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 8
Area of FocusWhat Students Learn About
Healthy eating

Personal eating behaviours

Promoting healthy eating

Personal safety and
injury prevention

Concussions — signs and symptoms

Reducing risk of injuries, death

Assessing situations for potential danger, in person and online

Impact of violent behaviours (including bullying); supports

Substance use, addictions
and related behaviours
Warning signs, consequences of problematic substance use, including cannabis
Human development and sexual health

Decisions about sexual activity and sources of support related to sexual health (for example, parents, family, health professionals)

Gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, knowing and appreciating oneself (to be addressed in the second part of the year)

Consent, sexual health and safety, including abstinence, contraception, condom use and other forms of protection to prevent sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs) and becoming a parent before you're ready

Healthy relationships and considerations related to intimacy

Mental health literacy

Routines and habits for mental health

Societal views, impact of stigma

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 8
Area of FocusWhat Students Learn About
Active participation

Participation in a variety of activities

Enjoyment of activity (diverse indoor / outdoor activities)

Factors that motivate daily physical activity, influencing others

Physical fitness

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

Health- and skill-related components of fitness; use of training principles to enhance fitness

Assessment and monitoring of health-related fitness

Developing a fitness plan to meet a fitness goal


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

Responding to emergency situations, including suspected 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 8
Area of FocusWhat Students Learn About
Movement skills
and concepts

Transitioning from one balance position to another — weight transfers, rotations, with other people and with equipment

Sending (for example, throwing), receiving (for example, catching), and retaining (for example, controlling) objects in relation to:

  • others (for example, dodging and faking, volleying a ball over a net away from opponent)
  • external stimuli (for example, shifting weight to get more power when throwing against the wind)
Phases of movement (for example, getting ready, executing, and following through)
Movement strategies

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

Identifying common features and strategies of various physical activities and using tactics to increase success (for example, core strength, balance and flexibility in individual pursuits such as yoga)

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 8
Skills inExamples of What Students Learn to Do
Healthy Living

Explain how social media can create feelings of stress, and describe strategies that can help maintain balance and perspective [managing emotions]

Identify the type of support available to help with the various physical, emotional, cultural, social and psychological issues that can arise in connection with sexuality and sexual health [coping with stress]

Active Living

Give examples of how to communicate information clearly and concisely in an emergency situation while managing feelings associated with the situation [managing emotions]

Explain how knowing themselves — their likes, dislikes, strengths, abilities and areas for growth — can help when developing fitness plans [sense of self]

Movement Competence

Use visualization strategies to increase success when learning to perform skills more effectively [coping with stress]

Congratulate opponents with sincerity when they make a good play [building relationships]

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:

  • Build understanding together with your child by discussing what consent means.
  • Be aware of language related to gender identity and sexual orientation. Listen for words and phrases that are offensive and harmful (for example, “That's so gay” or “Throw like a girl”).
  • Act as a role model and support routines for mental health such as getting adequate sleep, identifying things to be grateful for, doing a “self-check” about feelings, connecting with others, contributing to community.
  • Encourage your child to be a role model at school, with friends, and in the community by being physically active and making the healthiest and safest choices possible.