High School

Balance is the central theme of the Needham High School Wellness Program Maintaining a healthy balance in today’s world requires a great deal of skill, knowledge, and practice. At Needham High School, health and physical education are combined to create an integrated wellness program that, we believe, provides high school students with the tools they need to achieve a healthy balance in their busy lives.

Health Education and Physical Education are combined to make up our wellness curriculum. Each individual course offers students a combination of "health " concepts and related physical activities designed to build the skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to participate in an active healthy lifestyle. All high school students are required to take one full semester of Health/Physical Education each of their four years as part of their graduation requirement.

The wellness curriculum is designed to emphasize the student's responsibility for their own health and well-being based on the six dimensional wellness model mentioned above. This model explores human health as a multidimensional phenomenon which requires the individual student to take care of and nurture him or herself in all the areas identified within the wellness hexagon.

The high school curriculum is part of a comprehensive K-12 Health and Physical Education sequence which enables the high school teachers to plan courses that apply the knowledge, skills and behaviors learned throughout the K-8 program. Because of this, high school classes focus more on the individual, encouraging each student to evaluate their own wellness and set specific goals that will result in self improvement. As a result, high school wellness courses provide students with information, skills, and opportunities to carefully examine their current health status and challenge them to make appropriate adjustments towards healthier living!

The design of the high school wellness program includes a thematic focus for each grade level. This theme is integrated into a required wellness course and three physical activity units. Throughout this sequence, students learn wellness concepts in the classroom and then learn to apply them through specific activities in the gymnasium and on the athletic fields.

9th Grade Thematic Focus ~ Improving Personal Fitness

This theme is used to guide students as they assess their current fitness levels and set goals for self improvement. Students develop detailed knowledge and an understanding of each component of health-related fitness (flexibility, muscular endurance, muscular strength, body composition and cardiovascular endurance). In addition, students explore their own skill-related fitness (agility, balance, coordination, power, and speed). Students are challenged to assess their current activity and fitness levels and set goals for improvement.

10th Grade Thematic Focus ~ Exploring Individual & Community Wellness

This theme is used to encourage students to take responsibility for their own well-being (physical, social, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, occupational/leisure) and for the well-being of their community. Students will examine the affects of cultural norms on their health and well being and set goals for improvement.

11th Grade Thematic Focus ~ Understanding and Assessing Personal Risk and Consequences

This theme is used to guide students as they examine and assess the positive and negative personal risks and consequences they face as young adults. Teachers facilitate discussions about current health issues with a focus on human behavior and plan activities that challenge students to challenge their current abilities.

12th Grade Thematic Focus ~ In Pursuit of a Healthy Balance

This theme is used in the culminating year of our program to help students reflect upon their past knowledge and experience and to explore and develop their own role and responsibilities in the ongoing pursuit of maintaining a healthy balance in their adult lives. Students examine their nutrition habits and assess their overall wellness. Students target a goal for improvement, make a plan and evaluate their success.

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