A four-year pilot from 2016 to 2019 fostering positive system change in primary schools through improved teacher thinking, confidence and practices, and community connections.

Placeholder was a colloborative intervention led by Sport NZ to improve the quality of physical education (PE), sport, physical activity and play experiences in schools, as well as connection between schools and their communities, including sports clubs and the home. The initiative was delivered between 2015 and 2019 across 45 schools and their wider communities in Waitakere and Upper Hutt, with two new sites established in Invercargill and Hamilton in 2019. The learning captured through has been fundamental to informing the development of Healthy Active Learning.

The pilot's vision was “every child and young person in the community having quality, fun, challenging and inspiring PE, sport, physical activity and play experiences that develop their physical literacy and wellbeing.”’s key focus was on helping create an active school environment, and supporting schools and teachers to enhance the planning and delivery of the Health and Physical Education (HPE) curriculum.

The initiative was delivered in partnership with accredited education professionals, local councils and Regional Sports Trusts, and was supported by the Ministry of Education and ACC.


Quality and engaging PE, sport, physical activity and play experiences improve the physical literacy of our young people and encourage them to stay physically active. This contributes to the overall wellbeing of our young people, including better mental and physical health, reduced stress and anxiety, and improved sleep, cognitive functioning and educational achievement.

Helpful resources



  • What's it about?
  • Grant Schofield: Chief Education, Nutrition and Health Advisor – Ministry of Education, shares his thoughts and learnings about young people and physical activity.
  • Southland Brendon Mcdermott CEO Sport Southland


Evaluation summaries



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