Heathcote High School

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Personal development, health and physical education (PDHPE) is mandatory from Kindergarten to Year 10.

PDHPE provides students with opportunities to explore issues that are likely to impact on the health, safety and wellbeing of themselves and others – now and in the future. Students also participate in challenging and enjoyable physical activity, improving their capacity to move with skill and confidence.

In Year 11 and 12, courses available include:

  • Community and Family Studies
  • Community and Family Studies Life Skills
  • Exploring Early Childhood
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education Life Skills
  • Sport, Lifestyle and Recreation Studies.

PDHPE at Heathcote High

The aim of the PDHPE curriculum is to broadly empower students to exert greater control over their own health, develop positive attitudes towards their endeavors in life and be successful members of their community. PDHPE also involves practical participation in a wide variety of sports and physical activities on a weekly basis. The emphasis is on lifelong physical activity, participation and the many and varied benefits of it. The following is a snapshot of the PDHPE course offered.

Year 7-10 PDHPE (Stages 4 & 5)

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) is a mandatory course that is studied in each of Years 7–10 with at least 300 hours to be completed by the end of Year 10. This is a requirement for eligibility for the award of the Record of School Achievement.

Course Description

PDHPE develops students' capacity to enhance personal health and well-being. It promotes their enjoyment of and commitment to an active lifestyle and to achieve confidence and competence in a wide range of physical activities.

Through PDHPE students develop knowledge and understanding, skills and values and attitudes that enable them to advocate lifelong health and physical activity.

What will students learn about?

All students study the following four modules:

- Self and Relationships – Students learn about sense of self, adolescence and change, sources of personal support and the nature of positive, caring relationships

- Movement Skill and Performance – Students explore the elements of composition as they develop and refine movement skills in a variety of contexts

- Individual and Community Health – Students learn about the specific health issues of mental health, healthy food habits, sexual health, drug use and road safety. They examine risk, personal safety and how to access health information, products and services.

- Lifelong Physical Activity – Students consider lifestyle balance and the importance of physical activity and its physical benefits. Students learn to participate successfully in a wide range of activities and to adopt roles that promote a more active community.

What will students learn to do?

Throughout the course students will learn to apply some key skills that allow them to take action for health and physical activity. This includes an emphasis on communicating, interacting, problem-solving, decision-making, planning and moving.

Record of School Achievement

Satisfactory completion of the mandatory PDHPE course will be recorded with a grade on the student's Record of School Achievement.

Allocation of PDHPE classes at Heathcote High School

Year 7 – 4 periods per week

Year 8 – 3 periods per week

Year 9 – 3 periods per week

Year 10 – 3 periods per week


Year 9/10 (Stage 5) PDHPE Elective

Physical activity & Sports Studies

Physical Activity and Sports Studies represents a broad view of physical activity and the many possible contexts in which individuals can build activity into their lifestyle. It incorporates a wide range of lifelong physical activities, including recreational, leisure and adventure pursuits, competitive and non-competitive games, individual and group physical fitness activities, and the use of physical activity for therapy and remediation.

Participation in regular physical activity is essential to improving health status and quality of life. Health experts agree it can reduce the likelihood of obesity, non-insulin dependent diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension and cancers. Research shows regular physical activity to also be effective in stress management, therapy and rehabilitation, injury prevention and the promotion of physical fitness. Individuals who lead an active lifestyle enjoy a positive sense of general wellbeing, heightened energy levels and improved ability to concentrate. They have an enhanced capacity to perform daily activities with ease and respond to increased demands.

Participation in physical activity provides opportunities for personal challenge, enjoyment and satisfaction. It also provides for positive interaction with others, in both collaborative and competitive contexts and supports the development of key social skills necessary for strong interpersonal relationships


Years 11-12 (Stage 6)

2 Unit- Sport, Lifestyle & Recreation (SLR)

Sport, Lifestyle and Recreation enables Stage 6 students to build upon their learning in Years K–10 Personal Development, Health and Physical Education. Specifically, it focuses on those aspects of the learning area that relate most closely to participation in sport and physical activity.

The benefits of physical activity for the individual and the community as a whole are well documented. The individual can benefit from increased fitness and reduced incidence of lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular and respiratory disease, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and osteoporosis. These benefits are complemented by positive psychological and social outcomes that characterise quality of life.

Good health is also a major community asset in that it leads to a reduced financial burden on the community. Health experts have identified the promotion of physical activity as one of the most potentially significant public health initiatives in Australia.

Sport, Lifestyle and Recreation makes a positive contribution to the total wellbeing of students. They develop knowledge and understanding of the value of activity, increased levels of movement skill, competence in a wide variety of sport and recreation contexts and skills in planning to be active. These and other aspects of the course enable students to adopt and maintain an active lifestyle.

Students also develop a preparedness to contribute to the establishment of a health-promoting community that is supportive of its members adopting a healthy lifestyle.


2 Unit- Personal Development, Health & Physical Education (PDHPE)

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) is an integrated area of study that provides for the intellectual, social, emotional, physical and spiritual development of students. It involves students learning about and practicing ways of maintaining active, healthy lifestyles and improving their health status. It is also concerned with social and scientific understandings about movement, which lead to enhanced movement potential and appreciation of movement in their lives.

Young people are growing up in a world of rapid change. Expanding technologies, new social structures, shifting community values and emerging environmental issues are complex interrelated factors that affect the way individuals live their lives. At a time when there is tremendous opportunity for good health there are numerous conflicting influences on lifestyle.

It should be a goal of every individual to lead a fulfilled life that is active and healthy. Furthermore, it is desirable to be a part of a society that promotes this as a key value and supports its members in leading healthy lifestyles.

In order for students to enhance personal growth and to make a significant contribution to the wellbeing of others, PDHPE focuses on the health of individuals and communities and the factors that influence movement skill and physical activity levels


Community & Family Studies 

Contemporary society is characterised by rapid social and technological change, cultural diversity, conflicting values and competitive pressures. Developing understanding about society and living in society requires a comprehensive knowledge of its complex nature. Consequently, Community and Family Studies is an interdisciplinary course drawing upon selected components of family studies, sociology, developmental psychology and students' general life experiences. This course focuses on skills in resource management that enable people to function effectively in their everyday lives, in families and communities.

As students develop into young adults they are faced by challenges of increasing complexity and there is a range of strong influences on the decisions they make. Schools complement the role of families and other social groups by helping students to make informed decisions and to take responsible action in all aspects of their lives. This includes preparing students for vocational options and acting to enhance the wellbeing of themselves and others. To this end, Community and Family Studies develops students' knowledge, skills and attitudes relevant to effective decision-making leading to confidence and competence in solving practical problems in the management of everyday living.

The way in which individuals relate to others is a key factor determining their capacity to lead responsible and productive lives both now and in the future. Community and Family Studies provides opportunities for students to explore and form positive attitudes about themselves and others; to develop an understanding of their relationships within their families and other groups; to learn to work cooperatively and to appreciate the importance of effective communication.

Community and Family Studies utilises an ecological framework to investigate the interactions among the individual, family, community and society. Recognition of the interdependence of the individual and other groups is central to the framework.

During their study of the unit on Parenting, students will take home the ‘Baby think it over' doll. A fully computerised version of a newborn baby, students are totally responsible for the care of the baby overnight. This includes scheduled feeds, changes and general crying stages set on the computer. Students will need to learn to recognise what might be needed at each wake stage, with only the correct response stopping the infant from crying after a certain time period. This is a challenging and often confronting night for some of the students to cope with and understand some of the stressors of being a new parent.

Community and Family Studies can have a direct and positive influence on the quality of students' lives both now and in the future. During the school years, students are confronted with an awareness of their emerging identity as young women and young men. Community and Family Studies investigates the unique contributions of individuals, groups, families and communities in the development of effective social structures. It encourages opportunities for students to become proactive members of society as they examine both their potential to adopt a range of roles and the responsibilities they have in contributing to society.



Mr. Craig Holmes (Head Teacher)

Mr. Scott Carpenter (Sports Organiser/Admin)

Miss. Alex Lupton

Mrs. Jaclyn Thompson (Year 10 Year Advisor)

Miss. Chenay Mercer (Year 7 Year Adviser)