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Wainoni School

Students are learning a range of skills, both sporting and cooperative.


Aim/Focus: Co-curricular/Environment

  •  To improve student behaviour through a Physical Activity Leader (PAL) programme and lunchtime sports programme run by a teacher’s aide.


 Full primary; School roll – 143

 Lunchtimes were often full of negative incidents, which teachers spent time dealing with/sorting out after lunch. Students were unable to maintain any sports or games at lunchtime independently, and had low motivation to do anything physical during break times.

Process undertaken


Action 1: PALs

Early in the year, the Active Schools Facilitator (ASF) came in and discussed the PAL programme with years 6–8. Soon after, we selected a group of students to train up as PALs.

The ASF began weekly training sessions over a series of weeks. A number of students dropped out of the programme, but a core group was established. Rosters and activities were then worked out.

PALs began under supervision of the Lead Teacher. Leaders were changed or replaced as needed. Regular encouragement and praise was given to groups and students who were utilising the PALs appropriately.

The ASF returned in term 2 to hand out certificates and/or beanies to PALs. At the end of term, PALs were treated to a special lunch to recognise and reward their efforts. Efforts were also recognised in school newsletters, community time (assembly), and in daily notices.

Action 2: Whaea Beth’s Sports Programme

Because of the problems that were happening over the lunchtime period, a strategy that was looked at was employing a teacher’s aide to run a lunchtime sport programme.

One of our teacher aides was employed to carry out this job. Whaea Beth has played representative level sport for rugby, rugby league, and touch. A range of activities are offered to the students based around these sports. The students respect and listen to her and any problems are dealt with immediately. Incidents are getting fewer and fewer.

Whaea Beth sorts out the gear and games before lunch and there is usually a group waiting for her to arrive. The size of the group changes all the time, but there is usually a core group of around 20. Some days, nearly half the school will be there. On wet days, the group plays in the hall, usually Jump Jam or Sponge Ball.


  •  Training of PALs – Active Schools Facilitator
  •  Lead Teacher.

Lessons learned

  •  Ongoing organisation and maintenance programme – to be led by Lead Teacher
  •  Daily running of PALs – daily roster of PALs
  •  Lunchtime sport programme – Whaea Beth
  •  Gear shed – student-run, overseen by Principal.


  •  Students collect gear daily from school gear pool
  •  Lunchtime sports – gear assembled daily by teacher aide
  •  Gear shed restocked each term.


  •  Fewer negative lunchtime incidents
  •  Students more motivated to be physically active at lunchtimes
  •  More opportunities/choices available during break times
  •  Students striving to be leaders within the school
  •  Range of students involved in PALs, from years 6–8, so programme can be carried over from year to year
  •  Students are learning a range of skills, both sporting and cooperative
  •  Building relationships among different groups
  •  Spin-offs into other areas of the school include school rugby team gaining regular practices, chances to practise teamwork, and displaying good sportsmanship; and PALs being used in other areas of responsibility, like classroom monitors on wet days.

Success factors

Soon after the programme started, we realised we had a problem with PALs competing with the lunchtime programme that catered for similar activities. This meant the number of students participating in the PAL programme was low and the PALs were becoming discouraged. We managed this by getting PALs to move away from their set activity rosters and come up with their own activities, different from the teacher aide-led activities. This meant students had more choice of activities, and the PAL programme numbers increased.

At the beginning of term 3, we are trialling PALs doing a set activity every day for the whole week. We began with netball as there is a staff versus student netball game set up for week 5, so this is an opportunity to inspire and up-skill students.