Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) aims to enable students to develop the knowledge, understandings, skills, values and attitudes required to lead and promote healthy, safe and active lives.

PDHPE provides students with opportunities to enhance their own and others’ health, safety, wellbeing and participation in physical activity. Students develop self-management, interpersonal and movement skills to become empowered, self-confident and socially responsible citizens.

PDHPE is a mandatory course that is studied in each of Years 7-10 with at least 300 hours to be completed by the end of Year 10. This is a requirement for eligibility for the award of the Record of School Achievement (ROSA).

Students in Years 11-12 have the option to select Board Developed and/or Content Endorsed Courses as part of their HSC pathway. In the PDHPE key learning area, PDHPE and Community and Family Studies are Board Developed Courses; while Sport, Lifestyle and Recreation and Exploring Early Childhood are Content Endorsed courses.

Course offered in Stage 4 (Years 7-8):

  • PDHPE (Mandatory)

Courses offered in Stage 5 (Years 9-10):

  • PDHPE (Mandatory)
  • Physical Activity and Sports Studies 100 Hour (Elective)
  • Physical Activity and Sports Studies 200 Hour (Elective)
  • Child Studies 100 Hour (Elective)
  • Child Studies 200 Hour (Elective)

Elective Courses offered in Stage 6 (Years 11-12):

  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (2 Units / ATAR)
  • Community and Family Studies (2 Units / ATAR)
  • Sport, Lifestyle and Recreation (2 Units / Non-ATAR)
  • Sport, Lifestyle and Recreation (1 Unit / Non-ATAR)
  • Exploring Early Childhood (2 Units / Non-ATAR)
  • Exploring Early Childhood (1 Unit / Non-ATAR)

Stage 4 


By the end of Stage 4, students propose skills and strategies to enhance their health and wellbeing by exploring ways to connect with their communities. They recognise factors that influence changes and transitions and evaluate strategies to manage current and future challenges. Students analyse ways to cultivate resilience and demonstrate help-seeking strategies and behaviours to support themselves and others. They recognise the characteristics of respectful relationships and the importance of belonging and connecting with others. Students investigate health practices, behaviours and resources and propose actions to promote health, safety and wellbeing for themselves and others in relation to a range of health and physical activity issues. They develop critical thinking skills in relation to accessing support and health information. Students recognise the need to develop habits for positive health and a lifetime of physical activity.

Students demonstrate control and accuracy when performing specialised movement sequences and skills in dynamic physical activity contexts. They transfer and adapt solutions to complex movement challenges by performing specialised movement skills and selecting, applying and combining movement concepts. Students investigate and create plans to achieve movement and fitness outcomes. They participate in a wide variety of moderate to vigorous physical activities to apply, adapt and vary movement skills with increased confidence and precision. Students apply and refine skills to promote safety, collaboration, fair play and inclusivity in physical activity contexts. They examine the cultural significance of physical activities and how connection and inclusion can enhance health, safety, wellbeing and physical activity levels of the wider community.

Stage 5


By the end of Stage 5, students evaluate a broad range of factors that shape identity and have an impact on young people’s health decisions, behaviours and actions. They plan and evaluate strategies and interventions and advocate for their own and others’ health, safety and wellbeing. Students investigate the impact of changes and transitions on relationships. They assess their capacity to consider and respond positively to challenges and how they can contribute to caring, inclusive and respectful relationships. Students reflect on emotional responses in a variety of situations and demonstrate protective skills to promote health, safety and wellbeing and manage complex situations. They design and implement actions to enhance and support their own and others’ fitness levels and participation in a lifetime of physical activity.

Students use movement to satisfy personal needs and interests. They participate in movement experiences with persistence as they compose, perform and appraise movement in various contexts. Students refine and apply movement skills and movement concepts to compose and perform innovative sequences. In response to unpredictable situations they work alone and collaboratively to design and apply creative solutions to movement challenges. Students apply and transfer movement concepts, skills, strategies and tactics to new and challenging situations. They use criteria to make judgements about and refine their own and others’ specialised movement skills and performances. Students describe the impact of biomechanical factors on skill development and performance.

Students demonstrate leadership, fair play and cooperation across a range of movement contexts. They adopt a variety of roles such as a leader, mentor, official, coach and team member to support and encourage the involvement of others.

Physical Activity and Sport Studies

Students develop a foundation for participation and performance in a range of physical activity and sport movement contexts. They analyse the role of body systems, physical fitness, nutrition and safety, and apply their knowledge and understanding when participating and performing in various movement contexts. Students demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the factors that limit and enhance their capacity to move and perform efficiently and develop their ability to transfer movement skills in a variety of contexts. They recognise the value of, and assess the broad range of benefits, provided by participation and performance. Students are provided with opportunities to work collaboratively to evaluate and make judgements about information, products and services available, and develop strategies to increase levels of participation in physical activity, sport and recreational pursuits.

Students demonstrate a broad understanding of the historical, social and cultural factors that have shaped contemporary views of physical activity and sport in Australia. They are able to identify factors, and reflect on significant changes, events and new directions that have shaped identity and increased rates of participation for groups within society. Students evaluate the contribution of physical activity, sport and leisure and recreation to individual, community and societal wellbeing. Students analyse physical activity, sport and recreation from a range of personal, social and cultural perspectives. They explore the benefits of participation in leisure and recreation and investigate how it can be incorporated into daily life to improve all aspects of health and wellbeing. Students investigate opportunities for careers in the physical activity, sport and recreation industries.

Students establish a repertoire of strategies and techniques to develop movement skills and enhance their capacity to participate and perform. They analyse how effective and appropriate these strategies are in preparing themselves and others for particular physical activity and sport opportunities. Students promote active lifestyles based on current trends and research in health and wellbeing and take action to increase opportunity for themselves and others. They analyse and appraise performances and design programs to achieve performance goals. Students develop skills and confidence in selected activities, demonstrating sound technique and tactics that maximise their effectiveness. They evaluate information, opinions, organisations and services. Students assess the contribution and impact of technology to participation and performance in physical activity and sport.

Child Studies

The aim of the Child Studies Content Endorsed Course is to develop in students the knowledge, understanding and skills to positively influence the wellbeing and development of children in the critical early years (0–8 years) in a range of settings and contexts.

By the end of Stage 5, students identify factors which influence an individual’s or couple’s decision to become a parent and describe the physical, social and emotional changes experienced during pregnancy. Students develop their understanding of reproduction and conception and explore support available to mothers as they prepare for birth. They have opportunities to identify preventable disabilities and illnesses relating to lifestyle habits. Students examine various cultural responses to parenting styles and family roles and responsibilities, and assess their impact on a child's development.

Students identify the physical characteristics and needs of newborns and strategies to promote their safety and wellbeing. They develop their understanding of the characteristics of growth and developmental milestones, and support networks which may assist parents with monitoring and encouraging their child. Students investigate types of play-based learning and assess play choices, environments and activities in terms of suitability, sustainability and safety. They describe the symptoms, treatment and preventative strategies relevant to a range of common childhood diseases and injuries and explore strategies which promote child safety in potentially hazardous situations.

Students develop their knowledge of the nutritional needs of children and examine contemporary issues related to food and nutrition. Students develop an understanding of how cultural practices and traditions influence the health and wellbeing of children and describe how childcare services can play an active role in increasing knowledge and appreciation of cultural differences. They examine the importance of cultural heritage, identity and kinship in Aboriginal cultures and explore education and enrichment activities for Aboriginal children. Students evaluate the impact of different types of technology on the wellbeing and development of children and explore strategies to monitor and reduce the potentially negative influence of technology on the lifestyle and learning of children.

Students develop an understanding of the diverse needs of children and identify the formal and informal support and resources available to optimise health and wellbeing. They explore the various enrichment activities and educational settings available to children and families. Students identify the range of childcare services available and examine the roles and responsibilities of childcare providers. They explore career opportunities which involve working with children and recognise the qualities required to be successful in these industries.

Stage 6 


Personal Development, Health and Physical Education is a 2 unit ATAR course that examines a range of areas that underpin health and physical activity. This includes how people think about health and physical activity, the management of personal health and the basis for how the body moves. In the Preliminary course, students will complete some practical activities in the areas of first aid and fitness choices being the two main options.

In the HSC course, students focus on major issues related to Australia's health status and look at a range of factors that affect physical performance. They undertake optional study including a focus on improved performance and safe participation, by learning about advanced approaches to sports medicine concepts.

Students will learn to develop values and attitudes that promote healthy and active lifestyles and communities, as well as knowledge and understanding of the factors that affect health capacity to exercise and about the way the body moves.

Students will develop skills to take action in order to improve participation and performance in physical activity, as well as an ability to apply the skills of critical thinking, research and analysis.

Community and Family Studies

Community and Family Studies is a 2 unit ATAR course that is designed to develop in each student an understanding of the diverse nature and interdependence of families and communities within Australian society. The course enables students to plan and manage resources effectively in order to address contemporary issues facing families and communities.

Students will learn to develop knowledge and understanding about resource management and its role in ensuring individual, group, family and community wellbeing; the contribution positive relationships can make as well as the influence of societal factors on individuals and the nature of groups, families and communities.

Students will also develop skills in research methodology, critical thinking and the ability to take responsible action to promote wellbeing. As part of this, students will use their skills to produce an Independent Research Project (IRP). This is usually completed over the course of nearly a term.

Sport, Lifestyle and Recreation

Sport, Lifestyle and Recreation is a Non-ATAR content-endorsed course that enables students to learn about the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle and to recognise the need to be responsible and informed decision-makers. This course is offered both as a 1 unit and 2 unit option.

Sport, Lifestyle and Recreation enables students to further develop their knowledge and understanding of and competence in a range of sport and recreational pursuits. This includes principles that affect the quality of performance, an ability to analyse and implement strategies to promote health, physical activity and enhanced performance as well as a capacity to influence the participation and performance of themself and others.

Sport, Lifestyle and Recreation is predominantly a practical based subject, with many opportunities to be active. The course provides the opportunity to specialise in areas of expertise or interest through optional modules (ranging from 20–40 hours in duration) such as: Fitness, Healthy Lifestyle, Individual Games and Sports Applications, Outdoor Recreation, Resistance Training, Social Perspectives of Games and Sport and Sports Coaching and Training.

Exploring Early Childhood

Exploring Early Childhood is a Non-ATAR content-endorsed course that explores issues within an early childhood context and considers these in relation to students themselves, their family and the community. It also looks at our society and increasingly recognises that children's experiences in the early childhood years form the foundation for future growth, development and learning. This course is offered both as a 1 unit and 2 unit option.

Students will learn to develop knowledge and understanding about pregnancy and various options for childbirth as well as the growth and development of an infant, toddler, preschooler and a child in the early years of school. Students will also gain further understanding of methods for promoting positive behaviour in children.

Students will develop skills in communication and interaction, research and analysis and decision-making and evaluation, respect for the individuality and uniqueness of young children and their families as well as an appreciation of the value and importance of supportive and responsible relationships with young children.

Post School Opportunities

Mount Carmel Catholic College Careers - Health Jobs

Mount Carmel Catholic College Careers - Physical Education


PDHPE - Personal Development, Health and Physical Activity

CAFS - Community and Family Studies

PASS - Physical Activity and Sports Studies

CHS - Child Studies

SLR - Sport Lifestyle and Recreation

EEC - Exploring Early Childhood



Source: NSW Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum; Personal Development, Health and Physical Education Syllabus, p.11