The Ministry of Education has been exploring a model of curriculum design based on learning progressions in health and physical education. One of these, the progression for food and nutrition, has been developed to date as a proof of concept. This development involved subject-matter experts working with schools to clarify the key concepts involved, try out rich learning activities, and collect authentic student work samples that could be used as the basis for the exemplars in the progression. Other progressions proposed for health and physical education include mental health, sexuality education, body care and physical safety, physical activity, sport studies, and outdoor education.

Ongoing evaluation is a key feature of the development. So far, around 40 teachers have participated in a pilot of the food and nutrition exemplars, and teachers from five schools have provided feedback on the completed progression. Teachers have been generally positive about the food and nutrition progression, and feel that the completed resource would be useful for planning and teaching.

If the progressions prove successful, and they are fully developed across health and physical education, they will illustrate the significant steps that students take as they develop their conceptual understanding in health and physical education from years 1 to 8, spanning levels 1 to 4 of the New Zealand Curriculum. They will be similar to the reading, writing, and mathematics progressions that have already been developed ( It is anticipated that teachers will be able to use the progressions to identify students’ health and physical education knowledge, skills, and attitudes, and to provide rich and engaging classroom programmes that support the development of students’ key competencies, and literacy and numeracy capabilities.

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The complete set of progressions is intended to:
  • prompt teachers to notice what students know and can do across the breadth of the health and physical education learning area
  • support teachers to understand how students develop their conceptual knowledge and understanding in health and physical education
  • assist teachers to identify ways they can strengthen the development of students’ key competencies and literacy and numeracy capabilities within the health and physical education learning area
  • support teachers to design learning activities that are appropriate for their particular context, including being linked to their students lives
  • illustrate rich teaching and learning activities in everyday classroom programmes
For more information on this learning area see the health and physical education page on TKI.