Australian Sports Commission: Sporting Schools Program

ACHPER Victorian Branch is committed to enhancing, supporting and advocating for the highest quality health and physical education (HPE) to achieve our vision of active and healthy Victorians.

The ACHPER National position statement: 
"The Importance of the Health and Physical Education learning area in schools asserts that, “Health and Physical Education is the curriculum area that engages students in worthwhile learning experiences to develop skills, knowledge, understanding, self-efficacy and dispositions that will enable young people to live healthier, safe and active lives……Contexts of physical activity and sport are central to HPE, but HPE is distinguished from ‘physical activity’ and ‘sport’ by virtue of its core focus on learning.” 

ACHPER Victoria considers the Australian Sports Commission's Sporting Schools Program to be an opportunity for students to have greater access to sport based activities within the school environment and for students and families to forge closer partnerships with local sporting clubs. We are supportive of programs where the goal is to improve sport and physical activity outcomes for children. It is our understanding that the sporting programs offered can take place before, during or after school hours.

We believe it is important for schools and sports (sporting associations, clubs and agencies) to work together to increase sporting opportunities and pathways for students.

Programs conducted within the school setting need to be consistent with the parameters outlined below:

 1)   Any activity related to the Sporting Schools Program implemented during planned curriculum time must be a part of a planned, comprehensive HPE curriculum program and link directly to learning outcomes or learning intentions of this balanced program. It is likely that any Sporting Schools Program activities, scheduled during planned curriculum time would occur during the normal scheduled physical education, sport education or sport program.

Similar to other external providers it is essential that any program offered through the Sporting Schools Program contribute to the HPE program. Content and teaching methodology must be consistent with the propositions that have shaped the Australian Curriculum: HPE (AC: HPE). Learning outcomes should be matched to the achievement standards and content descriptors in the curriculum. The Sporting Schools Program should not be used as a replacement for the health and physical education program or teacher.

Within the Victorian context ACHPER Victorian Branch is encouraging primary schools to take a themed or games sense approach to the teaching of sports. Where the school HPE program focusses on an individual sport for a period of time we would encourage the teacher to draw the attention of students to the similarities and differences between sports. For example, moving into space is a concept common to many sports including AFL, football, netball, basketball, lacrosse, ultimate and hockey. A teacher focussing on one of these sports should be highlighting where concepts, skills and knowledge learned in one sport can be transferred into other sports.

2)   The ACHPER National Position Statement: Support of the Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education (see above) states “...that teachers are responsible for the delivery of the HPE curriculum and have to ensure that any level of engagement in programs delivered by outside providers enhance existing HPE programs within the school”.

At a minimum:

  • Any part of the planned curriculum delivered by an external provider would be delivered by a professional, preferably a qualified teacher, but one who has the skills, experience and knowledge that are at a minimum consistent with the AITSL Graduate Teachers Standards.
  • The external provider would deliver content that reinforces the breadth and depth of the HPE program and draws links to the existing HPE and wider school curriculum as appropriate. Unless the external provider can demonstrate, at a minimum, delivery of programs consistent with parameter 2 above we would caution schools against using such providers during planned curriculum time.

3)   It is important for schools to recognise that the Sporting Schools Program enables schools to access support from 32 sports. Depending on the school context and the specific needs of their students schools need to be aware of and actively promote, the many and varied activities available outside these 32 sports being supported by the Sporting Schools Program. This is particularly important in the upper primary and lower secondary years where many children are looking for activities other than traditional sport as an avenue for activity.

ACHPER Victoria encourages schools that choose to participate in the Sporting Schools Program, to ensure all aspects of the program conducted during planned curriculum time are clearly implemented in a manner consistent with the school HPE and wider education program.

ACHPER Victoria is committed to enhancing, supporting and advocating for highest quality health and physical education. Should you seek further advice, information or discussion please contact us.

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