Primary school resources

29 June 2017

Practical information and resources for Primary and Intermediate schools to develop a culture of physical activity.

Sport New Zealand believes that physical education (PE), physical activity and sport are essential for a child to be happy and healthy in their life now and for years to come.

This information has been developed to support schools in providing quality and appropriate physical education, physical activity and sport experiences:

Setting the scene for a physical activity culture

Planning for a physical activity culture

Involving the community

Creating a safe and inclusive physical activity environment

Teaching resources

Useful websites

Key terms and definitions

Physical Education

Health and Physical Education (HPE) is one of the eight learning areas taught as part of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) (2007). “Students learn about their own well-being and that of others and society, in health-related and movement contexts.” NZC (2007), p17.

Physical activity

According to definitions used by the World Health Organization (WHO), physical activity includes all the movements people make in everyday life, including work, recreation, exercise and sporting activities.


Sport refers to organised and structured physical activities with a focus on competition.


Hauora is a Maori philosophy of health unique to New Zealand. It comprises taha tinana (physical well-being), taha hinengaro (mental and emotional well-being), taha whanau (social well-being) and taha wairua (spiritual well-being).


The concept of well-being encompasses the physical, mental and emotional, social and spiritual dimensions of health.

A physical activity culture

When a physical activity culture exists in a school:

  • it is clear that physical activity is highly valued by the school and it is a part of everyday life
  • physical activity, sport opportunities and resources are available to students during interval, lunchtime, before and after school
  • within the HPE learning area, physical activity is a key area of learning
  • the school plans for quality PE, physical activity, and sporting and recreation experiences
  • family and whanau are encouraged to support their children to be physically active
  • hauora and well-being are at the forefront.

Five components of a school’s physical activity culture

Five components of a physical activity culture

Source: Physical activity for health confident kids: Guidelines for sustainable physical activity in school communities

Search for other related resources