Coffs Harbour High School

Excellence and Innovation in a Caring Environment

Telephone02 6652 3466


The PDHPE faculty at Coffs Harbour High School has highly skilled and experienced staff members who work cooperatively to provide students with the learning experiences which cater for a wide variety of knowledge and skills.

Connel Field - Head Teacher PDHPE

Sally Bevand  - PDHPE Teacher 

Macauley Dawson - PDHPE Teacher

Nick Hentry - PDHPE Teacher & Sport Coordinator, Yrs 7/8

Adam Mason - PDHPE Teacher 

Amanda Munro - PDHPE Teacher & Sport Coordinator, Yrs 9/10

Jennifer Pearce - PDHPE Teacher

Mathhew Valentine - PDHPE Teacher

In addition to teaching PDHPE and contributing to the school community through their whole school roles, the PDHPE staff are also instrumental in the promoting of sport within the school. They assist in coaching and travelling with our representative teams throughout the State in a wide variety of sports.

Mandatory PDHPE

Curriculum requirements for NSW schools include a course of study for all students in the areas of Personal Development, Health and Physical Education for 300 hours across years 7-10.

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) is one of the eight key learning areas of the NSW Secondary curriculum. Our school's PDHPE program aims to help our students develop and lead healthy, active and fulfilling lives. Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) develops the knowledge, skills and attitudes students need to lead healthy, active and fulfilling lives. Students learn about the importance of good food and regular exercise. They learn how bodies grow and change over time. They learn skills to play individual and team sports, and the values of sportsmanship and teamwork. Some of the content of the program deals with sensitive issues. The school recognises this by teaching about these issues within the context of a developmentally appropriate program and we would like to assure parents that these lessons are conducted with care and consideration.

In our rapidly changing society there is increasing community awareness of the importance of healthy lifestyles. The resultant good health is characterised by improved quality of life, less sickness and disability, happier personal, family and social experiences and the opportunity to make choices in work and recreation.

PDHPE is an important key learning area within the school curriculum as it:

  • Encourages an understanding and valuing of self and others,
  • Promotes physical activity,
  • Emphasises informed decision-making leading to effective and responsible action.

More specifically, the study of PDHPE is concerned with:

  • Physical, social, cognitive and emotional growth and development patterns,
  • The development and maintenance of positive interpersonal relationships,
  • The factors influencing personal health choices,
  • Living and learning in a safe and secure environment,
  • The adoption of an active lifestyle,
  • Skills that enable action for better health and movement outcomes.

The PDHPE program aims to encourage students to make informed decisions about their lifestyle taking into account the values of the family, culture and religion to which they belong. The PDHPE programme at CHHS program is implemented in a manner that supports the role of parents and caregivers, and reflects the ethos of the school community.

Throughout the year students will participate in practical activities involving athletics, games and fitness and will develop an understanding of how their involvement in physical activity is linked to their overall health and well being. This may involve walking to and from local venues (e.g. Englands Park, the Jetty Foreshores and Jetty Beach). As decisions to use these facilities for lessons may be made with relatively short notice, and in the instance of Jetty Beach and Englands Park, may be a fairly regular occurrence, it is not practical to notify parents each time and this information seeks to make you aware of this situation. Parents should be aware that all physical activity involves some inherent risk. Staff are required to make professional judgements each day about the safe conduct of their lessons and parents can be assured that every effort is made to conduct activities in the safest possible manner. In order to increase the safety level all PDHPE staff are committed to reviewing current practices in PDHPE to ensure that we are following Department of Education and Communities, NSW policy "Guidelines for the Safe Conduct of Sport and Physical Activity".

Aquatics activities form a major component of the PDHPE programme at Coffs Harbour High School. Prior to participation in ANY practical swimming activities, all students nominated by their parent/caregiver as a swimmer will be required to participate in an aquatic pre-activity Water Survival Challenge. This enables your child's teacher to look at your child's aquatic proficiency. The aquatic pre-activity Water Survival Challenge comprises the following skills – 100m-50m-100m run-swim-run fitness test; Stride Entry with head remaining above the water surface; Scull, float or tread water for 5 minutes waving for help intermittently followed by an unassisted exit; fit PFD correctly while treading water; and surf negotiation, body surfing and catching waves within the confines of the Jetty Beach. Students nominated by their parent/caregiver as a non-swimmer will not be allowed in deep water and will not have to do the Water Survival Challenge. Unfortunately they will NOT be allowed to participate in ANY other water based activities throughout the year.

Students are supervised by PDHPE teachers from the school who have DET Approved Swimming supervision qualifications, Emergency Care and Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation certification at all times. The PDHPE program during these lessons involves participation in still water skills and practical surf skills at the Jetty Beach. This Surf Awareness/Surf Survival program complies with the strict safety regulations set down by the NSW Department of Education and Training (DET). Lessons are tailored to suit the differing skill and fitness levels of students. It is essential, therefore, to provide a clear indication of your son/daughter's swimming ability. Please tick the box as appropriate on the attached link. This year we are continuing to reinforce our teaching program on the issue of sun safety. As a result we will be encouraging all students to wear hats during their PDHPE lessons and we will also be making sunscreen available during outdoor lessons. We believe that it is vital that students take responsibility for this behaviour and if parents support this initiative that we can make a difference.

For all practical lessons students are required to have the correct PE/Sports uniform. Students are able to wear the PE/Sports uniform all day, on those days which they have practical PDHPE lessons and on Tuesday/Thursday for school sport.

Any students unable to bring the appropriate uniform for a particular lesson, for whatever reason, should bring an alternative change of clothes and a note from their parents for that particular lesson. Students unable to participate in practical lessons through illness/injury should provide a note from their parents/caregivers for minor issues and a doctor's certificate if it is likely to be a long term problem. These notes should be handed directly to their PDHPE teacher.

Elective PDHPE

In addition to our compulsory Years 7-10 PDHPE course our faculty offers Physical Activity and Sports Studies (PASS) students in Year 9 and Year 10 as well as Interest Elective(s) in Year 10. PASS provides students with a more in depth course than PDHPE and looks at a range of topics including: Anatomy and Physiology, The History of Sport; Biomechanics, Nutrition for Athletes, Drugs in Sport and Coaching. PASS caters for those students who excel in sport and/or who are interested in their own fitness and health. The Year 9 Snowy Mountains Excursion is encorporated into PASS as a practical excursion.

Across  Years 11 & 12 courses are offered to those students with an interest in current personal and community issues surrounding health and physical activity in Australia. The PDHPE faculty offers 2 Unit Personal Development, Health and Physicl Education (PDHPE), 2 Unit Community and Family Studies (CAFS) and 2 Unit Sport, Lifestyle and Recreation (SLR).

2 Unit PDHPE is a challenging course that provides an examination of individual, family and community values and beliefs and the socio-cultural and physical environments in which we live and provides an explanation for health status and sustainable solutions for better health. PDHPE also includes a detailed study of movement and physcial activity with an empahsis on understanding how the body moves and the socio-cultural influences that regulate movement.

2 units CAFS utilises an ecological framework to investigate the interactions the individual, family, community and society. It focuses on the individual and their interactions with personal groups, family and community. Further, it examines how the well-being of individual, families and communities are affected by broader societal influences.

Sport, Lifestyle and Recreation is a 2 Unit course that features a highly practical focus. Physical activity is seen as both an area of study and a medium for learning. It is a course of relevance to all students as it reinforces the importance of being active and helps to develop a repetoire of skills that will assist students to remain active throughout their lives.