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Implementation strategies

The following includes issues and concerns with suggested strategies that have been collected from teachers in contract schools in the Greater Wellington region. 

How should we refer to this curriculum area to ensure that others are aware that it embodies three separate subjects and that each of these is essential for implementation?    

  • Use either the correct title Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum (1999) or
  • Call it health education, physical education, and aspects of home economics.
  • Say that there is a shared philosophy and shared achievement objectives but each subject retains its integrity. Each has a different body of knowledge.
  • Take every opportunity to correct any misinformation.

Curriculum committee not listening    

  • Present timeline from Ministry and your GAP analysis to principal, BOT, curriculum committee, staff, and student council.
  • Ask advisers/facilitators to help a presentation to the committee.

Lack of status

  • Check the school's motto or mission statement – this often has reference to whole student education, learning to potential etc. This curriculum can play a big part in supporting this.
  • Raise awareness of this curriculum.
  • Be prepared to answer questions.
  • Use ERO report Students at Risk - Barriers to Learning, Winter, 1997.
  • Enlist support of BOT member and community agencies e.g. advisers and Public Health Nurse.

Raising staff awareness

  • Arrange a staff health-awareness week with help from community agencies. Once staff start discussing their own needs they may be more aware of those of students.

Raising student awareness    

  • Use health promotion approaches to enhance student participation in addressing issues.
  • Discuss with students plans for their programme for this curriculum.
  • Explain the expected learning outcomes for each lesson in student terms.
  • Use noticeboards and posters/pamphlet displays in library.
  • Advertise times when health care assistance is available in your school.

Raising parent/caregiver awareness and consultation

  • Refer to ideas in either Sexuality Education: A Guide for Principals and Boards of Trustees (pdf format) or Drug Education – A Guide for Principals and Boards of Trustees that can be obtained from Learning Media.
  • Set up learning activities that involve transfer of learning to the home.

Lack of resources

  • Write a report of current situation and proposed requirements for BOT finance committee. Be specific as to requirements. Offer to present report in person.
  • Suggest a presentation of new curriculum to BOT. Use interactive activities.
  • Use network of schools and share more expensive items

Time on timetable    

  • Ensure that senior management and BOT fully understand the curriculum.
  • Plan for change over time.
  • Aim for 4 periods per week in secondary schools. This would include home economics. If this is not possible, block time using semesters or modules.

Collaboration or integration?    

  • Teachers of the three subjects need to collaboration to ensure most appropriate coverage.
  • Integrate AOs from different strands into units of learning.
  • Make links between the subjects transparent.
  • When there is integration, ensure that there is a balance of focus between subjects and curricula.

Staffing issues

Negativity towards change, or concerns about the curriculum by some staff

  • Obtain commitment of support from principal and board of trustees.
  • Enlist support from other staff, guidance staff, BOT, RTLBs, SES. Teachers may need to approach these people personally before introducing curriculum to others. Suggest they help with establishing change.
  • Ask a contract facilitator or adviser to take part in a staff meeting or to work with individual teachers.
  • Remind schools of legal requirements as in NAGS.

Teacher skills

  • Advocate for teachers specifically trained in health education, physical education, and home economics.
  • The BOT is responsible for ensuring that teachers are able to deliver the curriculum. They do this through the appointments or professional development processes.
  • Use networks to identify suitable teachers in your area.
  • In secondary schools, timetable health education, physical education, and home economics to make best use of those with the expertise in these areas.


School-wide planning

  • Implement gradually and deliberately.
  • Develop your own level plan first then work through other levels with teacher/s using your plan as a guide.

Long term plan to incorporate all aspects of Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum (1999).

  • Professional development. Use opportunities to attend workshops in areas with which you are unfamiliar.
  • Ask local resource teacher/s to hold a network meeting on a particular issue.

Coverage of AOs

  • Have each teacher complete the tracking sheet after each unit of learning so that the year's coverage can be seen and gaps identified.

Coverage of key areas of learning over two years

  • Complete a GAP analysis with staff.
  • Hold meetings with syndicates to identify needs of students and parameters for long term plans.

Coverage of key areas of learning – how to prioritise   

  • Consult parents/caregivers, all staff and students and relevant community agencies.
  • Use collaborative approach to develop coverage plan to maximise links and to minimise overlap.

Underlying concepts – it is sometimes hard to tie them in with the AOs.    

  • Use examples in Curriculum in Action booklets.
  • Link key words from the underlying concepts to AOs.

Being specific with learning outcomes

  • "The learning outcome signals the learning that is expected to occur as a result of particular learning activities" (Curriculum in Action p. 8).
  • Develop them from the needs of students.
  • Use the verbs in the achievement objectives as indicators of the approach you will take. These verbs are related to developmental stages.
  • The more specific the learning outcome the easier the assessment.

Time for unit planning

  • Try for one in-service day per term.
  • Work over a shared tea.
  • Work with advisers to clarify an effective process.

Appropriate planning sheets to cover all detail needed.

  • Develop own or click here (Word file) for examples of models.

Learning activities

  • What the students actually do is the important part of this curriculum. Activities need to reflect underlying concepts, develop critical thinking skills,and clearly link to AOs.


  • Incorporate it into teaching when possible. Time is limited enough without taking a separate lesson specifically for assessment.
  • Look for focus AOs and assess those. You will need to offer opportunities for students to meet all AOs however.
  • Develop a school-wide programme.

School-wide issues

People not familiar with Māori terminology as used in the curriculum.

  • Find knowledgeable people from school, advisory services, and/or community to assist with this.

Abusive behaviours in school

  • Develop school culture that focuses on enhancing self worth and respect for others.
  • Implement Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum in the classroom. This encourages development of a sense of self worth.
  • Implement peer mediation programmes, beginning in the classroom.
  • Encourage cooperative learning strategies in all classrooms.
  • Use positive intervention and guidance when needed – not just punishment.
  • Develop philosophy for playground behaviour to guide students and staff.
  • Be sure physical education units of learning incorporate more than strand B.

Parents/caregivers with strong religious concerns have difficulty with document

  • Use supportive member of BOT to assist.
  • Lend them a copy of the curriculum then meet with them later to discus issues.

Catering for children with special needs

  • Check the curriculum p.51.
  • Refer to KiwiAble resources.
  • Take advantage of professional development opportunities.
  • Seek in-class support for specific students.

Multi-level classes

  • Assess individual needs.
  • Use grouping strategies.
  • Group across school.
  • Acknowledge progress.
  • Suggest workshop for multi-level teaching to local resource teachers.

Health Education

Lack of appropriate room for health education  

  • Run a workshop with staff and demonstrate the strategies used. Then talk of specific needs – own space with carpet and flexible furniture – a "health" room.

Achieving a shared understanding of sexuality education and drug education with parents/caregivers.    

  • Work with school staff first to ensure they are comfortable and confident.
  • Use imaginative strategies to attract interest for a parent/caregiver evening.
  • Define the terms sex and sexuality – use information in the curriculum and in Sexuality Education: A Guide for Principals and Boards of Trustees.
  • Describe the issues relating to drug education – use information in Drug Education – A Guide for Principals and Boards of Trustees that can be obtained from Learning Media.
  • Clarify the suggested learning as outlined in the achievement objectives and in the above resources.
  • Invite health education advisers and relevant community agencies to help you.

Home Economics

Home economics – How do we teach this?

  • Years 1 to 6 – through health education units of learning.
  • Years 7 and 8 – units of learning in food and nutrition are needed as well as those in food technology. Teachers with expertise in home economics may link with classroom teachers to provide such programmes to ensure appropriate coverage.
  • Secondary – there is a specific body of knowledge required. Use home economics teachers.

Students go to another school for home economics (usually food and nutrition or food technology)

  • Collaboratively plan and /or discuss units of learning with the teacher so you know the coverage of AOs

How can students select healthy foods when parents/caregivers provide the food?

  • Have shared healthy lunches at school involving parent/caregiver education.
  • Provide a selection of healthy foods for school lunches.
  • Ensure that school policy complements what is taught in the classroom.
  • Empower students to make changes over which they have control, e.g., drinking water rather than carbonated drinks.

Lack of appropriate space for food preparation  

  • Refer to food preparation section of the Ministry of Education resource Safety and Technology Education: A Guidance Manual for New Zealand Schools. This book can be ordered from Learning Media.

Physical Education

Lack of appropriate space and resources for physical activity – in all weather conditions    

  •  Write a report of current situation and proposed requirements for BOT finance committee. Be specific as to requirements. Offer to present report in person.

Lack of understanding within the school of what physical education is and how it can contribute to the whole school.

  • Invite physical education advisers from school support services to help you.

Schools teach a sports curriculum rather than a physical education curriculum.

  • Plan interactive staffroom discussion in difference between sport and physical education.
  • Planning shows understanding of the difference between physical education and sport.

Planning around national assessments, sports events, and/or sport seasons rather than plannning from the curriculum and student needs.    

  • Carry out a needs analysis and plan using the curriculum statement starting wth an open year planner and question the timing for any particular unit.

Outdoor Education

Lack of appropriate venues for outdoor education activities and cost of travelling to venues.    

  • Consider venues close to the school or within the school grounds in the first instance.

Accessing suitable supervision for outdoor education activities

  • Follow through a process of safety management to ascertain the necessary skills and quantity of superviders.
  • Contact representative from EONZ, Outdoors New Zealand, or Schools Support Services for reputable/approved providers.

Concern about meeting compliance requirements for students safety

  • Read through legislation implication for outdoor educators and planning suggestions from the EOTC kete on Te Kete Ipurangi or the Outdoors New Zealand – Safe as Outside website