Literacy in PDHPE – Dan Jackson

To some, PDHPE and literacy in the same sentence may only be used as a reference to a ticked box in a programme for compliance. To others, it may be something that has become an important focus of their professional learning and professional reading, which is clearly evident within their PDHPE classroom.

Without become confused and apprehensive about embedding literacy into your PDHPE programme, there are some very simple strategies that can be easily included and will have positive effects on your students. One of the first strategies is to know your students well; this was reinforced in one of our previous articles.


1. Many of us have been in meetings with reference to NAPLAN results, but very few of us know how to use NAPLAN data to inform us about our students. NAPLAN results are individualised and with access to this data you can create simple class profiles that will help you to identify exactly which aspects of literacy a particular student is struggling with, or is exceptional at. This profile can then be used to inform you practice as you seek to strengthen your students’ literacy and cater to their skill levels.
2. A reading strategy to develop literacy in PDHPE (or any subject for that matter) is called the ‘Sticky Note Summary’. This is a simple, yet effective strategy that can assist students who find it difficult to understand set readings and struggle to identify key points in information provided. Sticky summaries can be developed when students are provided with a set number of the “tab” like sticky notes, which are used to write down key points from an article/reading as they go. After finishing their reading, students write their own summary from the small sticky notes. This interaction with the text is vital as we support the development of students’ ability to read and understand.


3. To further develop literacy in PDHPE a specific writing structure that has been used extensively in Stage 6 PDHPE and other courses is PEEL. This may sometimes be known as TEEL, TEE, SEAL, SEXY or another similar acronym. The PEEL writing structure can be introduced in our K-6 PDHPE classrooms as well as in the first years of secondary school. The inclusion of this structure will mean that our students use a consistent approach throughout their literacy in PDHPE and will further develop their ability to write. Providing feedback to students on their plans and allowing them time to adjust their plans before completing the writing component is also a simple, yet effective strategy.


These are just a couple of strategies that Alex Lupton (Heathcote High School) and I will explore at our upcoming workshop Literacy in PDHPE.

Daniel Jackson
(SEDA College and Founder of

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