Emergency notice

K-6 policy and programming requirements

The key learning area of personal development, health and physical education (PDHPE) is mandatory for all students in Kindergarten to Year 10. The following information supports schools to meet their legislative requirements by addressing key department policies that directly relate to PDHPE in Years K-6. These areas include:

  • Controversial issues in schools
  • Child protection education
  • Road safety education
  • Drugs education
  • Sport and physical activity.

The content of the NSW PDHPE K-10 Syllabus (2018) related to these areas is embedded across all three strands.

Integration of the three syllabus strands within PDHPE is encouraged to provide authentic learning opportunities for students to transfer their knowledge, understanding and skills across health and physical education concepts.

A whole-school approach

Primary schools have the flexibility to make decisions about the emphasis given, and the selection of content based on the needs, interests and abilities of their students and community.

It is important to take a whole-school approach to child protection and road safety education where schools, parents, carers and communities work together to create a supportive environment for students.

There are three whole-school approaches that may be used to address child protection and road safety education in PDHPE.

  1. Integrated and embedded throughout PDHPE lessons or multiple units of learning.
  2. Stand-alone lessons or units of learning (useful in responding to controversial issues/community needs as they arise).
  3. A combination of the above two approaches

Controversial issues in schools

Some aspects of PDHPE may be considered sensitive or controversial by members of the community. For example, respectful relationships, child protection, sexuality and sexual health, mental health and wellbeing, alcohol and drugs.

Schools have a responsibility to inform parents of the specific details of teaching and learning activities that may be considered controversial. Communicating details of these activities prior to the occasion allows sufficient time for parents to request withdrawal of their child from particular activities. A parent’s request must be respected.

Read more about communication in PDHPE.

Access the Controversial Issues in Schools Policy and Controversial issues in schools – procedures.

Child protection education

Schools must teach child protection education in every stage of learning from Kindergarten to Year 10 as part of PDHPE, integrated and embedded throughout PDHPE lessons or multiple units of learning, where appropriate.

Child protection education can be taught every year. A whole school approach to teaching child protection education ensures student prior learning is reinforced and built upon in a strategic and coordinated manner.

Child protection education curriculum materials (1997) are currently being updated to align with the NSW PDHPE K-10 Syllabus (2018). The three broad themes (recognising abuse, power in relationships and protective strategies) identified within the materials remain relevant. Schools may continue using the child protection education curriculum materials but should consider the extent to which the resource:

Read more about child protection and respectful relationships education.

Download the Child protection education curriculum materials (1997)

Access the Child Protection Policy: Responding to and Reporting Students at Risk of Harm.

Road safety education

Schools must teach road safety education in every stage of learning from Kindergarten to Year 10 as part of PDHPE. Road safety education contributes to students' knowledge, skills and understanding of being a personally and socially responsible road user.

Read more about road safety education.

Access the Road Safety Education, Driver Education and Training Policy.

Drugs education in schools

PDHPE provides the main curriculum context for teaching and learning about drug education. Schools may address relevant syllabus content using a variety of approaches. This may include teaching and learning programs in PDHPE, whole-school programs or a combination of both.

Read more about drug education.

Access the Drugs in Schools Policy.

Sport and physical activity

Schools must provide 150 minutes of planned moderate to vigorous physical activity per week for all years, K-10 as stated by the Sport and Physical Activity Policy. This must include a minimum of 60 minutes of sport per week for Years 3-6. Weekly participation in planned physical activity through PDHPE or other key learning areas can contribute toward the weekly requirement of 150 minutes.

Access the Sport and Physical Activity Policy.

Read more about the policy in practice, including curriculum requirements and guidelines for engaging external providers.

Further information

Should you have questions or require more information please contact a K-6 PDHPE adviser:

Further curriculum support is provided on the PDHPE curriculum support pages.

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