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Planning and Assessment

When planning programmes, teachers should consider:

  • the learning needs of their students
  • the achievement objectives and associated examples for the strands
  • the key areas of learning
  • relevant attitudes and values
  • the essential skills.

When planning for this curriculum area over a year, teachers should include achievement objectives from all four strands in their class programmes. At secondary level, this may involve collaborative long-term planning between teachers of health education, physical education, and home economics. At all levels, teachers should consider school policies and legislative requirements.

Teachers are encouraged to include achievement objectives from different strands within a particular learning context. However, objectives should not be combined artificially simply for ease of coverage and assessment. There may be times when it is appropriate for the main learning focus to be on achievement objectives from one particular strand. The students' learning needs will suggest the relative emphasis for each strand in any given context.

Assessment is an integral and ongoing part of an effective learning programme. In this essential learning area, the most valid assessment information will be obtained from actual learning experiences. Students should not be assessed on the values they hold. However, it is both useful and valid to assess the development of health-enhancing attitudes. When evaluating the programme, in particular, the development of students' attitudes will be an important factor to consider.

Teachers will usually need to develop specific learning outcomes from the achievement objectives. A specific learning outcome is the expected learning that occurs as a result of a particular learning activity. Such learning generally relates to one or more aspects of an achievement objective and to one or more of the key areas of learning. For example, to meet the first objective at level 1 for strand B, "Students will develop a wide range of movement skills", one appropriate learning outcome for an aquatics activity might be "The students will submerge their bodies completely and exhale under the water".

It will take a period of time for students to meet the achievement objectives in full. And for some achievement objectives, such as "develop movement skills and demonstrate confidence in challenging situations", information about students in a range of contexts will need to be collected to ensure a valid assessment.

When planning for assessment, teachers should ensure that the procedures they use enable them to assess and report on both individual student progress and overall student achievement.