Is all learning quantifiable?

If anyone has ever seen an episode of The Office you would know that most scenes are steeped in many hilarious and rich interactions between colleagues, often within small confines such as around the water cooler or photocopier. Whilst the show offers an over the top view of the myriad of smaller discussions that consistently pepper our workplaces, it also offers pause for consideration into the simultaneous meanings and messages that can be found within these exchanges.

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ACHPER NSW Strategic Priorities

ACHPER NSW are pleased to officially announce our Strategic Priorities for 2017 – 2019.

We would like to acknowledge past Presidents, Board members and administration staff as well as our delegates and members who have continued to encourage ACHPER NSW to pursue the missions of our non-profit organisation. The establishment of clear strategic priorities will move our organisation further forward in a challenging time for educators, academics, researchers and other individuals in the PDHPE, health, recreation, dance, fitness and sport arena.

At ACHPER NSW our strategic priorities are aligned with the ACHPER National Strategic Priorities and are built on:

Purpose: To create strong advocacy for PDHPE across NSW and support ACHPER National to promote healthy lifestyles for all Australians.
People: To develop positive relationships and connections with key stakeholders across all areas of health, wellbeing, PE and sport.
Processes: To foster partnerships with key stakeholders in health, physical education and wellbeing as well as the greater community.
Products and practices: To improve the position of ACHPER NSW in advocating for PDHPE and health lifestyles throughout NSW and Australia.

Our overarching priorities are ADVOCATE, EDUCATE and SUPPORT, encapsulating what is reflected in the work of ACHPER NSW since the 1950s.

We would love to hear from our members, delegates and other interested community members about how we can work together to promote healthy lifestyles. You can read all about our Strategic Priorities 2017 – 2019 here.

Yours in health and wellbeing,

Kelly Bell
President of ACHPER NSW

A balance at exam time

Students who study any subject within the PDHPE Key Learning Area know about the importance of balance. This can be easily applied to the preparation that goes into sitting any exam for students. Below are some simple strategies for students to adopt before, during and after exam time.


  • Develop a realistic study timetable
  • Using a variety of study techniques
  • Colour code your syllabus and notes
  • Revise individually or in groups
  • Understand the differences between the NESA Glossary of Key Words
  • Use Glossary of Key Words scaffolds
  • Use writing structures to help guide your responses
  • Practice answering examination questions
  • Answer questions under examination conditions
  • Seek feedback from teachers and peers. 


  • Ensure you have the right date and time
  • Take black pens into the examination
  • Get plenty of rest the night before
  • Have a healthy breakfast and drink plenty of water
  • Be aware of clocks or wear a watch
  • Practice some relaxation and stress management techniques
  • Check you have the whole examination in front of you
  • Use your reading time wisely
  • Plan your time and take your time
  • Start developing answers in your head while reading
  • Answer every question
  • Instead of putting a cross through possible incorrect work, put it in brackets
  • Write your school centre and student number on every page
  • Label all questions carefully
  • Try your absolute best. 


  • Seek support from your peers
  • Ask for additional support from your class teacher
  • Get plenty of feedback from your class teacher and/or other teachers
  • Discuss with your family your goals, hopes and intentions for your exams
  • Revise with your peers
  • Use additional materials to further support your skills
  • Seek support from Year/Stage/Pastoral/Welfare/House Coordinators
  • Research support through organisations such as ReachOut, Beyond Blue
  • Go to the NESA website for documents pertaining to the syllabus, performance descriptors, past papers, marking criteria, answers, notes from the marking centre and sample answers. 

    (Adapted from the ACHPER NSW, HSC CAFS Enrichment Day, 2017) 


    ACHPER NSW wishes all students the very best in their upcoming examinations. You can check out our PDHPE and CAFS webinars available on our website to further support your preparation.

    Yours in health and wellbeing,

    Kelly Bell
    Nagle College, Blacktown South
    President of ACHPER NSW

Learners need endless feedback, more than they need endless teaching

“Learners need endless feedback, more than they need endless teaching”. (Grant Wiggins)


Trial HSC Examinations across NSW have either just finished or about to begin. Students prepare for their trials, they sit them, teachers mark their exams and give them back their results, students spend about one minute looking at their marks.

This is a common cycle that exists in not only HSC classrooms, but in classrooms all over the world with summative tasks. Students deserve better, they deserve to get explicit feedback from their teacher/s about how they did in their examination. After all, in most HSC exams- including PDHPE and CAFS they complete a three hour paper!

For the feedback to be effective, William (2011) reminds us that it MUST provide a recipe for future action and for this to happen it must be designed so as to progress learning. Like in sport, feedback must provide information for students to break down into components and they need to be practiced until fluency is reached.

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Drawing from the well – taking care of the care taker

As the end of the term draws to a close, you probably have one eye glued to the calendar as you will yourself into the holidays. Often at this stage of the year, fatigue is battling with the seemingly never ending lists of tasks to be completed – you’ve been working hard on reports, registers, meetings, professional development, planning, assessment setting and / or marking … need we go on?

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Preparation is the key to good results

As #CAFS NSW students begin to think about preparing for their HSC trials, it is timely to discuss what they can do to give the exams their best shot.

1. Know the syllabus

This goes without saying. Knowing the syllabus intimately is a key component to achieving good results in CAFS (and for any other subject for that matter). Successful CAFS students demonstrate a strong interconnectedness between concepts and their application of knowledge in their exam responses. It is because of this interconnection that students, with the guidance of their teachers should examine the relationship between the ‘Learn about’ and ‘Learn to’ objectives.

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Staff meeting process for gathering feedback on the draft PDHPE syllabus

Last month saw the release of the draft K-10 PDHPE syllabus for consultation. The release provides an exciting opportunity for teachers to have input into the future directions of the PDHPE learning area.

ACHPER NSW and the PDHPE Teachers’ Association will be submitting formal feedback based on input from their members.

In order to support teachers to explore the draft K-10 PDHPE syllabus and provide us with your feedback on the draft syllabus, we have put together a step-by-step process with guided discussion questions. The process has been designed to be run in a staff meeting or faculty meeting and could be used on the upcoming staff development day.

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How can schools and parents balance screen-time and green-time? Part 3

As earlier stated, digital amputation is not a solution. Teaching our kids healthy media habits is critical. This requires action on behalf of schools, parents and health professionals, which in turn requires learning and upskilling because parents and educators are the first generation of raising and working with digital natives. Put simply, you don’t know what you don’t know. Raising and teaching kids in the digital age is new terrain that we’re (as educators and parents) trying to navigate (and often we’re trying to figure this out on the fly and on the backfoot.)

Here are some simple ideas that you can implement at both home and school to encourage kids to balance their screen- and green-time.

// Plan unplugged times

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Why we need to teach kids to balance screen-time and green-time – Part 2

// Mind-wandering mode

Time unplugged and in nature allows our students’ brains to enter what neuroscientists call ‘mind wandering mode’ which is also considered the ‘default mode’ of thinking. When our students are outdoors, they’re away from their screens (hopefully) and therefore they’re not processing the multitude of sensory input that screens offer (sounds, animations, graphics, text). This allows their prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain that’s responsible for their higher-order thinking) to switch off. As a result, their mind can wander. During this mode of thinking, they can come up with creative solutions to problems, develop new ideas and be creative. (This is also the exact same reason why we often have our best ideas in the shower, after a run, or after a holiday.)

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Why we must teach kids to balance their screen-time and green-time by Dr Kristy Goodwin

Our kids are experiencing digitalised childhoods. Their plugged-in childhoods are impacting their health, development and even the ways that they want and expect to learn. Technology is changing so many things about childhood and adolescence.

For example, we now know that today’s kids are leading more sedentary lives and one of the reasons (it’s certainly not the only reason) is because of their screen infatuation. Teachers throughout Australia are anecdotally reporting changes to students’ fine motor skills and research now confirms that many children learn to tap, swipe and pinch before they’ve learnt to ride a bike, grip a pencil or tie their shoelaces. There are also mounting concerns that young students’ gross motor skill development is also being impacted because of excessive time spent with screens (fundamental movement skills like crawling, hanging off monkey bars and rolling and swinging to develop their vestibular systems are being displaced by screen activities).

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ACHPER NSW and the PDHPE TA are seeking your feedback on the draft PDHPE syllabus

Last month saw the release of the draft K-10 PDHPE syllabus for consultation. The release provides an exciting opportunity for teachers to have input into the future directions of the PDHPE learning area.

ACHPER NSW and the PDHPE Teachers’ Association will be submitting formal feedback based on input from their members. You can provide feedback to be included in the submissions through the following channels:

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