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The 4 Components of Comprehensive School Health

There are 4 separate but interconnected components that address comprehensive school health. When actions in all four components are harmonized, students are supported to realize their full potential as learners – and as healthy, productive members of society.

Teaching and Learning: Student-centered learning and teacher training through resources, activities, and provincial/territorial curriculum. Students gain age-appropriate knowledge and experiences, helping to build skills to improve their health, well-being, and learning outcomes.

Resources and activities should include school health policies and guidelines, culturally-relevant contexts, and school community assets.

Social and Physical Environment:

The social environment is:

  • the quality of the relationships among and between staff and students in the school
  • the emotional well-being of students
  • influenced by relationships with families and the wider community
  • Supportive of the school community in making healthy choices by building competence, autonomy, and connectedness. 

The school’s social environment supports the school community in making healthy choices by building competence, autonomy, and connectedness.

The physical environment is:

  • the buildings, grounds, play space, and equipment in and surrounding the school
  • basic amenities such as sanitation, air cleanliness, and healthy foods
  • spaces designed to promote student safety and connectedness and minimize injury
  • Safe, accessible, and supportive of healthy choices for all members of the school community.

The physical environment is safe and accessible and supports healthy choices for all members of the school community.

Partnerships and Services: Community – and school – based partnerships and services are essential links for student achievement and the health and well-being of everyone in the school community. They enhance the range of supports and opportunities for students, parents, educators, and others. Examples of partnerships and services are:

  • health and education sectors working together
  • community organizations supporting school activities, student safety, risk interventions, or curriculum
  • donations of product or labour from a company towards the creation of a school garden or lunch program
  • contracts with fruit and vegetable growers/distributors for school fundraising initiatives.

Policy: the management practices, decision-making processes, rules, procedures, policies, and guidelines at all levels that promote student wellness and achievement, and shape a respectful, welcoming, and caring school environment for all members of the school community.