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Healthy Active Learning Newsletter

December 2020

Healthy Active Learning Newsletter

December 2020

17 December 2020

Kia ora mai anō tatou katoa,
We’re coming to the end of the first year of Healthy Active Learning. A year which has seen great disruption from the COVID-19 global pandemic, but led to some outstanding work across the nation when it comes to improving the wellbeing of our tamariki.  
Collaboration between Sport New Zealand and the Ministries of Health and Education remains strong, with all three central agencies engaged and committed to working together to successfully implement their respective components of the initiative.

This newsletter provides an overview of what Sport New Zealand, the Ministries of Health and Education have been up to this year, and it also provides a link to some new resources that help explain Healthy Active Learning and show what the kaupapa is all about. 
This update is for our key Healthy Active Learning delivery partners. But, if you think this is relevant to your partners, please forward it on.
If you are interested in receiving updated information every quarter, please let us know by using the sign up information at the end of this email. 

What is Healthy Active Learning? 
Healthy Active Learning is part of the Government's Child Youth and Wellbeing Strategy and a $47.6 million initiative from the 2019/2020 budget. 

Sport New Zealand and the Ministries of Health and Education are working together to support schools, kura and early learning services, to improve wellbeing through healthy eating and drinking and quality physical activity.

Healthy Active Learning is a free, voluntary initiative, with no cost to schools, kura or early learning services. It contributes to one of the Government’s key priorities – improving the wellbeing of children, young people and their families. 

The initiative has three components to drive better education and health outcomes for young New Zealanders.

What are the 3 components of healthy active learning visual

What does each component of Healthy Active Learning look like?
We have created some factsheets about what Healthy Active Learning is and how the components work together.

Settings where each component will be delivered visual

Regional Sports Trusts (RSTs) in Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Gisborne, Northland, Southland, Waikato and Wellington are working to deliver Sport New Zealand’s component for the initial roll out in 2020-2022. A physical activity workforce is working with approx. 300 primary schools, intermediate schools and kura in the first three years, before engaging with a further 500 from 2022-2024.

Healthy Active Learning schools and kura on a map

Tapuwaekura Pilot Project
Led by Sport NZ, and supported by the Ministries of Health and Education, the Tapuwaekura Pilot Project is a kaupapa Māori pathway that runs parallel to the Healthy Active Learning initiative.

Based on the Atua Matua Framework, it implements a Te Ao Māori approach through whakapapa and mātauranga Māori to connect tamariki to te taiao (the environment) for better health and wellbeing outcomes.

Ngā Pākura has been contracted to lead the delivery of the Pilot Project and Te Paetawhiti are leading the evaluation for the period 2020-21.
The desire is to scale this approach more widely across Aotearoa from 2022, specifically focusing on supporting kura kaupapa māori, wharekura, kura ā-iwi and full immersion units within certain English medium schools.

To ensure Healthy Active Learning maintains relevance and positively contributes to improving the wellbeing of tamariki, it is important that we evaluate the initiative so we can understand the impact it is having as well as identify how we can continue to improve and evolve the initiative.

Massey University has been contracted to lead the evaluation of Healthy Active Learning nationally. The evaluation objectives are: 

  • Understanding the impact that Healthy Active Learning is having on the wellbeing of tamariki in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Understanding what's working and what's not, so that Sport New Zealand, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education can improve the Healthy Active Learning initiative.
  • Advocating to government to influence decision makers to secure funding and support for the future of Healthy Active Learning or projects which focus on the wellbeing of tamariki.

Surveys have been sent to all early learning services, schools and kura around New Zealand and we are encouraging as many people as possible to fill it in. 

Sport NZ update
Some of the RSTs involved in Healthy Active Learning have produced their own newsletters with updates from their regions. They are a fantastic resource which show the impact of Healthy Active Learning around the nation.  

The physical activity workforce continues to support schools and kura to create healthy and active learning environments, and better connection to their local communities. 

Supporting Sport New Zealand’s response to COVID-19 and its impact on the sector, $265m was announced as part of Budget 2020. One of the key initiatives from this package is the new Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa fund. This local activation fund can support the delivery of Healthy Active Learning outcomes. 

Schools engaged in Healthy Active Learning will be able to access the fund. More information can be found by contacting your local Regional Sports Trust who are administering the fund, or visit the Sport New Zealand website.

Update from the Ministry of Education
The Ministry of Education has had a big year and alongside the work we have completed on Healthy Active Learning, we recently announced a $32m programme to establish 40 new curriculum leads to support the health and wellbeing of learners. 

This is separate to the Healthy Active Learning workforce and provides a fantastic opportunity for increased collaboration and support for the health and wellbeing of all tamariki. 

Providing frontline support, the curriculum leads will be regionally based working in partnership with schools, kura, centre-based early learning services, and kōhanga reo to embed high quality teaching approaches to mental health, wellbeing and healthy relationships in learning programmes and local curricula.

For example, in schools and kura the curriculum leads will support: 

  • teachers and kaiako to deliver high quality Health and Physical Education and Hauora programmes, including the Wellbeing and Mental Health Guidelines and the Relationships and Sexuality Education Guidelines.
  • schools and kura to engage with communities to design Health and Physical Education programmes.
  • and promote environments relating to wellbeing, including work with Learning Support Co-ordinators, guidance staff, Boards, communities, educators and Māori and Pacific organisations.

Delivered over four years, the programme is the first part of a comprehensive wellbeing support package for the early learning, school and tertiary sectors. The first curriculum leads will start in Term 2 2021.

Also aligning with our wellbeing support, a mental health education and wellbeing resource for teachers has gone out nationwide, to schools whose students are Year 7 and up, including Teen Parent Units, Activity Centres, Alternative Education providers and RTLB Clusters.

Mental Health Education and Hauora: Teaching interpersonal skills, resilience, and wellbeing is a practical resource for teaching about mental health, including lesson ideas and activities.

Find out more by watching Kat Wells, co-author and health teacher from Lynfield College in Tāmaki Makaurau.

The Ministry of Education has delivered hard copies of the book to schools, working alongside the New Zealand Health Education Association, to provide additional resources supporting its use.

Anyone can download their free version of Mental Health Education and Hauora and supporting resources

Ministry of Health update
The Ministry of Health has been kept busy with the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, many of the Health Workforce for Healthy Active Learning have been seconded temporarily from Public Health Units to help COVID-19. 

None the less, we have continued to deliver our Healthy Active Learning work and are in the final stages of developing the toolkit resources. These resources will support kura, schools, English and Māori medium early learning services in the implementation of Healthy food and water policies. 

We will let you know when these toolkits are available. 

How COVID-19 changed Healthy Active Learning
The COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted the local implementation of Healthy Active Learning. Despite the disruptions, the agencies responsible for leading the delivery of the initiative have still been able to make positive progress throughout the year.  

This year has demanded that RSTs and their physical activity workforce to be agile and responsive to the changing needs of tamariki, whānau, teachers, kaiako, schools, kura and their communities. Our workforce has demonstrated the ability to effectively navigate through uncertainty and are positively progressing towards project outcomes. 

We’re looking forward to gathering the physical activity workforce next year for a hui in February 2021 to continue to strengthen connections and share knowledge, experiences and wisdom across the network. 

What next?
Sport New Zealand will be expanding their physical activity workforce with the introduction of Community Connector Roles starting in January 2021.

Planning for Phase Two implementation, which will see an additional 500 schools and kura engaged in the initiative from 2022-2024, will begin in February 2021. 

The Ministry of Education looks forward to developing and releasing a suite of quality HPE and Hauora curriculum resources across the coming year. These resources will also be complemented by the health Toolkits that the Ministry of Health will be releasing early in the New Year. 

We look forward to keeping you updated via these Newsletters. 

Stay in touch or contribute
This newsletter will be produced quarterly to provide an update on how Healthy Active Learning is progressing. If you would like to contribute your story to this newsletter please email

Sport NZ will also be updating the Healthy Active Learning web page with more resources and information before the end of 2020. So keep an eye out for more information.

If you require an accessible version of any content on the site please contact us and we will be happy to assist.

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