Principles and practice
Curriculum for Excellence has an important role to play in promoting the health and wellbeing of children and young people and of all of those in the educational communities to which they belong. This paper is intended to support discussion and planning between practitioners in all sectors and services and in local authorities.
This paper is closely related to the Guidance on the Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Act 2007 (http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Education/Schools/HLivi/foodnutrition). Together, these documents describe the expectations upon individuals, schools and local authorities for promoting the health and wellbeing of children and young people.
What are the main purposes of learning in health and wellbeing?
Learning in health and wellbeing ensures that children and young people develop the knowledge and understanding, skills, capabilities and attributes which they need for mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing now and in the future. Learning through health and wellbeing enables children and young people to:
make informed decisions in order to improve their mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing experience challenge and enjoyment experience positive aspects of healthy living and activity for themselves apply their mental, emotional, social and physical skills to pursue a healthy lifestyle make a successful move to the next stage of education or work establish a pattern of health and wellbeing which will be sustained into adult life, and which will help to promote the health and wellbeing of the next generation of Scottish children.
It also enables some to perform at high levels in sport or prepare for careers within the health and leisure industries.
What does the health and wellbeing framework mean for practitioners?
The statements of experiences and outcomes in health and wellbeing reflect a holistic approach to promoting the health and wellbeing of all children and young people. They are consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which sets out the right for all children and young people to have access to appropriate health services and to have their health and wellbeing promoted. They build on the considerable work of Health Promoting Schools and the publication of Being Well, Doing Well which underlines the importance of a ‘health enhancing’ school ethos – one characterised by care, respect, participation, responsibility and fairness for all. The framework complements the duty in the Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Act 2007 for Scottish Ministers and local authorities to endeavour to ensure that all schools are health promoting.
Children and young people should feel happy, safe, respected and included in the school environment and all staff should be proactive in promoting positive behaviour in the classroom, playground and the wider school community. Robust policies and practice which ensure the safety and wellbeing of children should already be in place. In addition, there are many ways in which establishments can assist young people. These include peer support, buddies, breakfast or lunch clubs, safe areas, mentors, pupil support staff and extended support teams.
Good health and wellbeing is central to effective learning and preparation for successful independent living. This aspiration for every child and young person can only be met through a concerted approach: schools and their partners working together closely to plan their programmes for health and wellbeing explicitly, taking account of local circumstances and individual needs. Planning to provide and manage the many different and complementary contributions may be challenging but is needed. Each individual practitioner must be aware of his or her roles and responsibilities. The diagram below illustrates this shared vision and common goal.
Learning through health and wellbeing promotes