In a school breaking silos, connecting and personalising learning, where is the PE?


In a school breaking silos, connecting and personalising learning, where is the Physical Education? This is probably a question my Physical Education and Health colleagues may be asking, as we implement the start of our new curriculum (based on and empowered by the New Zealand Curriculum document). I have written in past posts about aspects of the curriculum here at Hobsonville Point Secondary School. See here…

Many opponents of shifts to personalise learning in schooling would argue that learning that is personalised, connected and integrated tends to favour aspects of the social sciences curriculum. Here at Hobsonville we have developed a curriculum that has none of this type of hierarchy, where all Key areas of learning hold value. One where the knowledge does not drive the curriculum, but the key concepts, skills, fluencies which are transferable across curriculum areas are the focus. These are not only transferable, but allow easily for a variety of contexts to situate and drive the learning. If one were to only see the specialised learning that is a part of our curriculum, you would not see the true coverage of learning here at Hobsonville Point Secondary School. The learning is integrated across three areas.

Hubs, projects SLM

Therefore if one was to place a Physical Education and Health lens on, you would be able to see learning derived from all three areas and beyond the four walls of the Modern Learning Environment. See here…





In hub time, across the whole school, we have one coach for a small group of learners. A coach that allows for cohesive pathways, the guide on the side, the warm and demanding mentor for learners. Coaching and supporting them to co-construct their learning, profiling, goal setting, conferencing and more. Building relationships and whanaungatanga along the way, with learners, staff and whānau along the way. Currently these coaches have been delivering aspects of the New Zealand Curriculum in a slightly different but more meaningful way.
Those who know the Health and Physical Education aspects of the curriculum document would recognise aspects such as (in bold)…

What is health and physical education about?

In health and physical education, the focus is on the well-being of the students themselves, of other people, and of society through learning in health-related and movement contexts.

Four underlying and interdependent concepts are at the heart of this learning area:

Hauora: – a Māori philosophy of well-being that includes the dimensions taha wairua, taha hinengaro, taha tinana, and taha whānau, each one influencing and supporting the others. (Explicit in our HPSS learner profile) see here…

Learning hub model

The “my being” aspect of the model includes Hauora and quadrants of preferences of thinking and metacognition.

Attitudes and values – a positive, responsible attitude on the part of students to their own well-being; respect, care, and concern for other people and the environment; and a sense of social justice. (Exemplified in our values and our Habits -our dispositional curriculum). These habits are not token, rather they are a strong part of our curriculum, our learners and our own, critical reflection. These habits draw on attitudes and values and have been developed to support the schools vision. They bring the “personal” to Personal and Academic Excellence.

Hobsonville habits

The socio-ecological perspective – a way of viewing and understanding the interrelationships that exist between the individual, others, and society.

Explicit in the “our communities” aspect of our model. This aspect will also be an on-going part of the learners critical reflection on their learning.


Health promotion – a process that helps to develop and maintain supportive physical and emotional environments and that involves students in personal and collective action.

Taking action and making a difference is also being embedded across the school and is none the more obvious as in our schools big projects, that occur in an ongoing manner and consider a model that aligns to the Action competence process applied in our curriculum area. The model has been personalised for our school and our learners.
The Health and Physical Education Curriculum asks “Why study in this learning area?”
Through learning and by accepting challenges in health-related and movement contexts, students reflect on the nature of well-being and how to promote it. As they develop resilience and a sense of personal and social responsibility, they are increasingly able to take responsibility for themselves and contribute to the well-being of those around them, of their communities, of their environments (including natural environments), and of the wider society.
This learning area makes a significant contribution to the well-being of students beyond the classroom, particularly when it is supported by school policies and procedures and by the actions of all people in the school community.
This aligns to all aspects of our school, vision and values and is being strongly enacted through the three components of the curriculum (Hubs, Big Projects and Specialised Learning Modules). In addition students can bring evidence beyond the four walls of the school, through learning in their own interests and passions.

How is the learning area structured?
The learning activities in health and physical education arise from the integration of the four concepts above, the following four strands and their achievement objectives, and seven key areas of learning.
The four strands are:

Personal health and physical development, in which students develop the knowledge, understandings, skills, and attitudes that they need in order to maintain and enhance their personal well-being and physical development.

Movement concepts and motor skills, in which students develop motor skills, knowledge and understandings about movement, and positive attitudes towards physical activity.

Relationships with other people, in which students develop understandings, skills, and attitudes that enhance their interactions and relationships with others.

Healthy communities and environments, in which students contribute to healthy communities and environments by taking responsible and critical action.

All four strands are being applied in a meaningful way across our school, see my last post on the sense of community that places (up front) all four strands of the Physical Education and Health Curriculum… The strands are in action alongside many other Key Learning Areas on an awesome day at school. In addition to these aspects being built, with learning coaches, in projects there is also the SLM, (Specialised Learning Modules).
Steve does an in-depth breakdown of this learning here…
The Big Concept for term one is identity, from here I am teaching in the following Modules alongside deep involvement in hubs and big projects mentioned previously.

Museum of Mihi
In this module we will explore your identity through the artefacts and interests that represent you. We will look at how different people choose to represent themselves with different objects. You will then decide how to share your museum of yourself.
There will be multiple contexts and pathways in this module and an exploration of the physical will occur.

Physical Activity Sport and Society
You will take part in a variety of sports and physical activities. Through participating in these you will explore influences on identity for you, others and society.
Aspects included…

Games and Sports (AR)
Exploration of minor and major games and sports, where being active is explored in a fun way.
(AR stands for active recreation- AR’s are SPIN’s being run across the school and across the staff (see more details in Steve’s post above). In “My time another part of our learners week, students also opt into areas of interest or support, so far there has been a definite interest in the student cohort, for aspects of the “physical”.
There is also other modules with Physical Education type contexts, however the contexts all arise from perspectives on the Big Concept Each term, this term this is “identity”. Watch this space for where we go with “Space and Place” next term…..

This has not been written as a justification of where Physical Education is within our school curriculum, more as an example of carefully considered, cohesive, personalised learning, where learners are able to see the connections across the school, across contexts, learning areas and beyond… I believe as a school that we are enacting the NZC in all aspects (including Physical Education) as it should be… with the learner truly at the centre.


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