This curriculum policy replaces The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1–8: Health and Physical Education, Interim Edition, re-issued in 2018. All health and physical education programs for Grades 1–8 are now based on the expectations outlined in this curriculum policy.


Health and Physical Education (2019)

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The Program in Health and Physical Education

Curriculum Expectations

The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1–8: Health and Physical Education, 2019 identifies the expectations for each grade and describes the knowledge and skills that students are expected to acquire, demonstrate, and apply in their class work and activities, on tests, in demonstrations, and in various other activities on which their achievement is assessed and evaluated.

Mandatory learning is described in the overall and specific expectations of the curriculum.

Two sets of expectations – overall expectations and specific expectations – are listed for each strand, or broad area of the curriculum, in health and physical education for Grades 1 to 8. The strands include Strand A: Social-Emotional Learning Skills –  and three content strands, numbered B, C, and D. Taken together, the overall and specific expectations represent the mandated curriculum.

The overall expectations describe in general terms the knowledge and skills that students are expected to demonstrate by the end of each grade. The specific expectations describe the expected knowledge and skills in greater detail. The specific expectations are grouped under numbered subheadings, each of which indicates the strand and the overall expectation to which the group of specific expectations corresponds (e.g., “B2” indicates that the group relates to overall expectation 2 in strand B). This organization is not meant to imply that the expectations in any one group are achieved independently of the expectations in the other groups. The numbered headings are used merely to help teachers focus on particular aspects of knowledge and skills as they develop various lessons and learning activities for their students. (In this document, the Healthy Living strand uses additional subheadings within each group of expectations to identify the health topics addressed through individual expectations.)

In health and physical education, the overall expectations outline the types of skills and concepts that are required for healthy, active living at any age or stage of development. For this reason, the overall expectations are repeated in constant terms from Grade 1 to Grade 12. The health and physical education curriculum focuses on developing, reinforcing, and refining the students’ knowledge and skills associated with each of these key overall expectations over time. This approach reflects and accommodates the progressive nature of skill development in health and physical education.

The specific expectations reflect this progression in knowledge and skill development, as well as the growing maturity and changing needs of students, through (1) changes in the wordings of expectations, where appropriate; (2) the examples that are given in parentheses in the expectation; and/or (3) the teacher prompts and student responses that follow most expectations. The progression is captured by the increasing complexity of requirements reflected in the examples and prompts and by the increasing specificity of relationships, the diversity of contexts in which the learning is applied, and the variety of opportunities described for applying it. It should be noted that all the skills specified in the early grades continue to be developed and refined as students move up through the grades, whether or not each of those skills continues to be explicitly required in an expectation.

Examples, Teacher Prompts, and Student Responses

Most of the specific expectations are accompanied by examples, “teacher prompts” (as requested by educators), and student responses. These elements are intended to promote understanding of the intent of the specific expectations, and are offered as illustrations for teachers. The examples and prompts do not set out requirements for student learning; they are optional, not mandatory.

The examples, given in parentheses, are meant to clarify the requirement specified in the expectation, illustrating the kind of knowledge or skill, the specific area of learning, the depth of learning, and/or the level of complexity that the expectation entails. The teacher prompts are meant to illustrate the kinds of questions teachers might pose in relation to the requirement specified in the expectation. Both the examples and the teacher prompts have been developed to model appropriate practice for the grade. Teachers can choose to draw on the examples and teacher prompts that are appropriate for their classrooms, or they may develop their own approaches that reflect a similar level of complexity. Whatever the specific ways in which the requirements outlined in the expectations are implemented in the classroom, they must, wherever possible, be inclusive and reflect the diversity of the student population and the population of the province.

It is important to note that the student responses are provided only to indicate the content and scope of the intended learning. They are not written in language that represents the typical parlance or vocabulary of students.

The diagram below shows all of the elements to be found on a page of curriculum expectations.

This diagram shows an annotated page from the curriculum with notes pointing to the corresponding parts of the curriculum (clockwise from top): strands, overall expectations, examples, social-emotional learning (SEL) skills, teacher prompts and student responses, specific expectations, numbered subheading.