Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

Senior Secondary navigation


Sample programme 4: Framework for a leadership unit


The purpose of this unit is for the learner to develop understanding and knowledge about the leadership and its application to the movement culture. Students will analyse current understanding, knowledge, and opportunities in leadership. They will critically examine current leadership knowledge and practices and evaluate their use in physical activity settings. The unit includes practical leadership activities.

This framework provides an example of how a unit of learning can be amplified in scope so that it is grounded in the key competencies.


This unit is the first of three units that continue the development and practical application of students’ knowledge, understandings, and skills in leadership.

It allows students to explore different understandings of leadership so that they can begin to decide what knowledge and skills may be best suited for a range of purposes and contexts.

Students will have an opportunity to explore different leadership strategies and apply them in practical activities.

In the following two units students use leadership knowledge and skills to improve movement, develop physical activity opportunities, apply leadership to an outdoor education setting, or develop physical activity opportunities for selected populations (such as students with special abilities).

The programme of learning makes links to students’ individual and collective leadership potential, both in physical activity contexts and other contexts, and how this could lead to further opportunities, in school and beyond.

The assessment task requires students to critically examine contemporary leadership principles and evaluate their suitability for physical activity contexts, based on the knowledge they have gained from investigation and personal experience.

How the key competencies are used in this unit

Managing self

Students will use opportunities to lead and be led as they explore leadership principles and strategies. They will reflect on their application of these principles and strategies in order to choose and apply the most appropriate ones in the projects they undertake throughout the year. They will reflect on past leadership opportunities, consider possible opportunities for the future, and identify the leadership knowledge and skills they may need to develop.

Relating to others

Leadership requires working with other people. The essence of this unit is relationships and how individuals work for and lead others. The learning activities explore what leadership is and what it is not. This includes investigating the qualities of effective leaders, including the ability to listen actively, recognise different points of view (including cultural attitudes and values), negotiate, make decisions, solve problems, and share ideas. Continuing to develop such interpersonal skills is an important part of this unit.

Participating and contributing

Students will apply contemporary leadership principles in physical activity contexts, as individuals and in groups. They will consider how working together contributes to successful outcomes.

How the underlying concepts are used


The learning activities will focus on holistic leadership development, with emphasis on physical skills, interpersonal skills, coherent thinking processes, and appropriate values and beliefs required for contemporary leadership.

It is hoped that students will see how leadership connects with and contributes to their own well-being and that of others and society.

Health promotion

Students will continue to develop skills and knowledge through a series of challenges that will explore a range of leadership principles and strategies. They will reflect on how to use their learning about leadership as they work to develop well-being for themselves and for others by taking action to address issues or an identified physical activity opportunity.

Socio-ecological perspective

Students will identify factors that influence their group’s behaviours and will build a shared responsibility approach to making change. They will critically examine these influences and use their developing knowledge and skills to promote physical activity to enhance the well-being of their groups

Students’ own attitudes and values

The programme will encourage students to adopt attitudes and values befitting a contemporary leader. They will explore the need for positive and responsible attitudes for their own and others’ well-being – respect, care, and concern for those they are leading as well as a sense of social justice.

Achievement objectives

The achievement objectives addressed in this unit are:

C1 Relationships

Success criteria for this objective

Students are able to:

  • identify a range of contemporary leadership principles
  • consider the range of influences that may contribute to the successful application of leadership principles
  • analyse how leadership is viewed in a school setting and how these views may or may not challenge thinking about contemporary leadership
  • challenge assumptions about what may work, who can lead, or how people react to leadership
  • reflect on and explain how the application of these leadership principles and strategies may or may not be effective in a range of challenging situations and different groupings, including different cultural communities.

C3 Interpersonal skills

Success criteria for this objective

Students are able to:

  • observe themselves and others responding and making adjustments to attitudes and/or interpersonal skills in an ongoing manner
  • make judgments on whether or not students are basing decision-making on sound reasoning.

B4 Challenges and social and cultural factors

Success criteria for this objective

Students are able to:

  • devise and apply inclusive strategies that will lead others to the successful outcome of the physical activity challenge
  • explain how the strategies will consider the needs of all the participants.


Opportunities to promote learning through the assessment of:

  • identification of prior knowledge
  • students and teachers monitoring learning progress and applying next learning steps.

The teacher will establish students’ prior knowledge and understanding of the concepts of leadership by using trigger activities for application, reflection, discussion, and brainstorming.

Students’ understanding of the principles will be monitored through their developing knowledge of contemporary leadership principles and the application of an experiential teaching approach. Students will be involved in ongoing reflection to develop their understanding of leadership and their personal capabilities.

Students will examine their application of leadership principles in units 2 and 3 of the leadership programme.

This unit may be assessed using AS91505 Physical education 3.8: Examine contemporary leadership principles applied in physical activity contexts.

Achievement criteria

The achievement criteria for this unit are:

  • Achievement: Examine contemporary leadership principles applied in physical activity contexts.
  • Merit: Examine, in depth, contemporary leadership principles applied in physical activity contexts
  • Excellence: Critically examine contemporary leadership principles applied in physical activity contexts.

Teaching and learning ideas

Possible ideas for teaching and learning include:

  • trigger resources get students thinking and developing questions about leadership
  • articles on leadership – explore newspapers or television stations online to find leadership articles

    For example:

  • films (check the censor ratings):
  • this resource (PDF 273KB)has a list of films categorised in particular leadership themes
    • films with leadership themes include:
      • Coach Carter
      • Remember the Titans
      • Moneyball
      • Chariots of Fire
      • Blind Side
      • Forest Gump
      • Chicken Run
      • Cars
      • Saving Private Ryan
      • The Pursuit of Happy-ness
    • One Team One Spirit – available from the New Zealand Olympic Committee.
  • activities to identify prior knowledge, such as:

Possible learning activities


The teaching and learning programme should explore a variety of leadership principles in a range of physical activity contexts. These contexts could include adventure education, peer mentoring, facilitation, coaching, organising activities within the school, physical activity leaders, health promotion activities, and so on.

Each of the contexts chosen should provide students with opportunities to put leadership into action and to reflect.

Contemporary leadership principles could include: collaborative leadership; distributed leadership, provision for individual voice, and empowerment.

The activities could also explore the qualities and values of contemporary leaders and consider leadership styles: autocratic, democratic, collaborative, distributed, laissez-faire, transactional, transformational, charismatic, and servant.

Leadership strategies to explore include: providing direction, having a vision, setting goals; developing a team spirit; imparting values; motivating others; resolving conflict; communicating effectively; knowing your group; developing responsibility in your group; balancing people oriented and task oriented focus; using the full potential of your group; promoting positive behaviour; modelling standards; challenging others to achieve; encouraging and enabling all; sharing decision-making; and experimenting and taking risks.

Leadership approaches, models and theories include: trait approaches, behavioural approaches, how power influences relationships, the contingency model, social cognition, modelling, and social responsibility.

Activities should include a self-reflection process such as an evaluation sheet where students describe what leadership strategy they used, what worked and why, what didn’t work and why, and what they learnt about themselves as leaders, and what they would do differently as leaders next time.

Group management principles and critical evaluation and writing techniques should also be covered.

The SOLO taxonomy

The SOLO model is a tool that HPE teachers have found useful for assessing student thinking and getting students to assess their own thinking. It describes increasing levels of complexity in students’ understanding.

SOLO stands for Structure of Observed Learning Outcome.

The model has five levels of thinking:

  1. Prestructural – I need help from the teacher
  2. Unistructural – I can think of one idea
  3. Multistructural – I can think of more than one idea
  4. Relational – I can make connections between my ideas
  5. Extended abstract – I can link ideas and relate them to other thinking.

Learn more:

  • Suggested content, outcomes, and learning activities for this unit, as based on the SOLO model, are listed below. You can also view these in chart form.

Other possible learning ideas

Other possible ideas teachers could use through the unit include:

  • observing and analysing past and current leaders from physical activity contexts (students could select from the school leadership, role models, media portrayals of leaders, movie depiction of leaders, etc.)
  • investigating how the school views leaders and leadership opportunities
  • examining similarities and differences between leadership in physical activity and other contexts
  • investigating the use of social media in leadership (for example, the student army in Christchurch).

Further learning possibilities that students might like to explore include:

  • undertaking a variety of leadership roles, such as physical activity co-ordinators, facilitators, mentors, coaches, team leaders, and school leaders
  • completing a  Growing Leaders programme.

Additional resources

For additional resources for this unit, see leadership in the resources section

Last updated March 13, 2024