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Health and physical education curriculum

The Ontario Ministry of Education approved a revised Health and Physical Education (HPE) curriculum for September 2015. The Institute for Catholic Education (ICE) views the new curriculum as an opportunity for parents and teachers to talk to students about a distinctively Catholic view of human life, sexuality, marriage, and family. They have developed supplementary resources to help educators deliver the provincial curriculum in a way that is consistent with Catholic values.

Read through the summaries below which help explain how the curriculum is being taught in our schools.

A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Family Life Education in Catholic Schools

Primary Grades 1 to 3

In Grades 1 to 3, students learn how husbands and wives share their love by becoming parents. They learn about the development of life before birth, which begins at the moment of conception, and explore family relationships, feelings, and the act of compromising. Students learn that God made boys and girls physically different.

Junior Grades 4 to 6

Students in Grades 4 to 6 start to learn about adult female and male reproductive systems and the different physical, emotional, and social changes related to puberty. They also examine the value of keeping commitments and explore the idea that God created all humans with both a body and a spirit.

Intermediate Grades 7 and 8

Students in Grades 7 and 8 explore intimacy, choice and quality as related to relationships. They investigate ways to develop and maintain a realistic body image and reflect on God’s plan for them to be loving and life-giving persons. Students also review basic information about sexually transmitted infections, and they are introduced to the topic of family planning from the perspective of living in harmony with the gift of fertility.

Secondary Grades 9 to 12

In high school, students learn to show a respect for the human body and discuss the importance of sexuality as a gift from God. They learn about the beliefs of the world’s major religions that inform their understanding of the dignity of the person and the sacredness of the sexual act. By the end of high school, the curriculum teaches students to understand and demonstrate respect for the sacred gifts of human procreation, children and parenting.

Parents are the primary educators

We recognize that parents are the primary educators in their children’s lives. Parents can depend on our Family Life Education program to help with these teachings throughout their child’s journey. Should you have concerns about the material being covered in class, the first step is to speak with your school principal. They know your child and are prepared to answer any questions you may have.

Before Theme 3 of the Fully Alive program, a letter of information will be sent home to parents. We encourage parents to visit the following websites to further inform themselves of the content of Theme 3: Created Sexual.

“For more than 30 years, Ontario’s publicly funded Catholic schools have provided a family life curriculum consistent with our Faith. The goal is to present a Catholic view of human life, sexuality, marriage and family, complementing the efforts of parents to teach their children at home.”

His Eminence, Thomas Cardinal Collins

Archdiocese of Toronto