International School Manila

Integrity - Service - Merit

Wellness

ISM expects each of its students to work towards becoming knowledgeable, respectful and responsible citizens. In keeping with these aims, the Middle School Wellness program seeks to inform students about issues related to their personal health and to assist them in developing the skills necessary to make good decisions about their health and safety.

 

Our program is based on the premise that in order to achieve a state of wellness, students must understand the interrelated nature of physical, mental, emotional, environmental and social health.

By following our Wellness Standards and Indicators, students will understand that:

  • Personal choices related to health promotion and disease prevention will enhance health.
  • The influence of family, peers, culture, media, technology and other factors affect health behaviors.
  • Practicing health-enhancing behaviors can help them avoid or reduce health risks.
  • Advocating for personal, family and community health promotes healthy behaviors and choices.

Content/Skills

The Middle School Wellness program presents health information that is developmentally appropriate for the students at each grade level. Course topics have been carefully selected to address the particular needs of our students at various stages of their pre-adolescence and adolescence and to assist them in making good decisions about their own health and safety during these years.

In Grade 5, students are taught the importance of a holistic approach to health that places equal emphasis on physical, mental, emotional and social well-being. The course begins by examining healthy eating habits, nutrition and the importance of physical fitness. Students then explore various health-enhancing behaviors and learn how to keep safe both at home and in the wider community. In the second unit, we introduce the topic of digital citizenship, where we explore internet etiquette as well as ways to safely use the internet.  In the substance abuse unit, students investigate the effects of caffeine on the body and mind, decision-making skills. The fourth unit of study looks at personal development. This unit focuses on the different body changes that occur during puberty, the reproductive system and ways that students can develop healthy personal care routines.

In Grade 6, the course is divided into four units of study, beginning with physical health. This physical health unit augments lessons already presented in our Physical Education program and provides students with information on the benefits of physical fitness, as well as nutrition, healthy eating habits and body image. The next unit of study is emotional health. This unit investigates the importance of making healthy decisions and provides strategies for managing emotions. Here, students also learn about peer pressure and how their decision skills can aid in dealing with peer pressure. In the substance abuse unit, the students study the effects of inhalant abuse on the body and mind. The course ends with a unit on growth and personal development. Topics in this unit include changes during puberty, personal hygiene, building better relationships (peers, friends, family, teachers) and appropriate use of social media.

In Grade 7, the course begins with personal goal setting then moves into an investigation of how a high-fat, high-sugar diet and a lack of physical activity affect the body systems. In unit two, students focus on social health and the importance of developing social thinking skills to help in maneuvering through social media, in developing conflict management strategies, in recognizing and addressing facets of bullying, and in coping with unhealthy relationships. This is followed by a drug education unit. The topics of study for this unit include the effects of tobacco and nicotine on one’s health, peer pressure, the role of media in teen drug use, refusal skills, proper use of over-the-counter and prescription medications and an exploration of natural remedies. Lastly, students continue their investigation of physical health through an in-depth study of the reproductive systems, including guidelines for the care and maintenance of these systems.

Grade 8 Wellness investigates topics relevant to young adolescents in the areas of time management, personal safety, human development and sexuality. It seeks to provide information which will assist them in making safe and healthy choices about relationships, both now and in the future. In Unit 1, A Balancing Act, students explore the dangers of over-commitment and importance of nutrition. Unit 2, The Thinking Brain, provides an overview of understanding and expressing emotions, stress management, unhealthy thinking strategies and common mental health disorders. Unit 3, Addiction, investigates addiction and the adolescent brain, the physical and mental effects of alcohol and marijuana abuse, peer pressure, refusal skill strategies, decision-making skills. Unit 4, Reproductive Anatomy and Relationships, study the human reproductive system, fetal development, childbirth, teen pregnancy, safe dating and healthy relationships.


Instructional Practices

Readings accompanied by lecture and class discussion are used to introduce and reinforce key concepts and ideas in all Wellness courses. These practices are augmented by a wide variety of instructional practices including small-group activities and discussions, journal writing, and individual and group projects. Students are assessed through teacher observation, tests, quizzes, and completion of assignments and projects.