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 6
Area of FocusWhat Students Learn About
Healthy eating

Influences on healthy eating

Eating cues and guidelines

Benefits of healthy eating / active living

Personal safety and
injury prevention

Benefits of inclusion, respect and acceptance

Safe and positive social interaction, conflict management — in person and online

Responsibilities, risks — care for self and others, safety practices

Substance use, addictions
and related behaviours

Effects of cannabis, drugs

Strategies, safe choices, influences: tobacco, vaping, alcohol, cannabis, other drugs

Human development and sexual health

Impacts of viewing sexually explicit media

Understanding of changes that occur during adolescence

Decision making, healthier relationships, consent

Challenging various stereotypes (for example, based on sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, culture, mental health and abilities)

Mental health literacy

Seeking help — professional help

Connecting 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 6
Area of FocusWhat Students Learn About
Active participation

Participation in a variety of activities

Enjoyment of activity (individual, small-group and lead-up activities)

Factors that motivate or challenge participation in daily physical activity

Physical fitness

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

Physical activity and health-related fitness

Assessment and monitoring of health-related fitness


Behaviours and procedures that maximize safety of self and others and prevent concussions

Treating minor injuries

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 6
Area of FocusWhat Students Learn About
Movement skills
and concepts

Transitioning from one balance to another, using different body parts (for example, one-leg stand to tripod stand)

Jumping and moving with control

Sending (for example, throwing, kicking), receiving (for example, stopping, catching) objects, and retaining (for example, dribbling, stick handling) objects

Movement strategies

Understanding the rules and practising the skills needed to participate in a variety of activities

Identifying common features and strategies of various physical activities and using tactics to increase success (for example, controlling an object, keeping it away from opponents using teamwork in territory games like soccer and hockey)

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 6
Skills inExamples of What Students Learn to Do
Healthy Living

Reflect on how stereotypes affect how they feel about themselves and identify other factors, including acceptance by others, that influence their sense of themselves [sense of self]

Show understanding of how healthy eating habits contribute to raising energy levels and improving self-image [positive motivation]

Active Living

Identify how they feel when participating in different activities — their energy level and interest, for example — and describe how these feelings affect their enjoyment of the activities [managing emotions]

Show respect for the decisions and calls of classmates who are serving as referees [building relationships]

Movement Competence

Explain how their feelings are different when performing an activity that is fairly easy, such as throwing and catching when not moving, and when doing something more challenging, such as throwing and catching while on the move [managing emotions]

Demonstrate awareness both of strengths and of skills that need more work, such as using their non-dominant hand or foot, then focus on ways to build on the strengths and stretch their limits [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:

  • Reinforce the benefits of trying new things, learning from mistakes, keeping an open mind and looking for the positives when facing challenges.
  • Talk to your child about the challenges they are facing that may be causing them stress, and helpful ways that they can manage feelings of stress.
  • Help your child recognize what stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination can look like.
  • Try a new physical activity as a family, like trying a new sport or exploring a new hiking trail.