Section 3: Exploring pupils’ ideas about healthy living

Key Focus Question: How can you use prior knowledge and group work to develop understanding of healthy living?

Keywords: group discussion; storytelling; writing; traditional healthy practices; prior knowledge

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will have:

  • used class and group discussion to find out what pupils already know;
  • learned how to build on pupils’ prior knowledge;
  • used local resource people to motivate pupils to learn.


When introducing the study of healthy living into your curriculum, you will need to be sensitive to the setting in which you teach. This section includes investigating your pupils’ prior knowledge – where they get ideas from and what knowledge they bring to the classroom – and using this to develop their thinking about healthy living. By recognising your pupils’ knowledge and how competent they are, you will build up their self-esteem. The activities ask you to use group discussion, practical tasks and local people to explore and deepen your pupils’ knowledge about healthy living.

1. Building on prior knowledge