Physical and Health Education

What's New?

The Physical and Health Education (PHE) curriculum has recently undergone a revision process and features a number of differences from the old Physical Education and Health and Career Education curricula. The feedback received from individuals in the field was instrumental in exploring new ideas to integrate into this revised curriculum. Here is a brief overview of the changes to the PHE K–9 and 10–12 curricula:

New Curriculum organizers Overview
Physical Literacy This area focuses on students acquiring the knowledge, skills, and mindsets that will enable them to successfully participate in a wide range of physical activities.
Healthy and Active Living This area focuses on various aspects of developing a healthy lifestyle, both in and out of school, including healthy eating, daily physical activity, and healthy choices that influence health and well-being.
Social and Community Health The overall health and safety of ourselves and others is directly influenced by our surroundings, including the physical environment and interpersonal relationships. Focusing on the reciprocal relationship between individual and community health enables students to develop an understanding of how we as individuals can influence, and be influenced by, the health of others and the community. 
Mental Well-Being This area enables students to learn about the many factors in our lives that influence our mental well-being, including our sense of self, our relationships with others, and how we might cope with the many changes we experience throughout our lives. Additionally, students will explore various pressures and influences on mental well-being while learning about strategies to promote mental well-being for themselves and others.


Courses Overview
PHE 10 PHE 10 builds on PHE 9 and expands the learning experiences for students through a diverse range of Big Ideas, Curricular Competencies, and Content. As PHE 10 is the last mandatory PHE curriculum for students, it completes the process of establishing a strong foundation of skills, knowledge, and attitudes for students and prepares them for Grade 11 and 12 PHE courses that relate to their interests
and passions.
Fitness and Conditioning 11 and 12 These courses enable students to deepen their understanding of health and fitness while also equipping them with the attitudes and skill sets they need to become lifelong participants in physical activity and fitness. Students considering a career path in the health and fitness industry or an educational path in a related field of study (e.g., kinesiology) will benefit from this curriculum, as will students wanting to learn more about their personal fitness and conditioning levels.
Outdoor Education
11 and 12
These courses enable students to develop an understanding and appreciation of the different types of outdoor physical activities they can participate in. Students will also explore
how participation in various types of outdoor activities can influence the health and well-being of individuals and the environment. Students considering a career and/or educational path related to outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, or other related area will benefit from this curriculum, as will students wanting to learn more about participating in outdoor physical activities.
Active Living 11 and 12 These courses enable students to explore and learn about the concept of recreation through participation in a variety of physical activities that fit their interests and passions. Students wanting to incorporate a variety of recreational activities during their graduation years will benefit from this curriculum.

The revised PHE K–12 curriculum differs from the current IRPs in several ways. Key
changes include:

  • A focus on developing a holistic understanding of health and well-being by promoting and developing all aspects of student health and wellness, including physical, social, and mental well-being
  • Big Idea statements to support teaching and learning and for deep understanding and skills transfer
  • Content on individual identities, including sexual identity, gender, values, and beliefs
  • Learning standards on various influences on healthy choices, including social and peer pressure, differing sources and validity of health information, and situational factors
  • A focus on developing healthy habits in all areas of health that students will continue to practise after graduation

What’s the same?

The PHE curriculum continues to emphasize:

  • Physical education as an important component of BC’s educational program
  • The development of knowledge, skills, and mindsets to make informed decisions for lifelong participation in a range of physical activities and environments
  • The development of knowledge, skills, and strategies for building respectful relationships, positive self-identity, and emotional health
  • The development of the knowledge, skills, and strategies needed to make responsible and informed health and safety decisions

As with other areas of learning, there is no fixed curriculum delivery model for PHE; the structure and format chosen will be based on the strengths and needs of the students, teachers, school, community, and school district. For example, some teachers may feel confident teaching all aspects of the PHE curriculum, while other teachers with different levels of expertise and/or experiences in health education or physical education may prefer to team-teach or co-teach different aspects of the curriculum. Depending on local needs and supports, teachers could also continue to utilize community resources, such as public health nurses to talk about substance use, or First Peoples Elders to support students in learning about local First Peoples games. Allowing for flexible learning environments is a key component of Education Transformation in British Columbia, as detailed in Learning Standards and Flexible Learning Environments (PDF).

Alternative delivery is still available for some students and their parents or guardians who may feel more comfortable addressing some of the PHE learning standards at home. For ministry policy regarding opting for alternative delivery, see

How does the PHE curriculum relate to the educated citizen?

The PHE curriculum plays an important role in the development of educated citizens, particularly in improving the overall well-being of all citizens. A key aspect of this role is helping students acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to develop and maintain their overall health and well-being. However, both family and community also share responsibility for supporting students in becoming increasingly capable of independently making healthy choices.

How is the PHE curriculum concept-based?

The PHE curriculum is built around the high-level concepts and principles that are fundamental to making responsible and informed health and safety decisions. No curriculum can cover every conceivable health and safety challenge that students may face throughout their lives. The intention of the PHE curriculum is for students to develop deeper understandings of the key concepts of PHE and to be able to transfer that understanding to different situations throughout their lives.

How is the PHE curriculum competency-driven?

The PHE curriculum provides students with many opportunities to develop each of the core competencies. Throughout the curriculum, students are encouraged to think critically and make decisions that reflect their interests, aptitudes, and healthy living goals. Students also have opportunities to communicate health and safety issues appropriately and assertively, thereby developing their communication skills. Finally, students will learn strategies to manage their emotions, respect the emotions of others, and interact effectively and safely with others, demonstrating personal and social responsibility.

How does the PHE curriculum connect with First Peoples Principles of Learning?

The PHE curriculum supports and encourages integration of the First Peoples Principles of Learning, in particular “Learning ultimately supports the well-being of the self” and “Learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place).” These principles are also reflected in the learning standards themselves, especially those that emphasize physical, social, and mental well-being. Many of the PHE learning standards also examine the consequences of behaviour, reflected in the First Peoples Principle of Learning, “Learning involves recognizing the consequences of one’s actions.” Finally, the PHE curriculum allows for opportunities to include physical and health education–related activities that are relevant to the community; these could include traditional First Peoples games, the teaching of the Medicine Wheel, making connections with Elders, and other culturally relevant practices.

How does the PHE curriculum support inquiry?

The PHE curriculum supports inquiry by giving students opportunities to build their own understanding of important health, physical activity, and safety topics, which may be influenced by their own and others’ needs and interests. Throughout their lives, students will be confronted with individuals, organizations, and different sources of health information trying to influence their behaviours in ways that might not support their health and well-being. Students need to develop their own knowledge and understanding of how to analyze these types of situations and respond in ways that are both authentic and beneficial to them. Furthermore, rather than just conforming to expectations placed on them, students need opportunities to set and pursue their own goals for personal health and well-being as they explore their interests, passions, and identities.