National Health and Physical Education DaySep 11, 2023
Health and Physical Education (HPE) is an important subject covering many crucial topics. Physical activity is a key component of HPE, and is probably what first comes to mind when people think about what this subject involves. However, teachers also deliver other valuable knowledge such as the various dimensions of health and wellbeing, teamwork and collaboration, and making safe and healthy choices. There is a lot of pressure placed on HPE teachers to deliver this never-ending list of content to students.
Last year the Australian Government developed Version 9.0 of the new Australian Curriculum. With consent being mandated from 2023, we should be concerned about where this lies in the Curriculum, and whether staff have the training, resources and confidence to deliver this important content to our children.
Upon reviewing the new Curriculum, we found it to be underwhelming and a huge disappointment. While it is so important for human sexuality, respectful relationships and consent (HSRRC) to be included in the Curriculum, it has been allocated into the already full HPE program, almost as an afterthought or a means to adhere to this new consent mandate.
Here is a summary of the key findings:
- Consent is only explicitly mentioned 14 times, and only under HPE
- Teachers are expected to teach this content when it is barely mentioned in the curriculum.
- This highlights that HPE staff are considered to be HSRRC educators with little to no training and resources
- No mention of the word sex anywhere, or the notion of sex outside of reproduction
- How can we teach children about how to maintain safe, positive relationships if they are only learning about reproduction?
- Too much content expected to be covered in HPE, and not enough covered in other areas
- It is unrealistic for HPE teachers to deliver all of the HSRRC content when they already have a full program.
This new Curriculum is not comprehensive enough in regards to HSRRC. Both teachers and students deserve better.
September 6th was National HPE Day! This years’ theme was:
Good for Children, Good for Schools and Good for Communities
In order for HPE to be Good for Children, Good for Schools and Good for Communities, staff need to be trained and equipped with the resources to effectively teach and deliver HSRRC content. Let’s open this up for discussion and talk about how we can improve education for our children and empower HPE teachers.
Here at Talking The Talk we offer a program called Virtual Classroom, where teachers are provided with training and resources to build up their confidence in facilitating HSRRC content. Parents are also provided with information sessions and resources that allow for a whole school approach.
When I train teachers more than 75% have never had any training in the delivery of HSRRC, and of the 25% who have had training, it is usually very little. This highlights the importance of training staff, especially with consent education now being mandated.
Parents and teachers, I encourage you to bring this information to your school so we can support both HPE teachers and students in the delivery of HSRRC education.