Health and Physical Education

Learning area


Strands, sub-strands and threads

The Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education is organised into two content strands: personal, social and community health and movement and physical activity. Each strand contains content descriptions which are organised under three sub-strands.

Figure 1: The structure of the Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

Table 1: Overview of sub-strands and threads in the Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

Personal, social and community healthMovement and physical activity
Sub-strands and threads

Being healthy, safe and active

  • Identities
  • Changes and transitions
  • Help-seeking
  • Making healthy and safe choices

Moving our body

  • Refining movement skills
  • Developing movement concepts and strategies

Communicating and interacting for health and wellbeing

  • Interacting with others
  • Understanding emotions
  • Health literacy

Understanding movement

  • Fitness and physical activity
  • Elements of movement
  • Cultural significance of physical activity

Contributing to healthy and active communities

  • Community health promotion
  • Connecting to the environment
  • Valuing diversity

Learning through movement

  • Teamwork and leadership
  • Critical and creative thinking in movement
  • Ethical behaviour in movement settings
Relationship between the strands

In the Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education (F–10), the two strands, personal, social and community health and movement and physical activity, are interrelated and inform and support each other. Both strands must be taught in each year from Foundation to Year 10. Creating opportunities for practical application will enhance the development of knowledge, understanding and skills across a range of relevant and meaningful health and movement focus areas. Students should be provided with the opportunity to participate in physical activity on a weekly basis as a minimum as part of the HPE curriculum.


1. Being healthy, safe and active

The content focuses on supporting students to make decisions about their own health, safety and wellbeing. It develops the knowledge, understanding and skills to support students to be resilient. It enables them to access and understand health information and empowers them to make healthy, safe and active choices. In addition, the content explores personal identities and emotions, and the contextual factors that influence students’ health, safety and wellbeing. Students also learn about the behavioural aspects related to regular physical activity and develop the dispositions needed to be active individuals.

2. Communicating and interacting for health and wellbeing

The content develops knowledge, understanding and skills to enable students to critically engage with a range of health focus areas and issues. It also helps them apply new information to changing circumstances and environments that influence their own and others’ health, safety and wellbeing.

3. Contributing to healthy and active communities

The content develops knowledge, understanding and skills to enable students to critically analyse contextual factors that influence the health and wellbeing of communities. The content supports students to selectively access information, products, services and environments to take action to promote the health and wellbeing of their communities.

4. Moving our body

The content lays the important early foundations of play and fundamental movement skills. It focuses on the acquisition and refinement of a broad range of movement skills. Students apply movement concepts and strategies to enhance performance and move with competence and confidence. Students develop skills and dispositions necessary for lifelong participation in physical activities.

5. Understanding movement

The content focuses on developing knowledge and understanding about how and why our body moves and what happens to our body when it moves. While participating in physical activities, students analyse and evaluate theories, techniques and strategies that can be used to understand and enhance the quality of movement and physical activity performance. They explore the place and meaning of physical activity, outdoor recreation and sport in their own lives, and across time and cultures.

6. Learning through movement

The content focuses on personal and social skills that can be developed through participation in movement and physical activities. These skills include communication, decision-making, problem-solving, critical and creative thinking, and cooperation. The skills can be developed as students work individually and in small groups or teams to perform movement tasks or solve movement challenges. Through movement experiences, students develop other important personal and social skills such as self-awareness, self-management, persisting with challenges and striving for enhanced performance. They also experience the varied roles within organised sport and recreation.

Focus areas

The 12 focus areas provide the breadth of learning across Foundation to Year 10 that must be taught for students to acquire and demonstrate the knowledge, understanding and skills described in the achievement standard for each band of learning. The focus areas have been mapped to each content description and elaboration (annotations included in brackets) to assist teachers in their planning. Descriptions of each of the focus areas and the learning expected in each can be accessed through hyperlinks from the focus area annotations after each elaboration.

Advice on appropriate timing for addressing each focus area is provided in Table 2 below and the band descriptions. It is expected that the focus areas identified in each band description will contribute substantially to the Health and Physical Education teaching and learning program for the relevant band of learning. Decisions about the specific timing of when each focus area will be taught within the two-year band (for example, whether to teach about safety in Year 3 or Year 4 or in both years) are the responsibility of schools and teachers. Planning decisions should take into account local needs, available resources, students’ readiness and community priorities.

Across the Health and Physical Education curriculum from Foundation to Year 10, the focus areas that must be addressed in each band of learning are those indicated with a tick in Table 2 below.

Table 2: Focus areas across the learning continuum

Focus areaFoundation – Year 2Years 3–6Years 7–10
Alcohol and other drugs (AD)

Medicines only

Food and nutrition (FN)
Health benefits of physical activity (HBPA)
Mental health and wellbeing (MH)
Relationships and sexuality (RS)

Relationships only

Safety (S)
Active play and minor games (AP) N/A
Challenge and adventure activities (CA) N/A
Fundamental movement skills (FMS) N/A
Games and sports (GS) N/A
Lifelong physical activities (LLPA) N/A
Rhythmic and expressive activities (RE)

Same-sex attracted and gender-diverse students

As with other areas of student diversity, it is crucial to acknowledge and affirm diversity in relation to sexuality and gender in Health and Physical Education. Inclusive Health and Physical Education programs which affirm sexuality and gender diversity acknowledge the impact of diversity on students’ social worlds, acknowledge and respond to the needs of all students, and provide more meaningful and relevant learning opportunities for all students.

The Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education (F–10) is designed to allow schools flexibility to meet the learning needs of all young people, particularly in the health focus area of relationships and sexuality. All school communities have a responsibility when implementing the Health and Physical Education curriculum to ensure that teaching is inclusive and relevant to the lived experiences of all students. This is particularly important when teaching about reproduction and sexual health, to ensure that the needs of all students are met, including students who may be same-sex attracted, gender diverse or intersex.

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