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Planning considerations

Planning considerations

Class programmes should be guided by the school-wide health education plan that has been developed after considering the learning needs of students. (See pages 50–51 of Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum (1999).) This includes consulting with parents and caregivers.

Teachers should refer to Understanding loss and grief for examples of the range of changes, disappointments, and losses that students experience and some of the possible responses to these. They could then begin planning by considering which of the possible learning outcomes on What do your year 1-3 students need to learn?,  What do your year 4-6 students need to learn? What do your year 7-8 students need to learn? meet the learning needs of their students.

In this book, the learning outcomes are divided into those considered appropriate for each of three age groups, years 1–3, years 4–6, and years 7–8. Within each section, learning experiences are arranged according to five aspects. Although teachers may not use all the activities for each aspect, they need to develop the aspects in order because each new aspect builds on the previous one. 

The five aspects are:

  • understanding change and loss
  • understanding the feelings of grief
  • coping with disappointment, loss, and grief
  • helping others who are grieving
  • building a supportive environment.

Teachers’ notes are provided for each aspect in each of the three different year groups, and it is important that teachers refer to these before undertaking any of the activities with students. To meet the needs of their students, teachers may need to access additional information. See References and resources for lists of references and resources and organisations.

Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes provide a clear focus for teachers and students and describe the learning that is expected to occur as a result of particular activities. In this book, learning outcomes are linked to achievement objectives as follows.

A learning need is identified. For example, your students may need to describe how feelings of grief influence their sense of self-worth. This learning outcome can be linked to level 3, strand A, achievement objective 4 and is therefore identified as related to achievement objective 3A4 (students will describe how their own feelings, beliefs, and actions and those of other people contribute to their personal sense of self-worth).

To help students achieve the learning outcome describe how feelings of grief influence their sense of self-worth within the aspect Understanding the Feelings of Grief, teachers could refer to the learning experience based on “When Grandma Died”. Students’ personal writing could be used to assess whether they have achieved the learning outcome.

Assessment Opportunities

Although all activities can be used for assessment purposes, teachers will select those that best demonstrate whether the learning needs of students have been met. Some assessment opportunities have been identified for each learning experience, and these have been linked to suggested learning outcomes and possible learning activities by the use of bold print.

Factors Affecting Learning

Research into key factors that have a positive effect on students’ learning (Hattie, 1999) indicates that innovative, responsive teachers can make a real difference to the achievements of their students. The single most significant factor is feedback. Teachers who provide feedback to students, giving them frequent information about how well they have understood and performed the current learning task, are giving them real, practical help that will have positive results.

Effective teachers give feedback; they also set specific, appropriate, and challenging goals for their students. Students who are involved in setting these learning goals and who then receive feedback while working towards them are more committed to achieving the goals and do in fact achieve better results.

Innovation is important. Teachers who consistently review their practices and try out new models, methods, and processes are likely to improve the quality of learning for their students.


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