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Physical and mental health for young children
Physical and mental health for young children

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Northern Ireland

Curricula for pre-school and school aged children includes aims that are intended to address children’s health.

The cover of ‘Curricular Guidance for Pre-School Education’
Figure 6 Wellbeing in Pre-School: Curricular Guidance for Pre-School Education

The curricular Guidance for Pre-school Education (Council for the Curriculum, Examination and Assessment) includes a focus on wellbeing. The document states that the focus should be that children are enabled to learn at their own pace, to have a breadth of learning experiences and gain a positive image of themselves as resilient learners able to cope with uncertainty, and to learn through trial and error.

The aims of the pre-school curriculum are to:

  • promote emotional, social, physical, creative and intellectual development.
  • develop self-esteem, self-control and positive attitudes towards others
  • develop language and communication skills to encourage the sharing of thoughts and feelings
  • create confident, eager, enthusiastic, independent, curious learners with a positive and problem-solving attitude to learning.

In the Foundation Stage, which is the curriculum for school aged children, the aims for wellbeing state that it will provide a learning programme which will:

  • promote children’s personal development
  • promote positive attitudes and dispositions to learning
  • promote children’s thinking skills and personal capabilities
  • encourage creativity and imagination
  • enable children to develop physical confidence and competence
  • develop children’s curiosity and interest in the world around them
  • enable children to communicate in a variety of ways
  • motivate children to develop literacy and numeracy skills in meaningful contexts.
A photograph of children playing in a school playground
Figure 7 Promoting good health in school curricula