Health and PE Resources for Secondary Schools

Health and physical education (PE) aims to give every young Kiwi the tools to reflect on their wellbeing and the ways in which they can promote it. In doing so, they build resilience and their sense of personal and social responsibility.  

Our resources help secondary health and PE teachers achieve these objectives.  

For example, Understanding Feelings is a health teaching resource that includes activities to teach resilience. Similarly, SOLO Taxonomy in Physical Education takes a holistic approach to promoting movement.  

Explore our health and PE curriculum-aligned resources to discover ideas for supporting learning and wellbeing.  


Why are health and physical education important? 

Health and physical education (PE) are important because they align with school curriculum and national schooling aims that strive for a future healthy society. The goal is for a healthy future for students, regardless of their family and social situation. 

As the New Zealand Curriculum (2014) says: 

“This learning area makes a significant contribution to the wellbeing of students beyond the classroom, particularly when it is supported by school policies and procedures and by the actions of all people in the school community.” 

Additionally, the health and PE curriculum supports students in developing skills in health literacy. This is the ability to access health information, evaluate sources of information and communicate health messages. In doing so, students can take health-promoting actions. 

Health and PE are also important for supporting personal growth because it encourages students to: 

  • support the wellbeing of others and see issues from different perspectives 
  • be resilient and develop self-efficacy to deal with challenges 
  • explore issues relevant to the lives of young New Zealanders, such as sexuality, relationships, drug and alcohol use 
  • understand attitudes and values that impact wellbeing, such as respect and compassion. 

Secondary health and PE support students to learn “in, through and about movement.” These experiences promote lifelong participation in physical activity. Furthermore, they show students how to manage their bodies and the joy and challenges of physical activity.  

How do you teach resilience in the classroom? 

Teaching resilience in the classroom begins with forming relationships and making connections. As it says in Building Resilience in Schools, “It is more about people-to-people interactions than about programmes.” 

Authors Jim Peters and Ian Thurlow point to three critical factors for developing resilience: caring relationships, high-expectation messages and opportunities for meaningful participation and contribution. 

Within the classroom, teachers should set and communicate realistic and high expectations for their students. 

Additionally, young people learn resilience each time they overcome a problem.  

Avoid predicting, preventing and trying to fix all problems. Overcoming small challenges helps to build adolescents’ confidence in their ability to handle bigger setbacks. Instead, identify and talk about how the problem/disappointment made them feel.  

A key component of resiliency is understanding you can’t always have what you want as soon as you want it. Teaching delayed gratification is an important skill. 

Playing board games is a great way to do this. Boardgames require impulse control, turn-taking, mental flexibility, emotional regulation and resilience. For teachers, it is also a way to model resilience by being a good loser.