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Warrawong High School

Warrawong High School

Respect, Responsibility and Resilience

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7-10 Personal Development, Health and Physical Education

This course in mandatory for all Year 7-10 Students.

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) contributes significantly to the cognitive, social, emotional, physical and spiritual development of students. It provides opportunities for students to learn about, and practise ways of, adopting and maintaining a healthy, productive and active life. It also involves students learning through movement experiences that are both challenging and enjoyable, and improving their capacity to move with skill and confidence in a variety of contexts. It promotes the value of physical activity in their lives.

This syllabus reflects the multidimensional nature of health and physical activity in the context of a diverse and changing society. Young people need to respond to factors such as complex community values, new technologies, media influence, environmental concerns and changing family structures and employment patterns. Learning in PDHPE develops in students the knowledge and skills needed to understand and enhance their interactions and interpersonal relationships in ways that promote positive health and movement outcomes for themselves and others. Learning in PDHPE also significantly contributes to students' health and wellbeing through the development of personal values based on an understanding of ethical and spiritual considerations.

PDHPE provides the opportunity for young people to explore issues that are likely to impact on the health and wellbeing of themselves and others, now and in the future. The issues that affect young people include physical activity, mental health, drug use, sexual health, nutrition, supportive relationships, personal safety, gender roles and discrimination. Health issues that have the potential to appear in later life are also relevant due to their relationship to lifestyle patterns established in adolescent years and the possibility that they may impact on family and other significant adults in students' lives.

The social and emotional wellbeing of students is also promoted when the school provides an environment that enhances the protective factors that help to build resilience and lessen the impact of adverse life events. A whole-school approach is important. This means developing, implementing and reviewing policy and guidelines, consulting and working in partnership with families and the school community, accessing community resources and involving students. It involves ensuring that school policy and procedures support the messages provided in the formal school curriculum.

Young people who have a feeling of connectedness with parents, family and school have lower levels of smoking, drinking, other drug use, suicidal thinking, risky sexual behaviour and exposure to violence. The PDHPE curriculum plays an important role in enhancing resilience and connectedness. It is designed to be affirming and inclusive of those young people who experience a range of challenges in managing their own health. Through learning in PDHPE, students have opportunities to develop personal coping strategies for everyday life.

Young people's motivation to be physically active is influenced by their level of enjoyment, perceived competence and social support. Trends toward inactivity in young people are of particular concern due to the associated range of short-term and long-term health implications. PDHPE plays a key role in promoting physical activity and developing competency in movement skills. It provides opportunities for students to develop, adapt and improvise their movement skills in a wide variety of challenging contexts and environments that appeal to their needs and interests, enhance enjoyment and excitement in their lives, and ultimately increase the likelihood of lifelong physical activity.

Young people are a diverse group and their ability to adopt a healthy, active lifestyle is influenced by the social and cultural contexts within which they live. PDHPE has an important primary prevention and early intervention role in assisting all young people to manage these influences and in protecting, promoting and restoring their health. It also assists in their understanding of inequities and of why it is important to promote inclusiveness and build a community that is supportive of all people.

The responsibility of addressing inequities and providing for the health and physical activity needs of all students is a shared responsibility. A whole-school approach in collaboration with family, community, health agencies and local, state and national interventions is fundamental in sending consistent messages to students and establishing supportive environments that promote health.

Learning in PDHPE is perceived by young people as a credible way of raising and exploring health and physical activity issues of significance and importance to them. Students trust teachers to provide accurate, honest information and advice, and to establish a safe and supportive environment for learning. PDHPE programs best capitalise on this when they are focused on contexts that are meaningful and relevant to young people and delivered through student-centred learning approaches.

Learning in PDHPE encourages young people to take a positive approach to managing their lives and equips them with skills for current and future challenges. It contributes to the development in young people of the capacity to take responsibility for their own learning and of a commitment to continue learning throughout life. The knowledge, understanding and skills developed provide a foundation for a wide range of study pathways beyond school and also have applications in a number of vocational areas.

Text is from the Board of Studies Personal Development, Health and Physical Education syllabus.

Board of Studies