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Thursday, 28 Apr 2016

Building positive body image

The mandatory K–10 PDHPE syllabus contributes significantly to students’ formation of sense of identity, feelings about their appearance and ability to make positive choices about their physical, social and emotional health and wellbeing. It identifies the skills that build resilience and self-acceptance, and the critical thinking required to assess the impact of negative images, stereotypes and messages presented through various forms of media.

In K–6 PDHPE, students explore:

  • characteristics that make them similar to and different from others
  • recognising and accepting differences
  • feelings about changes to personal appearance and the body
  • building positive relationships
  • ways they communicate, cooperate and care for others
  • how positive health choices can promote wellbeing
  • cultural influences on a sense of self, nutrition, physical activity and a young person’s decisions
  • influences of media and culture and their impact on body image and self esteem.

In Years 7–10 PDHPE, students explore:

  • factors that influence a sense of self
  • the relationship between a sense of self and body image
  • the importance of self-acceptance and self-belief
  • the changes and challenges that adolescence presents
  • understanding mental health and how to help yourself and others
  • skills that enhance resilience, eg. problem solving
  • valuing difference and diversity
  • healthy food habits and the benefits of being physically active
  • the impact of social media and other influences on our sense of self
  • available support services and skills to access health information, products and services.

Schools play an important role in celebrating the diversity and individuality of our students and in developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes young people need to build resiliency, a strong sense of identity and capacity to accept and care for others. Undertaking a whole school approach, which supports acceptance and respect for difference, provides a safe, supportive environment where students can be themselves, free of adversity.

Working in partnership with parents and the community to build knowledge, skills and understanding enhances positive attitudes, support and acceptance for all people in the school community.

It is important for teachers to use their professional judgement when considering which resources they use to ensure content is delivered in an age, stage and culturally sensitive way. All websites and resources should be previewed and evaluated in full, prior to use.

 For more information relating to positive body image, visit the following websites:

For more information, contact:
Amy Harriman
Senior Curriculum Officer, PDHPE
(02) 9367-8317