Guidance to help schools and settings develop their own curriculum, enabling learners to develop towards the four purposes.

3. Principles of progression

Progression within the Health and Well-being Area of Learning and Experience (the Area) is non-linear and follows different pathways within and between progression steps. Personal concerns, interests and circumstances may have an impact on the pathways along which a learner makes progress, particularly in the context of feelings and emotions; learning may take place at different rates at different times.

Increasing breadth and depth of knowledge

Progression within the Area is a continuum of increased sophistication over a period of time whereby existing knowledge is revisited but at a deeper level. Knowledge moves from the concrete to abstract and from merely understanding to understanding consequences. This includes conceptual shifts in knowledge and understanding as well as personal behaviour within physical, emotional and mental well-being, and in relationships and social contexts.

Deepening understanding of the ideas and disciplines within Areas

Progression in each of the statements of what matters are connected and interdependent. Together, they focus on progressively developing learners’ appreciation and understanding of the significance of making informed decisions regarding their physical, emotional and mental health and well-being. Thus there is a growing understanding of how the statements of what matters interlink in ensuring a clear pathway for where the learner is going and how to get there.

Refinement and growing sophistication in the use and application of skills

Progression is demonstrated within the Area as developing confidence, motivation and competence as well as a wider range of skills with increasing accuracy and proficiency. It recognises that physical, emotional, psychological and social skills within and across the domains are to an extent reliant on but not constrained by developmental milestones. This is particularly evident as the initial progression step focuses on recognition and awareness of personal physical, emotional and social skills and then progressively moves towards more accuracy and mastery of these skills.

Making connections and transferring learning into new contexts

The transfer of skills and knowledge within the Area is considered as progression within the domain of becoming more socially responsible. As learners become more socially responsible, they progress from primarily considering oneself to considering the impact of their own actions on others at a local, national and global level. Learners will progress from feelings of caring and respecting others to the capacity of advocacy on behalf of others.

As learners progress through the curriculum their understanding of the links across and beyond the school with all aspects of health and well-being will become more sophisticated, and they will be able to identify and balance, with increasing effectiveness, some of the tensions that may exist.

Increasing effectiveness as a learner

Progression is exemplified within some aspects of the Area as a journey from developing a skill or a concept with support from others (peers or adults) to gradually becoming more competent and independent, including an increasingly capacity to identify and seek help and support when needed. Experiences focusing on making, justifying and evaluating considered and informed decisions support growth in metacognition as well as exemplifying how learners become more independent. Over time, learners are able to demonstrate increased self-regulation, with a growing sense of agency and responsibility for their overall health and well-being.

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