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Physical and Health Education

Department Head:

B. Hutchison


  • Physical and Health Education 8

  • Physical and Health Education 9

  • Physical and Health Education 10

  • Physical Education 11

  • Active Living 11/12

  • Outdoor Education 11

  • Fitness and Conditioning 12

The Physical and Health Education (PHE) curriculum at Notre Dame aims to empower students to develop a personalized understanding of what healthy living means to them as individuals and members of society in the 21st century. The PHE curriculum focuses on well-being — the connections between physical, intellectual, mental, and social health to promote a deeper and more holistic understanding of overall health and well-being in students.

PHE at Notre Dame is designed to develop the knowledge, skills, and understandings that students need for lifelong physical health and mental well-being. The PHE curriculum highlights the interconnections between an individual’s health and his or her well-being, the connections between physical and mental health, the importance of positive interpersonal relations, and how interactions with the community affect overall well-being. As well, the PHE curriculum aims to develop students who have the knowledge and confidence to promote their own health and well-being by setting personal goals for improvement and maintaining healthy habits to assist them in reaching those goals.

For Grade 8s, PHE involves a substantial adjustment from elementary school, with larger classes that are more structured and physically demanding.  Students are evaluated using the four main provincial curricular competencies of Physical Literacy, Healthy and Active Living, Social and Community Health, and Mental Well-Being.  Selected activities will assist students to understand the importance not only of healthy physical activity, but also teamwork and healthy social interaction.

In Grades 11 and 12, PHE switches to the title of Active Living, where the focus changes to finding enjoyable recreational activities that can motivate people to take part regularly in safer physical activity with the goal of lifelong participation in active health. Students, along with taking part in regular sporting units, will venture out into the community seeking exposure to new types of physical activities. The goal is to then have them develop and demonstrate skills needed to plan, organize, and safely participate in recreational events and other preferred physical activities.

An alternative to or to be taken alongside AL 11/12 is Fitness and Conditioning 12. This course is designed for students who are more serious about improving their physical fitness through activities like strength training or more intensive cardio. This course is somewhat more specialized than Active Living 12 and covers all aspects of fitness knowledge and personal training needed to become a level one certified trainer. Topics include human anatomy, exercise physiology, exercise theory and principles, health/fitness assessments, weight training, and nutrition. This is not strictly a workout course! A great deal of time is spent in classroom study, but regular workout sessions are part of the exercise theory.


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