These guidelines will help school communities to plan and provide opportunities for their students to enjoy many physical activity experiences, both within the school curriculum and outside it.
Regular and enjoyable physical activity benefits everyone. It can improve physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being and, for New Zealand students and young people everywhere, it should be part of daily life.
Society influences the choices young people make around physical activity, just as it affects all their other choices. We all share responsibility for providing opportunities for physical activity.
Schools, in particular, play a critical role in fostering young people’s physical activity, in teaching the skills and attitudes needed to participate, and in providing a safe venue for the activity to take place. An effective school programme will include time for daily play and structured and unstructured physical activities, provide recreation and sport, and offer quality physical education for all.
When clear, positive messages about physical activity and opportunities to take part in it are part of every school’s day-to-day teaching, physical activity becomes part of all students’ development. This emphasis on physical activity can help cultivate the important links between a school and its wider community, for instance, through organised sport.
These guidelines are intended for school principals, curriculum managers responsible for health and physical education programmes within schools, and teachers of physical education or health and physical education programmes. They will also be useful to sport and recreation co-ordinators, physical activity co-ordinators, all teachers, and boards of trustees.
Other people who may use them include parent and whānau groups, school support service advisers, regional sports trust facilitators, community agencies working with teachers and in schools, health-promoting schools co-ordinators, district nurses, and school health staff.
The purpose of these guidelines is to help school communities to plan and provide opportunities for their students to enjoy many physical activity experiences, both within the school curriculum and in co-curricular contexts.
In response to concerns raised about the physical activity undertaken by New Zealand students, both the National Education Goals (NEGs) and the National Administration Guidelines (NAGs) have been amended. One of the factors leading to these amendments was a growing concern about the quality and quantity of physical activity opportunities offered to children and young people within their school programmes, in both curriculum and co-curricular contexts (Education Review Office, 2001). These changes, which aim to improve the quality and quantity of students’ physical activity in all schools, were gazetted in 2004 and took effect from 1 January 2006.