At Pine Cobble School, we know that wellness incorporates many different aspects of children’s lives, and its meanings change as students age. Our wellness program is grounded in accurate information, a realistic, age-appropriate understanding of children’s, and a commitment to helping students care for themselves as they become increasingly independent.
Our health and wellness program is grounded in the following principles:
Wellness is broader than health. Wellness incorporates not merely a physical body, but also one’s emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual selves.
An individual’s wellness cannot be divorced from the wider community and society at large. That’s because the self interacts with society, which has its own messages, attitudes and values, which may or may not be consistent with one’s own.
Wellness touches on issues that are fairly straightforward, i.e. fitness and nutrition, and more delicate issues: building healthy relationships, changing bodies, personal safety, diversity, death/grief, privacy. There are other issues, like hygiene, that are fairly straightforward for younger students, but which become more complex and loaded as students get older.
At all ages, wellness begins with, and ultimately strengthens,“a strong sense of self-worth,” making this an important way of how we fulfill our core mission. This sense of self worth begins at the youngest ages, and is reinforced regularly, in new ways, as students face new challenges and experiences.
In the younger years, wellness is integrated into classroom activities, as well as specialist subjects like sports and science. We also welcome visiting lecturers who discuss sports, nutrition, dental hygiene, and more. By the time students are older, our wellness program incorporates — in age-appropriate ways — discussions of identity, healthy relationships, personal values, media literacy, representation, digital citizenship, the impact of digital use on emotional/physical wellness, personal security both online and in the physical world, changing bodies, and reproductive health. Many of our teachers are trained in the Our Whole Lives programs, and our curriculum embraces many elements of OWLs. The program is not religious, and it’s non-judgmental, though it is grounded in values and respect for self/others.