Comprehensive School Health

CSH is an internationally recognized framework for supporting improvements in students’ educational outcomes while addressing school health in a planned, integrated and holistic way.

The principles of CSH are drawn from two World Health Organization documents: the 1986 Ottawa Charter on Health Promotion, and the 1997 Jakarta Declaration. The Ottawa Charter was signed at the first-ever international conference for health promotion, which was held in Ottawa. The Jakarta Declaration, signed at a subsequent conference, reiterated the principles of the Ottawa Charter and emphasized the importance of combining multiple strategies for health promotion. Both documents speak to health promotion in general and have been used to guide the development of healthy schools program.

CSH extends far beyond what happens in the classroom. It encompasses the whole school environment with actions in four distinct but inter-related areas:

csh-teaching-learningTeaching and learning – This pillar is not about “teachers” and “students” but about teaching and learning opportunities, both inside the classroom and out, that help to build knowledge and skills to improve health and well being.


csh-relationships-environmentsRelationships and Environments – This pillar is about 1) the social environment, such as the quality of relationships and emotional well-being and 2) the physical spaces in the school, such as buildings, equipment, and outdoor areas.


csh-community-partnershipsCommunity Partnerships – Referring to connections between the school and the community, including parents, other schools, community organizations and health professionals. This pillar can also refer to partnerships within the school such as between-class partnerships.


csh-school-policiesOur School Policies – This pillar refers to provincial, district, school, or classroom policies, rules, procedures and or codes of conducts at all levels that help to shape a caring and safe school environment and promote student health and well being.


Research consistently shows that health and education are connected. Children and youth cannot achieve their fullest potential as learners if their physical, mental, intellectual or emotional health is compromised.

Similarly, learning has a positive influence on students’ health – both in the short- and long-term. For example, students who enjoy nutritious foods and regular physical activity will not only learn better, they’re forming healthy habits that will help to support their well-being for a lifetime.

For a short and simple explanation of CSH, please view the video below.

Information sourced from Healthy Schools BC website