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 3
Area of FocusWhat Students Learn About
Healthy eating

Food origins, nutritional value and environmental impact

Oral health, food choices

Local and cultural foods, eating choices

Personal safety and
injury prevention

Concussion awareness

Safety guidelines for online and outside of class

Real and fictional violence

Substance use, addictions
and related behaviours

Impact of use of legal / illegal substances

Decision making — substance use / behaviours

Human development and sexual health

Healthy relationships, caring behaviours, bullying, consent

Physical and social-emotional development, building a healthy body image

Visible / invisible differences, respect

Mental health literacy

Brain stress response system

External factors that contribute to stressful feelings

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 3
Area of FocusWhat Students Learn About
Active participation

Participation in a variety of activities

Enjoyment of activity (individual and small-group activities)

Physical and mental benefits of participating in physical activity

Physical fitness

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

Benefits of improved cardiorespiratory fitness

Self-assessment of exertion (for example, checking how they feel during physical activity)

Developing and acting on personal physical activity goals


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

Responding to accidents and injuries, including concussions

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 3
Area of FocusWhat Students Learn About
Movement skills and concepts

Balancing in one spot using different body parts

Moving in different directions, and stopping safely

Sending (for example, throwing, kicking) and receiving (for example, catching, stopping) 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 3
Skills inExamples of What Students Learn to Do
Healthy Living

Identify feelings shown by characters in fictional violence in various media (for example, online, television) and describe how they may be different from feelings when violence is real (for example, playfighting / real fighting) [managing emotions]

Identify things that make each person unique, showing an understanding of both visible and invisible characteristics [sense of self]

Active Living

Build resiliency by explaining how being physically active can help when feeling strong emotions [coping with stress]

Welcome everyone in small groups and be ready to be anyone's partner [building relationships]

Movement Competence

Reflect on what they could do differently to improve when learning new skills [thinking critically]

Take a deep breath to centre themselves when feeling overwhelmed or nervous about trying a new skill [coping with stress]

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:

  • Check the fit of your child's helmet for activities like cycling, skating and tobogganing.
  • Be a role model for respect and inclusion by learning together about other cultures, religions and family structures.
  • Discuss how to stay safe when travelling to and from school.
  • Talk together about big changes — like the start of a school year, changes in routines or changes in the family. Talk about feelings and strategies to help, if needed.