Physical Health and Wellbeing Education

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By Laura Ward

The 2020 guidance published by the government provides children with the essential building blocks they need to make good decisions about their own health and wellbeing.

Children doing PE

Good physical health and mental wellbeing are interlinked, with one contributing to the other. The aim of giving children information about both of these is so that they can make good decisions about their own health and wellbeing, discovering what is normal and what is an issue in themselves and others and how to seek support when they need it.

Schools can design and plan their own age-appropriate subject content but the government guidance sets out eight core areas that are appropriate for primary pupils. This includes: Mental Wellbeing; Internet Safety and Harms; Physical Health and Fitness; Healthy Eating; Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco; Health and Prevention; Basic First Aid and the Changing Adolescent Body.

Mental Wellbeing

This is the largest section of the government’s guidance and, within our ever-changing world, arguably one of the most important. The children are taught that mental wellbeing is a normal part of everyday life and that people experience a wide range of emotions at different scales throughout their life. It is important that children are given a wide vocabulary to cover these emotions, both for discussion and also when seeking help. Children are taught where and when they should seek support and that, with the correct help, much mental ill health can be resolved. In addition to this, the importance of things such as physical exercise, rest, self-care, time outdoors and time with friends is promoted to improve mental health.

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