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EDPH500 Health and Physical Education Curriculum AND EDHP500 Health and Physical Education Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment (F-6)

Unit rationale, description and aim

In an increasingly complex, sedentary and rapidly changing world, it is critical that pre-service teachers learn how to teach children to not only be able to cope with life’s challenges but also to flourish as healthy, safe and active citizens in the 21st century. To effectively teach Health and Physical Education, pre-service teachers must have an understanding of development and movement, as well as knowledge of factors that influence health, safety, wellbeing and participation in physical activity.

In this unit, pre-service teachers will acquire knowledge, skills and understanding of national and relevant state curricula and policy necessary to teach health and physical education. Pre-service teachers will develop communication, planning and problem-solving skills relevant to this curriculum area as they learn about the importance and examine issues of health, wellbeing, development, and movement education in primary school and early years settings, including transition to school, family and community. Pre-service teachers will engage in both practical and theoretical workshops to learn both about and through movement, along with participating in face-to-face lectures, independent reading and engagement with online materials.

This is an introductory level unit that provides the relevant knowledge, skills and understanding needed for pre-service teachers to be able to promote wellbeing and teach Health and Physical Education in the primary school and early years contexts. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Identify knowledge of the physical, social and intellectual development characteristics and nutrition curriculum of children from birth to 12 years and explain how these may affect learning in Health and Physical Education (GA5, GA8, GA9; APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.5, 3.1; ACECQA A1, A3, A8)

LO2 - Explain content of the current curriculum, learning frameworks, guidelines and policies relevant to Wellbeing, Health and Physical Education and Child Protection legislation in school and early learning settings (GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 2.1, 4.4, 7.2; ACECQA A4, B1, E2, E3)

LO3 - Organise Health and Physical Education content into effective learning sequences, lesson plans and programs which integrate literacy and numeracy, and ethically apply ICT teaching and assessment strategies (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9; APST 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 2.6, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 4.1, 4.2, 4.5, 5.1; ACECQA B1, B2, B8, B9)

LO4 - Apply knowledge of strategies to develop appropriate pedagogies for differentiating teaching in Health and Physical Education to meet the specific learning needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural (explicitly including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander), religious and socioeconomic backgrounds, and students with disabilities (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 2.1, 2.3, 2.6, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, 5.1; ACECQA A6, A7, B9, C2, C4, C5, C6, D2, D3, D4, D5)  

LO5 - Incorporate a range of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to guide behaviour and support positive learner engagement, including applying understanding of strategies for addressing sensitive issues, and administrative principles and safety procedures in relation to Health, Wellbeing and Physical Education (GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 3.5, 4.1, 4.2, 4.4; ACECQA A4, C1, C3, C4)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - Demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - Demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - Locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - Demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

1.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students and how these may affect learning.

1.2 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.

1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.

1.4 Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of the impact of culture, cultural identity and linguistic background on the education of students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

1.5 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities. 

1.6 Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of legislative requirements and teaching strategies that support participation and learning of students with disability.

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.

2.2 Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.

2.3 Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.

2.5 Know and understand literacy and numeracy teaching strategies and their application in teaching areas.

2.6 Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.

3.1 Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.

3.2 Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies.

3.4 Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.

3.5 Demonstrate a range of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student engagement.

4.1 Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.

4.2 Demonstrate the capacity to organise classroom activities and provide clear directions.

4.4 Describe strategies that support students’ well-being and safety working within school and/or system, curriculum and legislative requirements.

4.5 Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.

5.1 Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.

7.2 Understand the relevant legislative, administrative and organisational policies and processes required for teachers according to school stage.

ACECQA Curriculum Specifications

On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed the following specific knowledge:

A. Child development and care

A1. Learning, development and care

A3. Social and emotional development

A4. Child health, wellbeing and safety

A6. Diversity, difference and inclusivity

A7. Learners with special needs

A8. Transitions and continuity of learning (including transition to school)

B. Education and curriculum studies

B1. Early Years Learning Framework

B2. The Australian curriculum

B8. Physical and health education

B9. Curriculum planning, programming and evaluation

C. Teaching pedagogies

C1. Alternative pedagogies and curriculum approaches

C2. Play based pedagogies

C3. Guiding behaviour / engaging young learners

C4. Teaching methods and strategies

C5. Children with diverse needs and backgrounds

C6. Working with children who speak languages other than, or in addition to, English

D. Family and community contexts

D2. Multicultural education

D3. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives

D4. Socially inclusive practice

D5. Culture, diversity and inclusion

E. History and philosophy of early childhood

E2. Contemporary theories and practice

E3. Ethics and professional practice


Topics will include:

  • Health and Physical Education curriculum development, implementation and assessment including risk management and safety policies and procedures; health promotion and child protection and the involvement of parents/carers in the educative process
  • Exploration of the Health and Physical Education curriculum including content strands and sub-strands and relevant national and state-based curricula documents and early years learning frameworks
  • Exploration of relevant policy and program documents for health and physical education in the early years
  • Exploration of child development (specifically motor skill development) in the early years and primary school contexts
  • Health focus areas will include alcohol and other drugs; food and nutrition; health benefits of physical activity; mental health and wellbeing; relationships and sexuality; healthy choices; and child safety, including sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence and bullying (including cyberbullying)
  • Physical Education focus areas will include active play and minor games; challenge and adventure skills; fundamental movement skills; ball handling skills; games and sports education; lifelong physical activities; and rhythmic and expressive movement such as dance and gymnastics
  • Development of fundamental movement skills and health education in the early years
  • Strategies to manage Health and Physical Education activities in varying learning contexts, with a range of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student engagement
  • Consideration of a range of curriculum perspectives, including literacy, numeracy, ICT, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education, students with special education needs, and behaviour management in outdoor settings, will be applied to the Health and Physical Education components of the Curriculum
  • Exploration of the context of prevention and the implementation of teaching and management practices to reduce risk and enhance protective factors
  • Development and understanding of strategies to engage with parents/carers in order to work effectively, sensitively and confidentially to build strong partnerships
  • Legislation and policy in the area of child protection and duty of care is addressed within the context of prevention and the pre-service teachers are prepared as mandatory reporters of students at risk or harm.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Pre-service teachers will undertake a range of teaching and learning strategies, due to the nature and practical demands of the unit. These will include lectures, individual and group work, workshops, and problem-solving, from both a school and university perspective. Practical activities will be a feature of this unit, whereby pre-service teachers will be able to synthesise health and physical education theory and apply their knowledge and skills. The unit is specifically designed to provide reflective learning experiences for students to construct their own understandings of effective pedagogy meeting students’ needs, underpinning the learning required to complete the assessment tasks and meet the learning outcomes of the unit

Technology Enhanced Learning

Technology will be used throughout the unit. Lectures will be recorded and accessible for review via the Learning Management System. Practical workshops and tutorials are not possible to record. 

Face-to-face/Online Learning support

Students enrolled in both face to face and online learning modes are required to regularly log into the Learning Management System to access recorded lectures and important announcements, to communicate with other students and lecturers, and to submit assessments and access feedback and grades. Students who are enrolled in either face to face or online learning will have equal access to support from the lecturer in charge and tutors.

Additional equipment requirements for online learning:

  • Reliable broadband access is recommended.
  • Headset with microphone to listen to podcasts, view videos and interact in synchronous classes.

ACU Online

This unit uses an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of knowledge essential to the discipline. Students are provided with choice and variety in how they learn. Students are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions. Active learning opportunities provide students with opportunities to practice and apply their learning in situations similar to their future professions. Activities encourage students to bring their own examples to demonstrate understanding, application and engage constructively with their peers. Students receive regular and timely feedback on their learning, which includes information on their progress.

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessment in this unit is designed to allow students to demonstrate that they have the required knowledge and understanding of the Health and Physical Education curriculum to plan effective teaching and learning sequences in health and physical education. The assessment also provides the opportunity to measure students’ ability to implement their planning. This is done by demonstration of their pedagogical skills relevant to health and physical education via peer teaching.

Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate the achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, students are required to submit all assessment tasks and achieve a cumulative mark of more than 50%. In addition, assessment in this unit includes a Critical Task: Assessment Task 3 Lesson Plans/Unit of work. This task is core to the demonstration of a number of Australian Professional Teacher Standards. Pre-service teachers must demonstrate mastery of every summative standard listed in the learning outcomes and attain a score of at least 50% in Task 3 in order to pass this unit.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Developmental map and activity resource:

Students will develop a map of developmentally appropriate activities for children aged B-12 years of age, including physical activity resources for each stage of development.


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 2

Teaching Presentation:

Physical Education activity – based on developmental guide.

Students will present one of their developmentally appropriate activities and teach it to their peers.


LO1, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 3

Lesson Plans / Unit of work

Critical Task:

Students will develop a unit of work based on an allocated Health and Wellbeing component of the HPE curriculum. This unit will address:

  • sensitive issues
  • literacy and numeracy demands of and strategies in HPE
  • strategies to ensure safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT
  • assessment
  • behaviour management
  • strategies to support inclusive participation and support the needs of diverse learners in HPE 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA9

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Australian Curriculum

Australian Curriculum – Health and Physical Education

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Relevant State and Territory curriculum documents. 

Recommended references

Dudley, D., Telford, A., Peralta, L., Stonehouse, C., & Winslade, M. (2020). Teaching quality health and physical education (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, VIC: Cengage Learning Australia.

McMaster, N. (2019). Teaching health and physical education in early childhood and the primary years. Australia: Oxford University Press.

Meldrum, K., & Peters, J. (2014). Learning to teach health and physical education: The student, the teacher and the curriculum. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.

Miller, J., Wilson-Gahan, S., & Garrett, R. (2018). Health and physical education (3rd ed.). Port Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press.

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