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Wellbeing – Children have a strong sense
of wellbeing

Introduction to this Outcome

From birth and throughout early childhood, the foundations for physical, social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing are laid. Wellbeing means having good mental and physical health, including attachment, positive affect and self-regulation. This means being able to manage emotions productively and build resilience and persistence, being adaptable and confident, and experiencing feelings of satisfaction and happiness.

Early childhood professionals, individually and together, play a key role with families in promoting healthy life practices and children’s sense of wellbeing.

Children who have a strong sense of wellbeing develop a range of social skills and dispositions. They learn to be comfortable in the range of settings that are part of their lives. They are becoming capable of seeking and receiving assistance and of being alone and with others. Children learn how to express and manage their feelings and develop self-reliance. Children grow in their capacity to manage their wellbeing, and seek support from others around them to maintain a strong sense of physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing. From birth, relationships that are warm and supportive assist children to express feelings such as joy, sadness, frustration and fear and to identify and accept their own and others’ feelings. This supports the development of strong bonds and attachments. Learning to constructively resolve conflicts begins in infancy. Children are supported to express their views in line with their evolving capabilities. With support and guidance around naming and recognising the range of human emotions, children continue to learn and practise strategies that enable them to manage disappointments, anxiety, frustration and loss. With increasing physical mobility comes greater opportunity to explore and experience the world. Outdoor play promotes children’s physical and cognitive development and their ability to assess risk.

Children learn to manage and move their bodies in space in a range of environments and settings. They learn to maintain their own basic hygiene practices and they are able to contribute to and maintain basic health and safety practices.

As children progress and mature, their social skills and resilience increase. They learn to manage emotions and impulses, cope with day-to-day stresses and to persevere and ‘have a go’ when faced with challenging learning situations. Children experience wellbeing as they develop a sense of achievement, and as they learn to be flexible and adapt to new environments and events.

Maintaining physical health, including managing chronic health conditions, contributes to a sense of wellbeing. This includes a healthy diet and the exercise necessary for healthy living. Children are supported by adults to learn about and encounter a range of nutritious foods, as part of everyday food choices. They enjoy opportunities to grow, cultivate and prepare nutritious food. Children also gain a basic understanding of the aspects of an active lifestyle, including the positive experience of active outdoor play and physical exercise, and the avoidance of substances or products that are harmful to their health and wellbeing.

From birth to eight years, children continually acquire, refine and consolidate their motor functions and skills and integrate their skills across domains.

Dance, drama and musical experiences can combine stillness and movement, and children learn to create and perform simple rhythmic movement sequences. The learning and physical development of young children is evident through their movement patterns, from their physical dependence and reflex actions at birth through to their development of spatial awareness, and the ability to move around their environment confidently and safely. The growth of strong spatial awareness across the early years is also known to positively influence the development of children’s mathematical capabilities.


VEYLDF Victorian Curriculum: Levels F – 2
Children become strong in their social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing

This is evident, for example, when children:

  • demonstrate trust and confidence
  • remain accessible to others at times of distress, confusion and frustration
  • share humour, happiness and satisfaction
  • seek out and accept new challenges, make new discoveries, and celebrate their own efforts and achievements and those of others
  • increasingly cooperate and work collaboratively with others
  • enjoy moments of solitude
  • recognise their individual achievements
  • make choices, accept challenges, take considered risks, manage change and cope with frustrations and the unexpected
  • show an increasing capacity to understand, self-regulate and manage their emotions in ways that reflect the feelings and needs of others
  • experience and share personal successes in learning and initiate opportunities for new learning in their home languages or Standard Australian English
  • acknowledge and accept affirmation
  • assert their capabilities and independence while demonstrating increasing awareness of the needs and rights of others
  • recognise the contributions they make to shared projects and experiences.

This develops, for example, when students:

Practise personal and social skills to interact with others. Health and Physical Education: Personal, Social and Community Health (F)

Extend their vocabulary through which to recognise and describe emotions and when, how and with whom it is appropriate to share emotions. Personal and Social Capability: Self-Awareness and Management (L1–L2)

Use basic skills required for participation in group tasks and respond to simple questions about their contribution to group tasks. Personal and Social Capability: Social Awareness and Management (L1–L2)

Recognise that conflict occurs and distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate ways to deal with conflict. Personal and Social Capability: Social Awareness and Management (L1–L2)

Examine health messages and how they relate to health decisions and behaviours. Health and Physical Education: Personal, Social and Community Health (L1–L2)

Identify actions that promote health, safety and wellbeing. Health and Physical Education: Personal, Social and Community Health (F)

Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing

This is evident, for example, when children:

  • recognise and communicate their bodily needs (for example thirst, hunger, rest, comfort, physical activity)
  • are happy, healthy, safe and are connected to others
  • engage in increasingly complex sensory-motor skills and movement patterns
  • combine gross and fine motor movement and balance to achieve increasingly complex patterns of activity, including dance, creative movement and drama
  • use their sensory capabilities and dispositions with increasing integration, skill and purpose to explore and respond to their world
  • demonstrate spatial awareness and orient themselves, moving around and through their environments confidently and safely
  • manipulate equipment and manage tools with increasing competence and skill
  • respond through movement to traditional and contemporary music, dance and storytelling of their own and others’ cultures
  • show an increasing awareness of healthy lifestyles and good nutrition
  • show increasing independence and competence in personal hygiene, care and safety for themselves and others
  • show enthusiasm for participating in physical play and negotiate play spaces to ensure the safety and wellbeing of themselves and others.

This develops, for example, when students:

Explore how food is selected and prepared for healthy eating. Design and Technologies: Technologies Contexts (F–L2)

Respond to music, expressing what they enjoy and why. Music: Respond and Interpret (F)

Name parts of the body and describe how their body is growing and changing. Health and Physical Education: Personal, Social and Community Health (F)

Identify and describe how their body moves in relation to effort, space, time, objects and people. Health and Physical Education: Movement and Physical Activity (F)

Discuss the body’s reactions to participating in physical activities. Health and Physical Education: Movement and Physical Activity (L1–L2)

Use fundamental locomotor and non-locomotor movements, body parts, bases and zones to explore safe movement possibilities and dance ideas. Dance: Explore and Express Ideas (F)

Construct and perform imaginative and original movement sequences in response to stimuli. Health and Physical Education: Movement and Physical Activity (L1–L2)

Use choreographic devices to organise movement ideas and create dance sequences. Dance: Dance Practices (F)

Incorporate elements of effort, space, time, objects and people in performing simple movement sequences. Health and Physical Education: Movement and Physical Activity (L1–L2)

Explore how regular physical activity keeps individuals healthy and well. Health and Physical Education: Movement and Physical Activity (F)

Use trial and error to test solutions to movement challenges. Health and Physical Education: Movement and Physical Activity (F)

Respond to dance, expressing what they enjoy and why. Dance: Respond and Interpret (F)

Explore ideas characters and settings in images, sounds and multi-modal texts. Media Arts: Explore and Represent Ideas (F)