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Achievement objectives


The New Zealand Curriculum specifies four conceptual strands and related sets of achievement objectives for the health and physical education learning area.

Personal health and physical development – A

A1 Personal growth and development

A2 Regular physical activity

A3 Safety management

A4 Personal identity

Movement concepts and motor skills – B

B1 Movement skills

B2 Positive attitudes

B3 Science and technology

B4 Challenges and social and cultural factors

Relationships with other people – C

C1 Relationships

C2 Identity, sensitivity, and respect

C3 Interpersonal skills

Healthy communities and environments – D

D1 Social attitudes and values

D2 Community resources

D3 Rights, responsibilities, and laws

D4 People and the environment

Health education and home economics derive learning contexts predominately from strands A, C, and D. Physical education learning contexts are derived from all four strands.

Achievement objectives from different strands can be woven together to set direction for teaching and learning programmes that lead to national qualifications. It is important that students see and make sense of the many connections within and across these strands and with learning in other areas.


Progression in health education, physical education, and home economics is informed by five principles that can be applied and adapted to a range of contexts. The principles are:

  • Complexity: Students revisit concepts and skills in increasingly complex and sophisticated ways.
  • Control: Students acquire increasing control of techniques as they develop skills and build confidence.
  • Depth: Students move from exploration of a broad range of experiences and practices to engaging with more specific aspects in more depth.
  • Independence: Students become increasingly autonomous and self-directed and depend less on teacher direction and support.
  • Consciousness: Students are increasingly able to deliberate on and structure their actions and articulate their thinking and choices.

Learning is spiral in nature and, at each level, it includes and builds on learning from previous levels. Teachers who identify prior knowledge and then differentiate learning programmes to meet identified needs will support student achievement.


Indicators are examples of the behaviours and capabilities that a teacher might expect to observe in a student who is achieving at the appropriate level. Teachers may wish to add further examples of their own.

The indicators in this guide are linked to the curriculum achievement objectives at each level (for example, 6A1) and the achievement standards (for example, AS1.1).

Teaching and learning programmes guided by The New Zealand Curriculum will vary based on the unique needs, interests, and strengths of students.

Context elaborations

Context elaborations are possible contexts for learning, with a suggestion of how they might be used with the focus achievement objective.

The listed context elaborations are examples only. Teachers can select and use entirely different contexts in response to local situation, community relevance, and students’ interests and needs.

Assessment for qualifications

Students need to be aware of the requirements of the achievement standards. The standard requirements should be studied and discussed as an explicit part of preparation for external examinations.

Unpack the standard with students to make them aware of the requirements. Relate this to the contexts studied.

At the time of publication, achievement standards were in development to align them with The New Zealand Curriculum. Please ensure that you are using the correct version of the standards by going to the NZQA website.

The NZQA subject-specific resources pages are very helpful. From there, you can find all the achievement standards and links to assessment resources, both internal and external. Find the latest NZQA subject resources for:

Aligned level 1 achievement standards were registered for use in 2011 and level 2 for use in 2012; level 3 will be registered for use in 2013.

Full information on the draft standards and the alignment process can be found on TKI: Alignment of NCEA standards with The New Zealand Curriculum.

Last updated August 27, 2020