WHAT IS THE PEPL APPROACH?
In this sustainable approach, schools are supported by a PEPL coach. The coach is a suitably experienced Health and Physical Education (HPE) specialist teacher. The PEPL coach is not tasked with any unsustainable personal teaching load; instead he or she adopts a facilitator role across a network of schools, working with the PE leader to enhance the school climate of physical activity and delivery of the HPE curriculum. The PEPL coaches themselves are supported by an expert working group made up of ACHPER, university researchers and Government representatives.
The PEPL approach is made up of four building blocks targeted in sequential order:
• Evidence based. The PEPL approach was designed after 15 years of research in schools through the widely published Australian LOOK study.
• An embedded program with a sustained capacity for schools to enhance physical literacy in all children. This approach does not rely on external program providers, instead assists teachers to meet existing health and physical education curriculum requirements.
• Provides ongoing professional development of classroom teachers to improve HPE teaching practice and adherence to HPE curriculum requirements with closer cooperation of classroom and specialist HPE teachers.
• Cost effective – enables resources and expertise to be shared in a network of schools.
1. The PEPL school climate: A school climate that values HPE and physical literacy is essential for student health and wellbeing. Principals are supported to create PEPL expectations and determine the roles of HPE specialist and classroom teachers.
2. The delivery of the HPE curriculum: The PEPL coach supports the HPE school leader and classroom teachers to deliver a quality year-long HPE program that meets state curriculum requirements. The PEPL coach provides professional development for the classroom teacher in-class, and through local network workshops, to enhance classroom teacher confidence and competence in teaching physical education.
3. Student physical literacy opportunities: The PEPL approach extends beyond school classroom hours. It provides teachers with resources and support to promote increased physical activity opportunities such as active travel to school, and strategies to develop student physical literacy during lunch, recesses and classroom breaks.
4. School-community links: The PEPL coach assists HPE leaders to build school partnerships with community organisations and sporting clubs to provide students with a range of extracurricular opportunities and learning experiences. A major aspect of the PEPL approach is to facilitate and integrate the Sport Australia Sporting Schools program into the school HPE curriculum, enhancing the impact of the program and the physical literacy of the students.
• More efficient collaboration with state and local government initiatives such as active travel programs, as well as the Sporting Schools program.
• An adaptable approach capable of rapid response to latest research findings, curriculum changes, emerging programs and government initiatives.
• Improvements in obesity, physical health, wellbeing and NAPLAN. Our trials and peer reviewed publications indicate that widespread introduction of the PEPL program in primary schools will reduce the incidence of early symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increase NAPLAN (especially numeracy) scores.
• Measureable: The tasks and progress of schools are documented in an online reporting platform enabling tailored assistance to schools and feedback on the success of the approach