Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ontario Students Have the Right to Learn From a Current, Research-Based Curriculum

Dear OSPAPPH Members,
Please find below an important message from Ophea Executive Director & CEO, Chris Markham on the yet to be finalized and released Health and Physical Education Curriculum.
As you already know, a current, evidence-based and comprehensive Health and Physical Education curriculum is important.

OSPAPPH believes that health and physical literacy should be held to the same standard as literacy and numeracy.  We support the work that Ophea is doing and encourage our members to read the below message and to share the materials posted on www.OurRightToLearn.ca.



June 3, 2013

By now it’s common knowledge: Ontario’s kids are less healthy than generations before and they need the knowledge to make informed choices about their health and well-being that meets their needs in today’s world.

Ophea champions healthy, active living in healthy schools and communities through quality programs and services, partnerships and advocacy.  For the past three years Ophea has advocated for the finalization and release of the Health and Physical Education (H&PE) curriculum grades 1-12.

As you are likely aware, the Ontario elementary and secondary H&PE curricula have been in a state of limbo since 2010, pending further consultations on the Human Development and Sexual Health component of this curriculum.  Ever since, students have been left using all or part of a 15 year old curriculum that fails to take a holistic approach to health and does not reflect student’s needs in today’s complex and ever-changing world.

On June 3rd Ophea will be releasing the following reports to build support for the government to take action to finalize, release and support the implementation of the entire H&PE curriculum:

  • It’s Time to Take Action for Ontario’s Kids
    This report highlights the disturbing health trends facing Ontario’s children and youth and illustrates how a current, up-to-date curriculum will support educators and other leaders in providing students with the skills and understanding they need to make healthy choices now and into the future.
  • Sexual Health Education in Schools Across Canada
    This report compares the sexual health expectations from provinces across Canada.  The report highlights that Ontario is providing sexual health education based on a 15 year old curriculum leaving students to fill in some important gaps on their own.  Ontario’s health curriculum is the oldest in all of Canada.  The 2010 Ontario H&PE curriculum revisions were comparable to expectations in other provinces.
  • Parent Opinion Survey
    This report was prepared with Environics and the SIECCAN (Sex and Information Council of Canada) and surveyed parents about sexual health education in Ontario schools.  This provincially representative survey demonstrates that parents want to see sexual health education provided in schools and that they feel it is important for students to learn from an up-to-date curriculum.
  • Student Voice PSA
    Ophea and the Ontario Student Trustee Association will be launching a student-driven PSA that demonstrates how the 15 year old curriculum is missing the voice of this generation, where it is the right of every student to learn from a current, research-based curriculum.

On June 3 we will be releasing all materials at the link below. Please share these materials and the below link on June 3 with anyone who is interested in the health and well-being of children and youth in Ontario.


We firmly believe that the revised H&PE curricula have the potential to be the most significant health promotion intervention ever, impacting over 2 million children and youth , their families and communities. Support our call to bring the H&PE curriculum into the 21st century. Follow the conversation June 3rd #OurRightToLearn.

Chris Markham
Executive Director & CEO