Sport in Schools

Note: Have a look at the great videos on the Sport Resources page to see how schools are Lifting their Game!

Lifting Your Game
encourages principals, school executive, teachers and the wider school community to promote and celebrate student achievement through participation in equitable, well planned sport and physical activity programs.

Research identifies schools as ideal settings for students to engage in physical activity sessions that are safe, challenging and age appropriate. Through school sport and physical activity programs fundamental movement and sport skills can be taught and consolidated in a fair and positive learning environment.

The conduct of inclusive high quality sport programs, as part of a school's management plan, ensures students achieve their learning potential in a physical setting. Through regular participation and engagement in enjoyable and relevant local school sport programs students can develop:

  • physical skills
  • cognitive skills
  • social interaction
  • values
  • emotional resilience.

 Why does the NSW Premier's Sporting Challenge promote Lifting Your Game?

All government schools in New South Wales are required to provide sport programs for students in Years 3-11. In Years 3-6 80 minutes per week of planned physical activity (including sport) are mandated and in Years 7-11 80-120 minutes per week for sport should be allocated. This is in addition to the curriculum requirements of the Key Learning Area of Personal Development, Health and Physical Education.

In many schools sport and physical activity are already an important and integral part of the school management plan and contribute significantly to the culture and success of the school community. However the NSW Auditor General's report on Physical Activity in Government Primary Schools revealed an increased emphasis on Literacy and Numeracy outcomes and a decline in teacher confidence and competence in delivering extra-curricular activities. These have impacted, in many instances, on the value, quality and delivery of sport and physical activity as part of a whole school experience.

Lifting Your Game has evolved to meet the professional learning of teachers of sport and to support schools interested in adopting a whole school approach to the delviery of sport and physical activity.

Why should schools support sport and physical activity? 

The social, cognitive and welfare consequences of involvement in quality sport activities address the National Professional Standards for Principals and can assist whole school communities in:

  • raising student achievement at all levels and all stages
  • promoting equity and excellence
  • creating and sustaining conditions for quality teaching and learning to thrive
  • developing and delivering community expectations and government policy
  • contributing to a 21st century education system at local and national level
  • the development of students as citizens of the world.[1]

[1] National Professional Standards for Principals, Education Services Australia (Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs), July 2011.

Significant international research and Australian government investigations indicate that students who experience positive, inclusive and rewarding school sport programs are more likely to exhibit:
  • improved academic results
  • self esteem and resilience
  • effective organisational, motivation and performance skills
  • connectedness to school
  • the benefits of an active lifestyle well beyond the school environment.[2]

As well as improving student performance and learning outcomes a quality physical activity and sport program, implemented as part of a whole school plan, can have many benefits for all stakeholders. These include:

  • improved student/teacher relationships
  • higher concentration levels on classroom tasks following physical activity sessions
  • more productive students with increased aspiration levels (especially amongst disadvantaged students)
  • stronger links between school, home and the wider community
  • decreased absenteeism.

Lifting Your Game is an opportunity for schools to review and revitalise school sport and physical activity and achieve improved outcomes for all students.

Resources to support schools in improving their sport programs are being added regularly to the PSC website Sport Resources page.

Professional learnnig opportunities are listed on the School Sport Unit's Teacher Professional Learning page. 

[2] Executive Overview, Putting Sport and Physical Education Back into Education, The Future of Sport in Australia, Australian Government, Independent Sport Panel. 2010