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Health and Physical Education

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The Health and Physical Education curriculum is organised by two strands: Personal, Social and Community Health, and Movement and Physical Activity. Each strand contains content descriptions which are organised under three sub-strands.

Strands and sub-strands

StrandsPersonal, Social and Community HealthMovement and Physical Activity
Sub-strands Being healthy, safe and active
The curriculum focuses on supporting students to make decisions about their own health, safety and wellbeing and on developing the knowledge, understanding and skills to support students to be resilient. It also enables them to access and understand health information and empowers them to make healthy, safe and active choices. In addition, the content explores personal identities and emotions, and the contextual factors that influence students’ health, safety and wellbeing. Students also learn about the behavioural aspects related to regular physical activity and develop the dispositions required to be an active individual.
Moving the body
The curriculum lays the important early foundations of play and fundamental movement skills. It focuses on the acquisition and refinement of a broad range of movement skills. Students apply movement concepts and strategies to enhance performance and move with competence and confidence. Students develop skills and dispositions necessary for lifelong participation in physical activities.
Communicating and interacting for health and wellbeing
The curriculum develops knowledge, understanding and skills to enable students to engage critically with a range of health focus areas and issues. It also helps them apply new information to changing circumstances and environments that influence their own and others’ health, safety and wellbeing.
Understanding movement
The curriculum focuses on developing knowledge and understanding about how and why the body moves and what happens to bodies when they move. While participating in physical activities, students analyse and evaluate theories, techniques and strategies that can be used to understand and enhance the quality of movement and physical activity performance. They explore the place and meaning of physical activity, outdoor recreation and sport in their own lives, and across time and cultures.
Contributing to healthy and active communities
The curriculum develops knowledge, understanding and skills to enable students to analyse contextual factors that influence the health and wellbeing of communities critically. The content supports students to access information, products, services and environments to take action to promote the health and wellbeing of their communities.
Learning through movement
The curriculum focuses on personal and social skills that can be developed through participation in movement and physical activities. These skills include communication, decision-making, problem-solving, critical and creative thinking, and cooperation. The skills can be developed as students work individually and in small groups or teams to perform movement tasks or solve movement challenges. Through movement experiences, students develop other important personal and social skills such as self-awareness, self-management, persisting with challenges and striving for enhanced performance. They also experience the varied roles within organised sport and recreation.

Focus areas

The Health and Physical Education curriculum contains twelve focus areas. The focus areas provide the context through which the Content Descriptions and Achievement Standards are taught and assessed.

It should be noted that the focus areas are not discrete topics. This means that when designing teaching and learning programs, a teacher may draw on more than one focus area, for example a unit of work titled circus may include the focus areas of rhythmic and expressive movement activities, fundamental movement skills and safety or a unit focusing on developing resilience may draw on the focus areas of alcohol and other drugs, relationships and sexuality as well as mental health and wellbeing.

Advice about the inclusion of the focus areas across the bands is provided in Figure 2 (below) and the band descriptors. It is expected that each focus area identified in each band description contribute substantially to the health and physical education teaching and learning program for that particular band of learning. Decisions about specific timing for when each focus area will be taught within the two-year band are the responsibility of schools and teachers. Planning decisions should take into account local needs, school values and beliefs, available resources, students’ readiness and community priorities.

Alcohol and other drugs addresses a range of drugs, including prescription drugs, bush and alternative medicines, energy drinks, caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs and performance-enhancing drugs. The curriculum supports students to explore the impact drugs can have on individuals, families and communities.

Food and nutrition addresses the role of food and nutrition in enhancing health and wellbeing. The curriculum supports students to develop knowledge, understanding and skills to make healthy, informed food choices and to explore the contextual factors that influence eating habits and food choices.

Health benefits of physical activity addresses the influence and impact regular physical activity participation has on individual and community health and wellbeing. The curriculum supports students to develop knowledge, understanding and skills to make active choices and to explore the range of influences on physical activity participation and choices.

Mental health and wellbeing addresses how mental health and wellbeing can be enhanced and strengthened at an individual and community level. The curriculum supports students to develop knowledge, understanding and skills to manage their own mental health and wellbeing and to support that of others.

Relationships and sexuality addresses physical, social and emotional changes that occur over time and the significant role relationships and sexuality play in these changes. The curriculum supports students to develop knowledge, understanding and skills to support them to establish and manage respectful relationships. It also supports them to develop positive practices in relation to their reproductive and sexual health and the development of their identities. In doing so, students will gain an understanding of the factors that influence gender and sexual identities.

Safety addresses physical, social and emotional safety issues that students may encounter in their daily lives. The curriculum supports students to develop knowledge, understanding and skills to make safe decisions and behave in ways that protect their own safety and that of others. It includes situations and places such as school, home, on roads, outdoors, near and in water, parties, online, first aid, relationships and dating, personal safety and uncomfortable situations.

Active play and minor games addresses how students move and use their bodies to develop, practise and refine motor skills, balance, strength and coordination. Active play can occur indoors or outdoors, alone or with peers and can involve manipulation of objects or engagement with music or the environment. Through minor games, students are challenged to practise skills, including social skills, in a simple game situation.

Challenge and adventure activities addresses how individuals participate in a variety of physical activities designed to challenge them physiologically, behaviourally and socially in diverse contexts and environments.

Challenge and adventure activities include initiative games, movement challenges (as individuals and in teams or groups), recreational activities in natural and outdoor settings and navigational challenges.

With access to specialised facilities and equipment and relevant teacher expertise, these activities can also include bushwalking, camping, biathlon and triathlon, martial arts, rock climbing, canoeing and kayaking, mountain biking, BMX, road and track cycling, surfing, skiing, and swimming for performance.

Fundamental movement skills addresses the development of fundamental movement skills that provide the foundation for competent and confident participation in a range of physical activities which include:

  • locomotor and non-locomotor skills - rolling, balancing, sliding, jogging, running, leaping, jumping, hopping, dodging, galloping, skipping, floating and moving the body through water to safety
  • object control skills - bouncing, throwing, catching, kicking, striking.

Games and sports address the development of movement skills, concepts and strategies through a variety of games and sports. The games and sports focus area builds on learning in active play and minor games and fundamental movement skills.

Lifelong physical activities addresses how participation in physical activity can enhance health-related fitness and wellbeing across the lifespan and includes individuals and group fitness activities and active recreation activities. With access to specialised facilities, equipment and expertise, these activities can also include swimming, tai chi, yoga, Pilates, bushwalking, recreational cycling and resistance training.

Rhythmic and expressive movement activities addresses how movement can be composed and performed in response to stimuli such as equipment, beats and sounds, images, words or themes and includes creative movement, movement exploration and dance.

Across the Health and Physical Education curriculum, from Foundation to Level  10, the focus areas that must be addressed in each band of learning are indicated in Figure 2 below.

Focus areaFoundation1–23–45–67–89–10
Alcohol and other drugs (AD)Yes, including a focus on the safe use of medicinesYes, including a focus on the safe use of medicinesYesYesYesYes
Food and nutrition (FN)YesYesYesYesYesYes
Health benefits of physical activity (HBPA)YesYesYesYesYesYes
Mental health and wellbeing (MH)YesYesYesYesYesYes
Relationships and sexuality (RS)Yes, including a focus on relationshipsYes, including a focus on relationshipsYesYesYesYes
Safety (S)YesYesYesYesYesYes
Active play and minor games (AP)YesYesYesYes—  — 
Challenge and adventure activities (CA) —  — YesYesYesYes
Fundamental movement skills (FMS)YesYesYesYes —  — 
Games and sports (GS) —  — YesYesYesYes
Lifelong physical activities (LLPA) —  — YesYesYesYes
Rhythmic and expressive activities (RE)YesYesYesYesYesYes

Figure 2: Focus areas across the learning continuum

Achievement standards

In Health and Physical Education, students progress along a curriculum continuum that provides the first achievement standard at Foundation and then at Levels 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. 

A 'Towards Foundation Levels A to D' curriculum is provided for students with disabilities or additional learning needs in this curriculum area.



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