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The essential skills

Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum (1999) makes a unique and significant contribution to the development of the essential skills described in The New Zealand Curriculum Framework.

Physical Skills

Students can develop the essential physical skills necessary for daily living when they have opportunities to:

  • use fundamental movement skills, including locomotor, non-locomotor, gross, and manipulative actions
  • use physical skills to develop and extend their personal capabilities
  • use physical skills for personal expression
  • use physical skills in play, games, formal exercise, dance, and daily life
  • demonstrate physical skills for personal safety and first aid
  • demonstrate physical skills in relaxation
  • use physical skills in competitive situations
  • apply specialist skills in areas of interest, including recreation, sport, and work.

Self-management and Competitive Skills

Students can develop the skills and processes required for self-management, change, and competition when they have opportunities to:

  • demonstrate a sense of self-worth and personal identity
  • show initiative, integrity, commitment, perseverance, courage, tolerance, and adaptability
  • demonstrate the skills of self-appraisal and self-advocacy
  • set, evaluate, and achieve realistic goals
  • manage time and other resources effectively
  • approach challenge, change, stress, conflict, competition, and feelings of success and failure in constructive ways
  • exercise self-discipline and take responsibility for their own actions and decisions
  • take responsibility for their own health, physical activity, and safety, using appropriate skills to protect their bodies from harm and abuse.

Communication Skills

Students can develop the skills to communicate beliefs, ideas, understanding, options, choices, consequences, decisions, and solutions in a range of contexts, using oral, written, and visual language skills, when they have opportunities to:

  • express their needs and feelings clearly and confidently
  • respond sensitively to the needs and feelings of other people
  • listen
  • assert themselves
  • advocate
  • mediate and negotiate
  • demonstrate skills of discrimination and critical analysis, particularly in relation to information provided by the media
  • present a case clearly, logically, and convincingly
  • use up-to-date information and communication technologies.

Problem-solving Skills

Students can develop problem-solving skills in contexts that are directly relevant to their lives through learning experiences that provide opportunities to:

  • think critically, creatively, reflectively, and logically
  • exercise imagination, initiative, and flexibility
  • identify, describe, and redefine problems and analyse them from a variety of perspectives
  • make connections and establish relationships
  • enquire, research, and explore options and consequences
  • make informed choices
  • implement decisions
  • evaluate processes, decisions, actions, and outcomes.

Social and Co-operative Skills

An essential component of this curriculum is the provision of learning experiences through which students can develop and practise the social and co-operative skills they need to enhance their relationships with other people in a wide range of social and working contexts. Opportunities should be provided for students to:

  • demonstrate effective relationships with other people and work in co-operative ways to achieve common goals
  • accept various roles and take responsibility, as a member of a group, for jointly decided actions and decisions
  • participate appropriately in a range of social, cultural, and physical settings
  • demonstrate the principles of fair play in situations where people are involved in physical activities
  • exercise leadership skills
  • recognise, analyse, and respond appropriately to discriminatory practices and behaviours
  • acknowledge individual differences and demonstrate respect for the rights of all people
  • demonstrate consideration for other people and show such qualities as integrity, reliability, trustworthiness, aroha, fairness, diligence, tolerance, and manaakitanga
  • demonstrate a sense of responsibility for the well-being of other people and for the environment
  • participate effectively as responsible citizens in a democratic society
  • use negotiation and conflict resolution skills to find positive solutions or to help a group reach consensus.

Information Skills, Numeracy Skills, and Work and Study Skills

As students develop knowledge and understanding in health education and physical education, the importance of information skills, work and study skills, and numeracy skills increases. Students will be required to collect, retrieve, process, and interpret data and to use appropriate technologies to present it. Health education and physical education encourage students to develop sound working habits, to work independently as well as in groups, and to take increasing responsibility for their own learning.


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