In 2019, following consultation with Port students, the Health Department reviewed its offerings with the aim to deliver a course that would bridge the gap between students’ perception that core subjects (which often do not lead to a tangible end result or formal qualification), are a waste of time, and the need to continue to provide students with information that supports informed, safe and healthy choices and outcomes. It was at this time that the unit ‘HLTAAP001- Recognise Healthy Body Systems’ was introduced. This is an accredited unit of competency from the Community Health Certificate course. It not only adds to our students’ educational and vocational portfolio, but also enhances their personal knowledge and understanding of health issues relevant to their own lifestyle choices and contexts.
The course combines practical and theoretical competencies that transfer easily to a range of lifestyle, educational and workplace environments, giving it relevance to our students’ future pathways and personal lives.
In order to cover all competencies and skillsets, students are required to adapt to a range of teaching and learning styles and experiences, including the Direct Instructional (Didactic) method, and the more Socratic Community of Enquiry question-based learning model (Dialectic).
Over time, it is expected that all regularly attending students will gain a valuable, insight into the following health systems:
- Basic structure and functions of the body systems and associated components
- Processes, conditions and resources required by the body to support healthy functioning
- Body regulation including maintenance of body temperature, fluid and electrolyte (including PH) balance, elimination of wastes from the body, maintenance of blood pressure
- Protection from infection
- Physical activity, active and passive
In addition, students will be able to demonstrate a realistic, in-depth knowledge and understanding in relation to the content covered, and in the context of industry-validated scenarios and simulations.
The course requires students to undertake assignments, assessments, scenarios and task demonstrations, and to work effectively with information about the human body and its healthy functioning. This will result in students being able to demonstrate:
- Knowledge of the basic structure and functions of the major body systems
- An ability to accurately use common health terminology
- Knowledge of the healthy functioning of the body
- Basic maintenance of a healthy body
In addition to this unit of study, students will continue to study holistic health and wellbeing topics, including those of greatest relevance to the adolescent population of the Port School community. These continue to be delivered ‘at point of need’. Typically, such studies may see students undertake special ‘stand-alone’ units on: puberty and sexual reproduction; oral health; nutrition and exercise; management of lifestyle behaviours and routines; healthy versus unhealthy risk-taking; protective behaviours (Keeping Safe Curriculum); respectful relationships and developing an awareness and understanding of the causes and repercussions of domestic violence; help-seeking strategies for times of challenge.
The Recognising Healthy Body Systems accredited unit will be complemented by content and outcomes framed by the National Australian Health Curriculum (K-10) and the Keeping Safe Child Protection Curriculum.
Students will be engaged in lively interactive educational offerings such as guest speakers; incursions; excursions; participation in Health and Wellbeing student forums,; participation is whole-school consultation projects; interaction with a range of external specialist agencies and service/support providers; educational symposiums and conferences; camps; ‘subject-interactive focus days’; involvement in special community projects and involvement with initiatives of local partner agencies, as they present themselves.
As well as undertaking rigorous academic work, designed to enhance general literacy and communication skills, students are challenged to engage in tasks and activities that require them to work both independently, and as part of a team, in order to reinforce their socio-emotional and interpersonal skills. At times, students are required to reflect upon, to analyse and to evaluate their own life experiences, with a view to learn from mistakes and to improve their mental and physical wellbeing. The endgame is to enable them to create their own positive pathways to becoming well-informed, self-confident, resourceful, balanced, healthy, optimistic and contributing members of society.
Students who achieve competency in all assessments of this unit, will benefit from an additional academic notation, which may be formally recognised as ‘prior learning’ and valued in many workplaces that prioritise and value personal and community health. Workplaces that would generally regard this unit favourably include: Emergency Services; Community Health and Nursing; Public Health Departments; Sport and Recreation Industries; Social Services; Youth Work; Care Facilities for both infants and the elderly; Education; FIFO industries; Government Agencies; volunteer sector etc.
Learning initiatives that have typically featured as part of the program in the past 3 years have included: health and wellbeing camps and retreats; inspirational guest speakers; incursions and excursions; oral health programs; seminars and conferences such as ‘In Your Head’ youth mental health conference; programs delivered by partner agencies including ‘Staying Strong Foundation’, ‘FPWA’, ‘WA AIDS Council’, ‘WA Women’s Council’, ‘WA Ballet Company’, ‘Rap Workshops with MC Trooth’; ‘Grip Leadership symposium’.