Throughout the year, the PDHPE faculty have focused on developing the students’ skills in critical and creative thinking with the aim to deepen their knowledge and understanding of key concepts using a range of strategies. In Year 7, the Smoking and Decision Making unit had a thread running through it using Tony Ryan’s Thinkers’ Keys where the students were asked to brainstorm, inquire, predict and identify consequences regarding a range of smoking related issues. The girls demonstrated engagement and further developed their understanding. Chalk Talk was another thinking routine that provides an opportunity for everyone to be given a chance to think, see, wonder and ask questions. The thinking becomes visible and it encourages students to consider others’ viewpoints in silence.
In Year 8, the girls engaged in a new unit, Playing it Safe – Youth Health Issues, where they explored the idea of risk taking and strategies to keep themselves and others safe in situations involving drugs and alcohol. Additionally, the NSW BOSTES amended the 7-10 Syllabus in 2016 to introduce the concept of Domestic Violence when addressing equal and respectful relationships. To support the theoretical content, the girls undertook a practical lesson in self-defence, learning how to defend themselves in dangerous situations, an experience they all appreciated.
Through analysing and engaging with the most recent Closing the Gap report, Year 9 PDHPE students became aware of indigenous health issues in Australia. They also developed empathy, awareness and skills facing adversity in the Changes and Challenges unit. In the practical component of the course, all students participated in a gym based fitness program. This was undertaken at DC Health in Crows Nest and increased their understanding of how a gym can be effectively utilised for lifelong physical activities.
Throughout the Semester, Year 10 have gained valuable knowledge and skills across a range of theoretical and practical programs. During the unit Young Drivers on the Road, they have enhanced their knowledge of safe road practices and had the opportunity to critically examine the current road safety campaign ‘Towards Zero’. They have gained an understanding and appreciation of competition management, delivering a variety of lessons showcasing their skills as coaches, manager and officials as part of the Let’s Play program. The Teenage Sexuality unit saw the girls focus on the importance of equal and respectful relationships and in this year group also the mandated addition of Domestic Violence was introduced.
Year 11 have started their PDHPE HSC course studying Factors Affecting Performance. They are currently researching and preparing for a presentation for their first HSC assessment task. Finally, Year 12 PDHPE students of 2016 should be congratulated on their consistent effort and application throughout the year and I wish them well with their HSC results and future life endeavours.
Meredith O’Donell (Ms)