Heads Up

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Prep – Health and Life Skills (HLS)

A month into the school year, Health and Life Skills (HLS) at the Prep is well under way.  Although topics vary by grade, the current focus for many HLS classes is laying a foundation on which we will build throughout the year. 

Some of the themes we are beginning to explore include:

  • What can we do to take care of our physical, social and emotional needs?
  • How can we positively affect our own and others’ wellbeing?
  • What are our strengths and what can we continue to develop? 
  • How can we manage challenging situations in a way that is helpful?  

Underlying much of this is self-awareness, something we will also be working on throughout the year. Whether checking in through a Blob Tree exercise (Years 5-7), completing a survey to identify character strengths (Year 7), asking “How do I feel?” when thinking about challenging situations (Y3-4) or using the Zones of Regulation (SK-1), we are encouraging students to take time to stop and think, “How am I doing right now?” We want students to know that however they are feeling is okay, and to reflect on what they can do and who can help them if they are not doing as well as they would like, or if they are in a situation that they want or needs to change.  

As they check-in with themselves, students and teachers also hear how others are doing and get a sense of the mood and energy level of a class.  In the process, students often think about how they might support someone else, realize they are not the only one worried about something coming up and, as a class, may problem solve around a common concern.  Through building self- awareness, awareness of others grows as well, which helps to build community – definitely a life skill!


Martha Boyce, 

Prep Counsellor, Health and Life Skills Teacher