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Physical education is a compulsory subject at primary and lower secondary levels in all respondent countries. There are many similarities and some differences among these countries in their approach to the subject. This chapter describes, first, the main aims of physical education as defined in the central steering documents. The chapter then reviews what are regarded as learning outcomes, and considers the mandatory and optional physical activities taught at schools, and reasons for assigning the mandatory activities. It also examines whether health education is treated as a stand-alone subject, or integrated in other subjects. It concludes with a short overview of possible exemptions from physical education. Planned reforms of national curricula are summarised in Chapter 7.

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