Staying connected, sharing ideas and facing challenges together over lunch

2020 will go down in history as one of the most challenging years in recent memory. Teachers and school leaders, from primary to secondary had to adapt quickly as they moved to a remote learning approach and worked out how best to support their students and parents / carers under COVID-19 restrictions. We were isolated, but we weren’t alone.

As part of our commitment to help foster a strong community of practice for teachers of health and physical education (HPE), we hosted the first of our weekly ‘HPE Lunchtime Staff Room’ virtual events for ACHPER Victoria members on 30 April, 2020. These online catch ups were designed to support our Victorian HPE teaching community by staying connected and maintaining a sense of ‘normalcy’ in these times of isolation. A safe space for teachers to come together and share their challenges and ideas.

With no agenda or planning required, members were invited to ‘drop in’ and have a conversation over lunch. It’s been so great to hear everyone’s journey from acclimatising to delivering the Victorian HPE curriculum remotely to transitioning back to school.

Listed below are some of the topics we’ve covered over the weeks:

Physical Education vs. Physical Activity
A lot of our members initially shared how important it was to not forget the educative aspects of teaching physical education, and defining the difference between physical activity vs. physical education in the work set for students.

Options, ideas and resources for delivering HPE online
Some great ideas have been shared on teaching lessons online, including what has and hasn’t worked. A lot of the resources and activities shared can be found via the 'ACHPER Victoria HPE at Home Ideas' Google Drive link.

Frequency of tasks
Some of our members shared that they are setting one task / challenge per week, allowing the whole week to complete and submit their videos and photos, whilst others are providing daily check ins with themes such as Moving Monday and Focus Friday.

Returning to face-to-face learning: what might this look like for HPE?
Sharing ideas plus new and creative ways of teaching HPE where hygiene, equipment sharing and physical contact restrictions may be in place. We turned some of the outcomes of this catch up into two Tips of the Week HPE, TOTW 96 ‘Returning to school’ and TOTW 97 ‘Interpreting DET requirements for PE’.

Students will be happy to see their friends, however some teaching staff feel worried about returning to work and the associated health risks. We discussed developing a transition plan to help maintain student and teacher wellbeing, as well ideas on how to use physical activity to help maintain everyone’s mental health. These were turned into TOTW 98.

Our members have told us staying connected, hearing from others in similar situations and learning from each other at these lunchtime staffroom events has been invaluable; positively impacting their personal mental health, as well helping them feel supported in their teaching.

Not only do you get to engage with our awesome Professional Learning Team (Bernie Holland, Adriana Pinder and Trent Brown), attending this event contributes towards your professional growth and can contribute towards your professional development activity hours. Two links from the standards below:

  • 6.3 – Engage with colleagues and improve practice Contribute to collegial discussions and apply constructive feedback from colleagues to improve professional knowledge and practice.
  • 7.4 – Engage with professional teaching networks and broader communities Participate in professional and community networks and forums to broaden knowledge and improve practice.

As school goes back in a staged approach, we will be moving our lunchtime catch ups to a different timetable to accommodate member needs that focus on returning to face-to-face teaching and learning. Based on feedback received, we our future staff room events will be hosted fortnightly during term 3, and moving to an afternoon time slot.

HPE Staff Room with ACHPER Victoria - Member Event #6

Our next HPE Staff Room event will be held on Thursday 18 June from 4:00 - 4:45pm.


If you have anything in particular you would like to see discussed in our upcoming events, please feel free to submit your ideas to

Not yet a member? Now is the time!

Now more than ever we need your support. If you’d like to join us for the next catch up and are not yet a member of ACHPER or your membership has lapsed, now is a great time to consider joining or renewing with your professional association. Membership also entitles you to discounts and resources which are continuously being added to our suite of member benefits.

Check out resources developed to help teachers from F-12 deliver quality HPE, and please don’t hesitate to contact us with further questions or advice in these unprecedented times. We’re here to help!