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Planning considerations

Teachers could begin planning by gathering a range of information about the aquatic learning needs of students and by considering whether any of the possible learning outcomes might meet these learning needs. After discussing appropriate learning outcomes with students, teachers could refer to the related learning experiences and choose activities, from here or elsewhere, that are most likely to help students achieve their next learning steps. For example, to help students achieve the learning outcome “confidently return to an upright position from floating”, a teacher might refer to the Buoyancy learning experience. From this learning experience, the teacher might select activities that focus specifically on floating.


During or soon after activities, provide students with feedback that sets the direction for future learning. This feedback might include:

  • recognising students’ efforts by acknowledging their commitment, perseverance, and ability to complete tasks
  • reinforcing teaching points by using phrases like “I heard ...” or “I saw ...”
  • helping students to link their learning with other aspects of their lives
  • encouraging students to reflect on their learning by asking them, for example, how they feel about their work and what they might do differently next time
  • providing students with information about their achievements to identify what aspects they might need to develop further and to set new personal or group goals.

Sequential Progression

  • Develop flotation and mobility together.
  • Teach stroke techniques simultaneously with survival skills.

Learning Environments

  • Select aquatic environments with great care, gradually introducing students to more challenging environments.
  • If using an open water environment, refer to the school safety and risk management policies and procedures.

Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes signal the learning that is expected to occur as a result of particular learning activities. They are set after considering student learning needs. (See The Needs of Learners here in Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum (1999).) In this book, they are linked to achievement objectives as follows.

A learning need is identified. For example, your students may need to use limb movements to assist and maintain a floating position. This learning outcome can be linked to level 2,strand B, achievement objective 1 and is therefore identified as related to achievement objective 2B1 (students will practise movement skills and demonstrate the ability to link them in order to perform movement sequences).

Possible learning outcomes and their links to the curriculum are listed here. Over time, students should have the opportunity to achieve all the objectives identified in the curriculum.