The Health and Physical Education (HPE) curriculum helps students learn the skills and knowledge they need to lead healthy, active lives and make healthy and safe choices.

There are four parts to the curriculum:

  • Healthy Living
  • Active Living
  • Movement Competence
  • Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Skills

The learning for each is summarized below, along with some things you can do help to support your child's learning.

Healthy Living (including Mental Health Literacy)

Students learn how to solve problems, make decisions and set goals that are directly related to their own health and well-being. As they explore health concepts and learn how to make healthy choices, students make connections between themselves and the world around them. While mental health literacy is a distinct topic, students learn how mental health is connected to overall health across this entire section and the whole HPE curriculum.

Healthy Living: Key Learning in Grade 1
Area of FocusWhat Students Learn About
Healthy eating

Food for healthy bodies and minds

Canada's Food Guide

Hunger and thirst cues

Personal safety and
injury prevention

Safe practices — personal safety

Caring versus exploitative behaviours and feelings, including bullying; consent

Safety at school

Staying safe at home, in the community, outdoors and online

Substance use, addictions
and related behaviours
Unhealthy habits, healthy alternatives
Human development and sexual health

Proper names of body parts, including genitalia

Using positive language when describing their bodies

The five senses and their functions

Good hygiene habits

Mental health literacy

Mental health and overall health; care and appreciation for their body and mind

Thoughts, emotions and actions

Active Living

Through active participation, students build a foundation for lifelong healthy active living while learning what makes physical activity enjoyable.

Active Living: Key Learning in Grade 1
Area of FocusWhat Students Learn About
Active participation

Participation in a variety of activities

Enjoyment of activity (individual and small-group activities)

Ways of being active every day

Physical fitness

Daily physical activity — moderate to vigorous activity, 20 minutes per day, including warm-up and cool down

Physical and mental health benefits of being physically active

Physical signs of exertion


Behaviours and procedures that maximize safety of self and others and lessen the risk of concussion

Environmental safety risk, including risks of concussion

Movement Competence

Through exploration and participation in a variety of activities, students develop skills, strategies and tactics for moving while building confidence in their own physical abilities.

Movement Competence: Key Learning in Grade 1
Area of FocusWhat Students Learn About
Movement skills
and concepts

Balancing while staying still — using different body parts, levels, shapes, working with equipment and with others, making transitions

Moving safely in a variety of ways with an awareness of themselves and the space around them

Throwing, kicking, catching, stopping, blocking a variety of objects

Movement strategies

Understanding the rules and practising the skills needed to participate in individual and small-group activities

Learning simple tactics to increase success in physical activities

Social-Emotional Learning Skills (taught across the HPE curriculum)

This new section of the curriculum helps students foster their own overall health and well-being, positive mental health, resilience and ability to learn and thrive. Students develop social-emotional learning skills to help them with identifying and managing emotions, coping with stress, having positive motivation, building relationships, deepening their sense of self and thinking critically and creatively.

Students apply these everyday skills as part of their learning across the other three parts of the curriculum, and in their experiences at school, at home and in the community.

Social-Emotional Learning Skills: Examples of Learning in Grade 1
Skills inExamples of What Students Learn to Do
Healthy Living

Show an understanding of, and respect for, themselves and their bodies by using proper names for body parts [sense of self]

Explain how to get help so that they can be resilient in an emergency (for example, by asking a trusted adult or calling 9-1-1) [coping with stress]

Active Living

Speak respectfully and pay attention to others when sharing equipment [building relationships]

Explain how participating in physical activity as a part of a group makes them feel [sense of self]

Movement Competence

Be aware of their feelings as they learn new skills (both easy and hard) [managing emotions]

Show willingness to try out new skills and keep practising them [positive motivation]

Supporting your child's learning

Parents and schools both have important roles in supporting student learning and well-being. Here are some ways to help:

  • Schedule time to be active outdoors with your child.
  • Practise naming feelings and helping your child see connections between their thoughts, feelings and actions.
  • Use correct names for body parts, so children can communicate clearly and get help in case of illness, injury or abuse.
  • Make good hygiene a habit (for example, by washing hands before eating).