Introduction to the health and well-being area of learning and expertise
The Health and Well-being Area of Learning and Experience is about the physical, psychological, emotional and social aspects of our lives.
It recognises good health and well-being as a key enabler of successful learning. This area of learning and experience will support learners to develop and maintain not only their physical health and well-being, but also their mental health and emotional well-being, as well as developing positive relationships in a range of contexts. To enable this, it will build learners’ capacity to make informed decisions about their health and well-being and also to engage critically with a range of social influences which may impact on their values and behaviours.
This area of learning and experience supports learners to develop an understanding and appreciation of how these aspects are interconnected, and how they can all contribute to a positive state of well-being. This understanding in turn will enable learners to develop the behaviours, habits and dispositions which will support their health and well-being in a rapidly changing world.
A transformational curriculum
The White Paper ‘Our National Mission: A Transformational Curriculum‘ set out the detailed legislative proposals for Curriculum for Wales 2022.
The proposal is that funded non-maintained settings and schools will be required to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that meets the four purposes of the curriculum, and comprises the six areas of learning and experience. There will be statutory duties to teach Welsh, English, religious education, relationships and sexuality education, and the three cross-curricular responsibilities of literacy, numeracy and digital competence. Further information on how the Health and Well-being Area of Learning and Experience can support this is provided in the ‘Developing a broad and balanced curriculum’ section of this document.
Funded non-maintained settings and schools will have discretion as to how they design their school-level curriculum to meet their curriculum duties. However, in considering the exercise of that discretion, they must have regard to statutory guidance issued by Welsh Ministers. In practice, that means they should follow the statutory guidance unless they have good reason not to.
This statutory guidance for the Health and Well-being Area of Learning and Experience, which forms part of the wider Curriculum for Wales 2022 statutory guidance, is intended to provide a national framework that funded non-maintained settings and schools can build on to develop their own curriculum. It is not intended to be a comprehensive or exhaustive syllabus, nor a guide for organising timetables. It sets out:
- what funded non-maintained settings and schools should take into account in designing their curriculum and how it could be structured
- the broad expectations for learners for the Health and Well-being Area of Learning and Experience at each progression step.