Quality physical education builds confident, happy and physically active kids. Children and young people who participate in quality physical education develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to be active for life.
Integral to health and physical education is the acquisition of movement skills, concepts and strategies to enable students to confidently, competently and creatively participate in a range of physical activities. This is particularly critical in primary school, where establishing fundamental movement skills and self-confidence can set children and young people on a positive physical activity trajectory.
What makes quality physical education
Quality physical education involves:
Strategies and approaches
These strategies and resources provide suggestions for how schools can support the delivery of quality physical education.
Policy and leadership
Teaching and learning
- Develop a physical education program that is aligned with the Victorian Curriculum and underpinned by a strengths-based approach
high impact teaching strategies to strengthen instruction and increase student learning
- Foster a sense of inclusion in physical education by promoting and valuing all abilities, backgrounds and orientations
- Ensure that all students spend at least half of all physical education lessons engaged in 'huff and puff',
moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA). This may be done via small group activities, having one piece of equipment per student or pair where possible, avoiding the use of elimination games or activities where students must wait for a turn in lines, or by using small-sided rather than whole-class games
- Include a wide range of physical activities in your physical education program to cater for different interests, engage students in new skills and develop breadth in knowledge
- Assess student performance and providing regular feedback during class time
- Encourage and supporting ongoing professional development for teachers delivering physical education.
There are many resources available from respected organisations which support schools to implement a quality PE program:
- The Department of Education and Training has made available:
- The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) have free resources available to support
whole-school curriculum planning, and&
ACHPER Victoria is the peak subject association for health and physical education in Victoria. They provide numerous professional development opportunities and resources for teachers and students, as well as provide support to the physical education community.
Peak Phys Ed has made available a wide range of quality resources to be shared among teachers
SPARK Sample Lesson Plans are based on a US program and include a collection of free lesson plans that may be adaptable to the Victorian Curriculum
Peak PhysEd, and
PE Made Easy provide a range of online and face to face formal professional learning opportunities for school staff.
Some great books, guides, and reports are available for teachers wishing to learn more, including:
Yulunga Traditional Indigenous Games (Sport Australia), an educational resource and guide for primary and secondary schools to learn and experience aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures through delivering inclusive, structured sport within communities
Playing for Life, a Sport Australia resource which provides fun and active games to develop children's skills, confidence and lifelong interest in physical activity
- The final report of the UNESCO 2014 worldwide survey of school Physical Education results which includes 'best practice' examples
Game sense (Breed & Spittle, 2011), which demonstrates an instructional approach that emphasises the development of tactics and decision making to develop technical skills
Teaching Quality Health & Physical Education (Dudley, Telford, Peralta, Stonehouse, Winslade, 2020) which introduces the general principles of teaching and learning in Health and Physical Education (HPE)
Play With Purpose (Pill, 2016) provides a compilation of ideas and activities with a game-centred approach to Physical Education games and sport teaching.
- Develop partnerships with community-based sports organisations, clubs or state sporting associations to:
- link students to opportunities outside of school hours
- access their expertise in relevant sports or activities
- seek support with catering to students with special needs
- Communicate with parents about what is happening in school physical education via a bulletin board, blog or newsletter.
- A list of State Sporting Associations is available. Many associations provide support to teachers with students of all abilities
- Bicycle Network's Ride2School program works with schools and councils to run bicycle education and active travel programs.
- Prioritise the use of gyms, ovals, courts etc. for physical education classes and limit disruptions unless necessary (e.g. for exams, school productions, school health visits)
- Provide appropriate, accessible, and clean changing facilities, or consider allowing students to wear a uniform that supports physical activity for the entire school day
- Ensure that equipment is well stored and maintained and developmentally appropriate (e.g. lots of modified equipment)
- Make the physical education learning space welcoming and engaging for all abilities (e.g. through signage, informative posters etc.).