Health Curriculum at Raphael House

The purpose of the Board of Trustees Health Consultation process is to:

  • Inform the school community about the content of the health curriculum
  • Ascertain the wishes of the school community regarding the way in which our health curriculum should be implemented, given the views, beliefs, and customs of the members of that community
  • Determine in broad terms, the health education needs of the students at the school


Health Curriculum topics which are included at Raphael House from Kindergarten to Class 12:

  • Responsible awareness of the environment
  • Responsible citizenship – Aotearoa and beyond
  • Building self esteem
  • Restorative practices and inclusive behaviour guidelines
  • Eating for health
  • Caring for the body
  • Knowledge of the human body and its functions
  • Physical activity for health
  • First aid and CPR
  • Media and peer pressure
  • Healthy choices / assertiveness
  • Self-help / helping agencies
  • Affirming positive personal goals
  • Relationships and sexuality
  • Addiction and substance abuse
  • Health and illness
  • Crisis and stress management     


Brief Overview: Please note the Raphael House health curriculum covers the required content of the New Zealand Curriculum within our Health and Physical Education Learning Area.


Overview for Kindergarten (years 0-2): 

The child is educated through imitation and a good role model in hygiene routines and social behaviour.

Overview for Classes 1-5 (years 2-6): 

Health topics are woven into the themes of the class curriculum.  The presentation is through story, drama, projects and practical activities.  During class 5, after consultation with class parents, puberty and the physical changes are briefly presented and personal hygiene discussed.  The topic of menstruation is usually discussed by a female teacher with the girls of the class participating.

Overview for Classes 6- 12 (years 7 to 13):

Workshops over one or several days may be organised at any level to practise social enhancement in the areas of communication, assertiveness, listening skills, bullying, peer pressure, and / or trust and team building. In the past these have been introduced using internal as well as external facilitators.                                                          

Examples for Class 7 (year 8): 

The study of the human being in connection with food and health. 

Students study:  The cultural and spiritual aspects of food; food chemistry, diet, the digestive respiratory and circulatory systems.  Also aspects of childhood and adolescent development are introduced including healthy relationships, respectful communication and restorative practices.

From a holistic approach, included in history and geography lessons, social problems such as unhealthy diet, alcoholism, tobacco and drug use can be addressed.  At this stage however presenting the picture of the healthy individual human being is foremost. It is from the healthy picture that the contrast of illnesses can be portrayed dramatically but simply.  Generally, details of illnesses and diseases are not studied at this time.


Examples for Class 8 (year 9): 

The outdoor activities camp at the start of the year encourages teamwork and confidence building.

The Biology main lesson covers the sense organs.   Life skills (communication, stress management, meeting peer pressure), conception, birth, childhood and puberty are taught this year.  Health issues of relationships, smoking and drugs are introduced. Positive restorative practices and methods of addressing conflict are woven into this framework.

At the end of the year is a Threshold camp which includes a physical challenge, safety and emergency procedures in the outdoors, team building, and the clarification of goals regarding the oncoming years in the Upper School.  Activities on the camp emphasise positivity, respect and good communication (between individuals, with the opposite sex and also between the students and their parents).    


Examples for Class 9 (year 10): 

The issues worked with in Class 8 are covered in greater detail.

The topics covered in the Human Biology main lesson lend themselves to health issues, for example the negative effects of smoking. The Main Lesson includes the Skeletal, Digestive or Nervous Systems.  The effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain and metabolism are covered.

The Plant Chemistry main lesson includes the subject of alcohol and its physiological and social effects.

Two terms of weekly Life-skills lessons include the following topics:

  • Sexuality, contraception and STDs, personal relationships
  • Media/peer pressure, young people and the Law, with reference to alcohol, violence and driving etc.
  • Addictions / addictiveness,  drugs and mental health
  • Dealing with unwanted attention, personal stress, helping agencies for youth. 


Examples for Class 10 (year 11): 

  • The Human Physiology Main Lesson covers a range of topics from circulatory system, lymphatic system, endocrine glands and the reproductive system.
  • The effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain and metabolism are covered. 
  • Physical and psychological illnesses and their impact on society. 
  • Time is taken for free discussion on health questions (e.g. eating disorders).
  • The impact of unwanted sexual attention and how to deal with this
  • Concepts of destiny, life crisis and personal growth are investigated, and examples of physical and psychological illnesses are researched.
  • The Odyssey Main Lesson looks at psychological development through the medium of Homer's classic Greek story.
  • Community action and responsibility: students undertake a 2-week community service work experience.
  • First Aid:  students complete a Comprehensive First Aid Certificate course


Examples for Class 11 (year 12): 

The topics covered in the Parzival Main Lesson look at moral dilemmas and consequences in the context of a spiritual quest.

Beyond this, sponsor lessons and workshops cover a range of topics pertinent to this age group. The focus is social dynamics: students seeing the value in themselves and learning how to communicate their skills and talents effectively to other people. In addition, seeing the value in other people, and understanding how to get them to communicate that value to a wider audience.  


Examples for Class 12 (year 13):

  • Citizenship, personal relationships, work relationships, community, cultural and global relations are covered in the contexts of the History and Philosophy Main Lessons.
  • First Aid –Revalidation of Comprehensive First Aid Certificate
  • The Cycle of Life main lesson covers stages of human development from birth to death
  • The Rite of Passage camp includes a biographical workshop, self-reflection on the student’s past, present and future ad general school learning transition and skills.