The Physical Education & Physical Literacy (PEPL) approach is an evidence-based system to increase physical activity, improve physical literacy and enhance delivery of the HPE curriculum in primary schools.

The problem

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There is no debate – we all want children to be more active, healthy and physically literate. Current evidence indicates that public primary schools simply do not have the teaching capacity to effectively meet government health and physical education (HPE) curriculum requirements. To this end, our primary school education system is failing and our kids are paying the price. Not just with the high incidence of obesity and risk to health but also with compromised academic achievement.

A solution

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The PEPL approach is an evidence-based, cost effective and scalable system designed to enhance physical literacy and delivery of the HPE curriculum. PEPL focuses on increasing educational efficiency, making better use of current school assets and capacity. A PEPL coach operates in a professional developmental role within a network of 8-10 schools in a proven sustainable multi-component approach.

Systematic approach


The PEPL approach contains a set of objectives and strategies which are underpinned by four sequential building blocks. Every school is different and a PEPL coach tailors the approach to meet the needs and existing capacity of the teachers and students. The PEPL approach has been evaluated in two randomised controlled trials.

The PEPL approach was developed by the University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise (UCRISE) in collaboration with the Victorian Department of Education and Trainng, School Sport Victoria, Sport Australia, ACHPER Victoria, Cricket Australia and with encouragement from the Confederation of Australian Sport and the Primary School Principals Association.

This PEPL research is to be undertaken in parallel with, and will benefit from two other University of Canberra studies: The Lifestyle of our Kids (LOOK) study and the Active Early Learning (AEL) project