Health literacy in schools: prioritising health and well-being issues through the curriculum

Kilgour, Lindsey, Matthews, Nic, Christian, Polly and Shire, Jo (2015) Health literacy in schools: prioritising health and well-being issues through the curriculum. Sport, Education and Society, 20 (4). pp. 485-500. doi:10.1080/13573322.2013.769948

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Health literacy (HL) is a relatively new concept in health promotion and is concerned with empowering people through enhancing their knowledge of health issues and improving their ability to make choices about their health and well-being. Schools are seen increasingly as key settings for the dissemination of health messages through curricula and other on-site provision. However, such opportunities are amongst many demands being placed on educational providers and finding space in the school day to support the health agenda is a challenge. This practice-based, qualitative study examines the current practices in three schools in the UK. In total 34 pupils (n=16 from Year 9 and n = 18 from Year 11) were interviewed in six focus groups (3 in each school), with up to 6 pupils in each focus group. School staff (n = 8) were also interviewed individually. Findings suggest that pupils and staff have an understanding of health and a capacity for HL, though health education (via taught subjects) is not statutory across the four Key Stages of the National Curriculum. In order to engender health literate young people, with a view to reducing health inequalities, it is recommended that key health messages are delivered through an agenda that integrates current provision for health via the curriculum and other school-based practices, such as the Healthy Schools Programme.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Sport, Education and Society on 1 May 2015, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords: REF2014 Submission. National curriculum, Health literacy, Health promotion, Health inequalities, Physical activity
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2015 11:16
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:09

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