Health & Physical Education

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:

  • Hauora1 – 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.

  • 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.

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

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

Why study health and physical education?

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 as supported by school policies and procedures and by the actions of all people in the school community.

The Structure of Health and Physical Education

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.



  1. In health and physical education, the use of the word Hauora is based on Mason Durie’s Te Whare Tapa Whā model (Durie, 1994). Hauora and well-being, though not synonyms, share much common ground. Taha wairua relates to spiritual well-being; taha hinengaro to mental and emotional well-being; taha tinana to physical well-being; and taha whānau to social well-being.


At Pukekohe East School our children are encouraged to participate in a wide range of physical activities on a regular basis.  Our programmes are based on the students’ current skill level and identified needs.  By learning in, through, and about movement, students gain understanding of the role and significance of physical activities in our lives.  They are educated in ways that improve their physical well-being and effectiveness during physical activity.


The health of our school community is important to staff, children, their families, and the wider community.  Therefore, we believe strongly in developing the students’ sense of self-worth and personal identity, along with the skills that will enable them to take responsibility for their own actions, and engage in positive relationships.


Planning and Organisation for Health and Physical Education

  • All four strands are to be covered on a yearly basis, taught and learnt through a context that best fits the intended learning.  
  • Links to the current inquiry topic should be apparent.
  • Where needed, physical education sessions should be taught in conjunction with the up and coming inter-school events on the school calendar.
  • Physical activity sessions need to be done in some form on a daily basis.  This includes fitness sessions that include the full involvement of all.
  • Teacher planning is to reflect the links between the achievement objectives, learning outcomes, success criteria, learning experiences, and assessment opportunities.
  • The following key areas of learning should be accounted for in planning: Mental Health, Sexuality Education, Food and Nutrition, Body Care and Physical Safety, Physical Activity, Sports Studies, and Outdoor Education.
  • Pukekohe East School will consult with their community when developing Health and Sexuality Education programmes.
  • The lead teacher of any Education Outside the Classroom programme (ETOC), including school camps, in conjunction with the school principal and Board of Trustees (BOT), is responsible for ensuring that safe practices are followed and legal requirements are fulfilled.

The Pukekohe East School Health and Physical Education Curriculum is based on the Mãori philosophy of well-being (Hauora). 

This comprises of the following four dimensions:

  • Taha tinana – Physical well-being
  • Taha hinengaro – Mental and emotional well-being
  • Taha whanau – Social well-being
  • Taha wairua – Spiritual well-being

We believe that all four are inextricably intertwined and need to be addressed in order to ensure the total well-being of our students.  The coverage of our Health and Physical Education coverage can be reflected in Dr Mason Durie’s Whare Tapa Wha model.

 Te taha tinana refers to the physical body, its growth, development, and ability to move, and ways of caring for it.

Keeping Ourselves Safe programme      Healthy Choices        Pubertal Change, Body Image & Media impact

Growth and development        Coping with change          Personal hygiene 


Te taha hinengaro refers to psychological health, with a focus on emotions. It encourages coherent thinking processes, acknowledging and expressing thoughts and feelings and responding constructively.

Kia Kaha

Conflict resolution skills      Anti-bullying      Giving and receiving feedback      

Friendship skills Coping with change/challenges      Goal setting for future

Transition Life skills      Peer coaching/fair play

Roles and responsibilities of a team      Team talk/teamwork

Te Taha whanau refers to our social well-being and is the most fundamental unit in Mãori society.  It encompasses family relationships, friendships, and other interpersonal relationships; feelings of belonging, compassion, and caring; and social support.

Friendship skills Leadership programme         Roles and responsibilities of a team

 Matariki Fire wise

Road Safety Traditional           Maori Games Games from different cultures

Contributing to society             Hosting others             Community involvement

Civil Defence: Make a Plan Stan

Pulling together as a community when disaster strikes (earthquake, flood etc)

Te taha wairua refers to spiritual awareness. Wairua explores the values and beliefs that determine the way people live, the search for meaning and purpose in life, and personal identity and self-awareness.  Wairua also explores relationships with the environment, people and their heritage. 

Community resources Caring for our community Enviro-School               Health-promoting Schools programme

Identifying issues – litter, pollution, recycling, water usage etc

Learning through playing games- children love to play games. Through playing games, they have an important means to express, explore and discover many aspects of life relative to themselves and others. Playing games can be a means of physically developing fundamental movement skills and, at the same time, of enabling children to learn about cooperation, competition, communication, relationships, equity and the meaning of success. Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) is one child-centred approach through which children learn about the game and develop skills within the context of a game rather than separate from it. Learning in context builds a sound understanding of the game and provides better opportunities to apply skills and make decisions about it. When assisting children to learn in the context of games, our role is to make decisions on how to adapt the game to suit the needs of the child or group. We ask questions so that children can learn about a particular aspect of their performance.