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Planning collaboratively for teaching and learning in Mental Health, Food and Nutrition, and Sport Studies.


The whole school community should be involved in developing policies and practices that support learning in this curriculum. Healthy school communities are those in which a commitment to hauora is consistently reinforced in the classroom, in the whole-school environment, and in positive relationships with parents and caregivers.


Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum, page 53

When planning programmes where students will be involved in learning experiences that enable them to make connections with other people, schools will need to schedule opportunities for all teachers involved to work collaboratively so that they can:

  • reinforce and add meaning to students' learning by making links between their programmes and taking a holistic approach to their teaching in this curriculum;
  • make use of their individual and combined strengths, and include a greater variety of ideas, in order to offer students a broader range of contexts for learning;
  • get clear information about their students' previous learning and plan for continuity of learning.

Before deciding on contexts and learning experiences that meet the health and physical education needs of their students, teachers will consider the physical, mental and emotional, and social developmental needs of their students. The needs of students can be identified in a range of ways. For example, teachers can:

  • observe the students behaviour, both in and out of the classroom;
  • assess the students, formally or informally, to determine their current knowledge, skills, and attitudes and then note any needs revealed by the assessment information;
  • discuss issues with the students;
  • confer with parents or caregivers about the needs of their young people;
  • talk with the students' previous teachers and read the information they have provided about the students' learning achievements;
  • consider achievement objectives at the levels that students appear to be working within and plan diagnostic assessment tasks to confirm that these levels are appropriate for the students;
  • review their own teaching practices and reflect on the effectiveness of their programmes (including their teaching and learning approaches);
  • keep in touch about local community issues and wider health issues (for example, about the level of community support for sport practice and administration or the use of drugs among local young people).

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 the nutritional needs of adolescents and relate these needs to their own well-being. This learning outcome can be linked to level 5, strand A, achievement objective 1 and is therefore identified as related to achievement objective 5A1 (students will describe physical, social, emotional, and intellectual processes of growth and relate these to features of adolescent development and effective self-management strategies).

Possible learning outcomes and their links to the curriculum are listed on pages 12-13 for Becoming Resilient, pages 30-31 for Making Connections, and pages 46-47 for Making Choices. To help students achieve the learning outcome described above, teachers of Food and Nutrition could refer to the learning experience Eating for Living on page 19. They could assess whether students have achieved the learning outcome when the students create a flyer that sets out a process for students to follow when addressing a personal nutrition goal.

Helping students to learn

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 influencing achievement 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. Students can be given feedback on their achievement of learning outcomes in the context of each of the three key areas of learning for which learning experiences are suggested in this resource.

Effective teachers 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 achieve better results. Innovation is also 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.

Note for teachers of Sport Studies

It is intended that students will be learning the skills to play particular sports in conjunction with the Sport Studies activities suggested in this resource.