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The Health and Physical Education faculty consists of three different learning areas in the junior school (Health, Physical Education and Sport Studies (Sport Science and Sports Excellence)) and four different learning areas in the senior school (Health, Physical Education, Physical Activity and Leisure and Outdoor Education).

Through learning and by accepting challenges in health related and movement contexts, students reflect on the nature of well being and how to promote it.

Health Education

In Health Education, students develop their understanding of the factors that influence the health of individuals, groups, and society: lifestyle, economic, social, cultural, political, and environmental factors. They develop competencies for mental wellness, reproductive health and positive sexuality, and safety management.

Junior Health

In years 9 and 10 students are encouraged to investigate ways in which well-being can be effected in a range of contexts, and develop strategies to cope with difficult or challenging situations.

Contexts include:

  • Hauora / Well-being
  • Drug and Alcohol education
  • Positive relationship and assertive communication
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Sexuality Education
  • Accepting Diversity
  • Mental Health

Senior Health (11-13HED)

In years 11-13 the underlying concepts are extended and examined in more depth. These include Hauora/Well-being, Socio-ecological perspective, and Attitudes and Values. Students experience opportunities to investigate current and relevant issues in NZ and World communities, critically think about the cause and effect of these issues, and develop strategies to promote health and well-being for both individuals and communities.

HED is NCEA endorsable and can lead to Scholarship in year 13. This is a university approved subject.

Please see the Senior Course Booklet for more information.

Physcial Education

In Physical Education the focus is on movement and its contribution to the development of individuals and communities. Students are encouraged to engage in movement experiences that promote and support the development of physical and social skill.  Our units foster critical thinking and action, and enables students to understand the role and significance of physical activity for individuals and society.

Junior Physical Education

In Year’s 9 and 10 students are challenged to engage in a range of contexts to develop their physical and interpersonal skills. Our units promote inclusion, personal and social responsibility, and help to develop leadership skills. Students will explore biophysical and socio-cultural concepts that can impact and enhance movement and physical activity experiences for individuals and communities. This include:

  • Aquatics and water safety
  • Adventure Based Learning
  • Basic Anatomy, exercise physiology and biomechanics
  • Impact of societal influences on physical activity (including the role of technology in youth culture)
  • Social Responsibility
  • International games and cultural diversity
  • Invasion and striking skills and strategies

Year 10 Sport Studies

Year 10 Sport Science

Students who take Sport Science are able to extend their knowledge and application of biophysical principles in relation to sports performance and training. Topics covered include:

  • Anatomy
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Biomechanics

Year 10 Sports Excellence

Students who take Sports Excellence will learn knowledge and techniques to improve their own sports performance. This includes:

  • Anatomy
  • Components of Fitness
  • Methods and Principles of Training
  • Nutrition for sport
  • Time management

See the Junior Course Booklet for more information

Senior Physical Education (Year 11-13 PED)

Senior Physical Education extends students’ knowledge of biophysical concepts and socio-cultural factors investigated in the junior school. Students are given opportunities to further understand, develop and implement aspects of skill improvement, training programs and group processes to enhance both sports performance and interpersonal skills. Our units encourage critical thinking and challenge assumptions relating to health, fitness and sports performance concepts.

These include:

  • Anatomy, Biomechanics and Exercise Physiology
  • Safety Management
  • Interpersonal skills and group processes
  • Performance Improvement
  • Methods and Principles of training
  • Impact of issues and events on sports/physical activity

PED is NCEA endorsable and leads to scholarship in year 13. PED is a university approved subject.

Please see the Senior Course Booklet for more information.

Senior Physical Activity and Leisure (Year 11-13 PAL)

The Physical Activity and Leisure pathway is designed for students wishing to experience aspects of the fitness and recreation industry. The course encourages students to improve their knowledge of fitness and training concepts, interpersonal and leadership skills, and consider influences on physical activity levels for self and others. Concepts include:

  • Principles of Training
  • Components of fitness
  • Exercise Prescription
  • Leadership and communication
  • Coaching

This course has a mixture of Achievement Standards and Unit Standards.

Please see the Senior Course Booklet for more information.

Outdoor Education

Outdoor Education is well established at Rutherford College. We offer courses at Year 12 and 13 (OED).


Year 12 Outdoor Education is designed to give students an opportunity to engage in experiences and challenges in the outdoors. Students learn to identify and manage risks/hazards, skills and strategies to enhance outdoor experiences, and participate in outdoor activities. A highlight of this course includes a camp at Tawharanui.

Contexts include:

  • Tramping
  • Navigation
  • Weather analysis
  • Risk analysis
  • Kayaking and stand up paddle boarding
  • Rock Climbing

Please see the Senior Course Booklet for more information.


Year 13 Outdoor Education is an extension of the Year 12 program. Students will further their knowledge and application of safety management in the outdoors, and experience a wider variety of outdoor activities. The highlights of this course include a snow camp at Mt Ruapehu.

Contexts include:

  • Safety and risk management
  • Leadership
  • Stand up paddle boarding
  • Rock Climbing / Tramping
  • Skiing / Snowboarding

Please see the Senior Course Booklet for more information.

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