Health and Wellbeing is becoming more and more prominent in the Scottish curriculum and is strongly embedded across all the curricular areas. Curriculum for Excellence aims to ensure that all children and young people in Scotland develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they will need if they are to flourish in life, learning and work, now and in the future. With Scots dying younger than in any other part of the UK (2010 Scottish Health Survey) and over two thirds of adults and one third of children classified as overweight, the Scottish Government has established a National Indicator to reduce the rate of increase in the proportion of children with their BMI out with a healthy range by 2018. As children learn through all of their experiences, it is important that learning about health and wellbeing is embedded in the learning experiences of children from a very early age.
With childhood obesity rising at an astonishingly scary rate, I believe it is very important for children not just to do sport and exercise but to also have a very strong knowledge of how to be healthy in terms of food and their overall lifestyle. If this is taught from the early years they will grow up knowing how to be healthy and look after themselves properly. This will hopefully help with weight problems such as diabetes.
As a result of this, there are now 3 central strands to the curriculum that all teachers are expected to teach whatever the stage of development. These are: literacy, numeracy and health & wellbeing. I think it’s amazing that health & wellbeing is now being recognised as just as important as literacy and numeracy. It may have taken a while but it shows the public that the Government is aware of the increasing problem and is actively trying to solve the problem at the root through education.
Whilst it is essential to raise physical activity in children, it’s also essential to develop a good knowledge and respect for mental health. Mental health problems are becoming more of an issue in today’s society. With the number of suicides increasing each year, it makes complete sense to me that children should be taught about mental health from a young age. Being aware will allow them to not only help others but to help themselves if they ever have to tell with traumatic life experiences which can have a damaging affect on mental health.
Finally, I strongly believe food technology should be taught more in primary school nationwide. Many children may not have a stable home and therefore will not have a role model who can demonstrate healthy eating to them. By the end of primary school, I would hope that children can prepare simple healthy food and drink and also be able to discuss the journeys of food from producer to consumer. As a result, children should have established lifelong healthy eating plans.
Overall, as a teacher I would hope to make full advantage of health & wellbeing across the curriculum as I strongly believe it is central to children living a long and healthy life from the beginning.