Increasing student physical activity by strengthening community links through physical education

To help instil healthy, lifelong attitudes to physical activity in young Victorians, a significant element of the Active Schools Framework is to strengthen connections between physical education and community sporting organisations.

ACHPER Victoria is continuously working behind the scenes with a number of sporting organisations to establish greater connections with schools in line with the Active Schools Framework.

Here’s some examples of the great work our team has been involved with to help build links to community through physical education and address this area of the Framework:

Squash and Racquetball Victoria

Collaboration with Squash and Racquetball Victoria on a VicHealth funded project titled, “Squash and Racquetball GO!” to increase activity levels of 12–17-year-olds in different activity areas using schools and physical education. Given our close links with schools, we saw this as a project with great potential.

To be involved in this pilot project, schools needed to include squash and racquetball within the physical education program either during a net/wall unit or in a stand-alone squash/racquetball unit. After a brief discussion, teachers understood the core skills and concepts of squash and racquetball could be taught at school using a wall! 

Participating schools receive:

  • a resource of activities that could be used in their classes
  • a class set of squash and racquetball racquets, along with a variety of ball types
  • teacher professional development support by the Squash and Racquetball Victoria school development officer and ACHPER Victoria
  • a point of contact with a local squash centre and vouchers for interested students to attend four free introductory coaching sessions at the squash centre

There is no requirement for students to join the squash club. The project is simply providing an opportunity for students to be introduced to the sport at school and provide a direct link to a community centre to “have a go” and decide if it is a sport they would like to continue to learn – for sporting or recreational purposes. So far, schools have been invited to participate due to their proximity with a squash centre. Blackburn High School, Carey Grammar and Viewbank College are engaged and linking into the Westerfolds Squash Centre. Yarra Hills Secondary College is also involved and will be linked to the Lilydale Squash Club.

We are still looking for up to two more schools in the Lilydale, Mooroolbark, Croydon area to take part in this awesome project. If your secondary college is interested in being involved, please email Bernie Holland, ACHPER Victoria [email protected] or Prayansh Desai at Squash and Racquetball Victoria [email protected]. 

Bike Ed

The Department of Transport (DOT) in redeveloping the Bike Ed program throughout term 2 offered an opportunity for primary schools and secondary schools (years 7-9) to run a pilot program for their Bike Ed program.

ACHPER Victoria has been involved in the review of curriculum materials including the development of teaching and learning activities and assessments all linked to the Victorian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education.

Outcomes of involvement in the program should see students undertaking Bike Ed as part of their HPE program, to develop knowledge, skills and understanding around road safety and active transport within their local communities.

Knox School Sports Victoria Network

Throughout 2020, when faced with limited in-person learning opportunities, we were approached by the Knox network leader and ACHPER Victoria 2020 Primary Teacher of the Year, Daniel Thomas to assist with up-skilling their network of local PE teachers.

Together, Bernie and Daniel developed a series of webinars delivered by ACHPER Victoria to teachers across the Knox network. Through this ongoing relationship, Bernie has facilitated making connections to Roundnet Australia who will deliver teacher PL in Roundnet and support a district wide Roundnet gala day.

In-school workshops

Our professional learning team have also successfully delivered a number of in-school workshops, including strengthening community sport links and whole of school physical activity through bespoke professional learning opportunities in school.

Click here to learn more about our in-school workshop opportunities and check out our video here.

If you need further support to deliver quality HPE or have any questions regarding any of the above, please get in touch.