and to evaluate the affecting them.
Through enabling learners to manage risks, express ideas and emotions, develop and maintain healthy relationships, and take on different roles and responsibilities, the learning and experience in this Area can support learners to become .
This Area can help learners to understand the factors that affect physical health and well-being. This includes health-promoting behaviours such as physical activity, including but not limited to sport; balanced diet; personal care and hygiene; sleep; and protection from infection. It also includes an understanding of health-harming behaviours.
From this understanding, learners can develop positive, informed behaviours that encourage them both to care for and respect themselves and others. These behaviours support learners’ sense of self-worth, their overall mood and energy levels.
Learners will be encouraged to develop the confidence, motivation, physical competence, knowledge and understanding that can help them lead healthy and active lifestyles which promote good physical health and well-being.
This Area can help learners explore the connections between their experiences, mental health and emotional well-being. By being provided with opportunities to explore the complexities of these connections, learners can be enabled to recognise that feelings and emotions are neither fixed nor consistent.
Having an awareness of our own feelings and emotions is the foundation upon which can be developed. This can enable us to act in a way which supports the mental health and emotional well-being of others. Supporting learners to develop strategies which help them to regulate their emotions can contribute towards good mental health and emotional well-being.
By learning how to communicate their feelings, learners will be better placed to create a culture where talking about mental health and emotional well-being is normalised.
This Area can help learners to understand how decisions and actions impact on themselves, on others and on wider society, both now and in the future. It can also help learners understand the factors that influence decision-making, thus placing them in a better position to make more informed and considered decisions.
Learning and experience in this Area can enable learners to develop the critical-thinking skills necessary to consider their decision-making in terms of possible implications, including risks, for themselves and others. This can offer learners opportunities to engage in collective decision-making and to understand the importance of their contributions to this process.
A key decision that affects learners for life is around their career pathways.
This Area can help learners understand the important role of on their lives. These influences are comprised of rules, , and that are created and reinforced by different social groups. It is through interaction with social groups that we experience these influences. They affect our identity, , behaviours and health and well-being, and often do so without our being aware of it.
Learners will need to engage critically with these social influences within their own culture, as well as those of others, in order to understand how norms and values develop. This can enable them to understand how their own behaviours, relationships and experiences are shaped.
This Area can help learners understand and value how feelings of belonging and connection that come from healthy relationships have a powerful effect on health well-being.
Learners need to recognise when relationships are unhealthy and need to be aware of how to keep safe, and seek support for themselves and others.
Learners will be encouraged to understand that, throughout their lives, they will experience a range of relationships. They will also be encouraged to develop their abilities to form, nurture and maintain relationships.