The Challenge

The major challenge with any approach to health promotion is to have all of the elements of the framework incorporated into the school community culture.

Trained school staff, school nurses and other community agency partners can influence and deliver health education. The benefits of school-based health instructional programs have been demonstrated in studies in the United States (Lavin, 1992).

Well-delivered health instruction can improve student health knowledge, attitudes and behavior. Studies on single health issues, such as sexuality, have shown that linking classroom instruction with accessible health services increases the positive impact on behavior outcomes such as teen pregnancy and STIs.

Students are more likely to succeed academically and to display positive health behaviours if health instruction addresses school-based social and organizational factors and offers the possibility of finding common ground for effective and sustainable health promotion and education programs.

A health-promoting curriculum can also be an inspiration for professional development for educators, administrators and for staff wellness strategies.

Health Instruction/Education should highlight the following:

  • Integration of a wide range of topics in a well-planned, sequential K – 12 curriculum
  • Personal skills development (e.g. decision-making, refusal skills, problem-solving)
  • Opportunities for students to actively participate and collaborate
  • Student leadership and peer support programs
  • Current health issues
  • A focus on promoting students’ ability to take responsibility for their own health behaviours
  • Use of skilled community agencies to deliver programs to provide accurate information and to relieve pressure on teachers

No one leads us to the trough except ourselves, and no one but ourselves can move us away. The hub of the Wellness Wheel is personal responsibility.

Learn more about three important resources to create a healthy school community.


“And what is as important as knowledge? Caring, seeing and hearing with the heart and the soul.”