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Level 8 health education

Achievement objectives

Achievement objectives from different strands can be woven together to set directions for teaching and learning programmes that lead to national qualifications.

In order to satisfy the socio-ecological perspective, health education must derive learning contexts from strands A, C, and D.

Teachers will design programmes guided by The New Zealand Curriculum, that meet the unique learning needs, interests and strengths of their students and make sense of the many connections within and across these strands, and with learning in other areas.


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 following indicators have links to level 8 achievement objectives for the appropriate strand (for example, A1, B1, C1, etc) and achievement standards (for example, AS1.1).

These indicators show what learning at level 8 could look like for students, and may include curriculum learning beyond what the achievement standards assess.

  • Critically analyse health issues and evaluate solutions in relation to the determinants of health and the underlying concepts (all AOs on each strand, especially strand D; AS91461 3.1, AS91462 3.2, AS91464 3.4).
  • Link cultural, political, and economic determinants to direct and indirect effects on well-being (all AOs on each strand; AS91461 3.1, AS91462 3.2).
  • Independently use an inquiry process (for example, the action competence learning cycle) to investigate health issues (all AOs on each strand; all assessment standards possible).
  • Critically analyse own and others’ attitudes, values, and beliefs about current ethical issues or dilemmas (A3, A4, C3; AS91464 3.4).
  • Develop and justify strategies that will promote societal well-being, and for people directly and indirectly affected by health issues (A2, D3, D1; AS91461 3.1, AS91462 3.2).
  • Critically evaluate issues related to health practices used to support well-being nationally and internationally (A3, D1, D4; AS91463 3.3).
  • Evaluate how a range of models for health promotion impact on well-being (all AOs on each strand; AS91465 3.5).

Possible context elaborations

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

  • Societal attitudes and values: How do the different values and beliefs held by people about certain health issues become ethical dilemmas? (Consider issues such as euthanasia, access to assisted reproductive technology, sexually explicit materials in publicly viewed media.)
  • Community resources/people and the environment: How can the determinants of health be used as evidence to justify legislation for more equitable distribution of funding (for example, subsidising the insulation of homes for low-income families or providing cost-effective health services for targeted groups in society)?
  • Community resources: A health condition (an illness, injury, or life situation, such as giving birth) can be managed using conventional medical health practices, or alternative/traditional practices, or a combination of both. Why might people choose one practice over another? (Consider the possibly varied impacts on well-being.)
  • Societal attitudes and values: How do societal attitudes and laws related to mental health influence the safety of people in communities?
  • Societal attitudes and values: Why is there still a high rate of HIV transmission in parts of the Pacific and regions like sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia? Use the determinants of health to brainstorm strategies that could be used to reduce the transmission of HIV in these countries.
  • People and the environment: What is the impact of viewing sexually explicit materials in public places (such as billboards, shop advertising or television) on people’s attitudes and values relating to the roles, behaviours, and/or appearance of men and women?
  • Safety management: What impact do different perspectives on ethical dilemmas have on people affected by a health issue? (Consider current examples that have arisen in your local community, nationally, or internationally.)
  • Rights, responsibilities, and laws: How are the principles of the Ottawa and Bangkok Charters attended to in a current health promotion campaign? Why might one charter be more applicable, for particular health-promoting situations, than the other?
  • Identity, sensitivity, and respect: How have the principles of Te Tiriti of Waitangi been used as part of a recent health-promotion programme to support the well-being of whānau and iwi in your region?
  • People and the environment: How does the globalisation of Western practices (for example, fast food) and aspects of popular culture (including music and fashion) impact on the well-being of people in countries and from cultures with different values and practices?
  • Personal identity: What cultural practices related to gender are challenged as societies become more ethnically and culturally diverse (or mixed) and what is the impact of cultural practices related to gender on the well-being of individuals and communities? Consider such things as breast feeding in public, expectations about dress and appearance, education and career choices, relationship choices.)
  • Relationships: How and why do ethical dilemmas impact on relationships between people who are directly or directly affected by issues such as euthanasia, assisted reproductive technology, or sexually explicit materials in publicly viewed media)?
  • Identity, sensitivity, and respect/societal attitudes and values: How and why do the attitudes, values, and behaviours of different groups (group differences could relate to ethnicity, culture, interests, age, geography, etc) lead to conflict in relationships?

Assessment for qualifications

Consider how student learning could be assessed using the health achievement standards. Consider alternative linkages between the achievement objective and achievement standards.

  • Health education 3.1 Analyse a New Zealand health issue; Internal, 5 credits.
  • Health education 3.2 Analyse an international health issue; External, 5 credits.
  • Health education 3.3 Evaluate health practices currently used in New Zealand; Internal, 5 credits.
  • Health education 3.4 Analyse a contemporary ethical issue in relation to well-being; Internal, 4 credits.
  • Health education 3.5 Evaluate models for health promotion; External, 5 credits.

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.

Learn more:

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 28, 2020