Every day should be a HPE Day

1 Sep 2020

National Health and Physical Education Day – Wednesday 2 September 2020

teacher and studentsNational Health and Physical Education (HPE) Day aims to raise awareness of, and advocate for, a greater focus of HPE in schools.

HPE has a long history at The University of Queensland (UQ), with the Department of Physical Education established at UQ in 1941 as the first institution in the State to provide teacher training in the specialty area of Physical Education.

Today, the UQ School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences offers the Bachelor of Health, Sport and Physical Education (Honours) (BHSPE(Hons)).

To highlight the important role of HPE and HPE Teachers we spoke to some of the BHSPE(Hons) staff, including lecturer and program convenor Dr Michalis Stylianou and associate lecturers Ms Sue Monsen, Dr Leigh Sperka, and Mr Paul Treschman.

They expressed their support for initiatives that raise awareness about, and celebrate, HPE in schools.

As passionate supporters of HPE in schools, they highlighted that “every day should be a HPE day, for all students, in all schools”.

The HPE team also discussed the role of HPE in the current context that is shaped by COVID-19 and associated challenges.

“Now more than ever, health is at the forefront of everyone’s lives and the current circumstances highlight the importance of having a subject that focuses on developing individual and communities’ health capacities,” Dr Stylianou said.

“Whether it’s COVID-19, mental health, or physical activity participation, HPE prepares students to protect, enhance and advocate for their own and others’ health and wellbeing across the lifespan,” Dr Sperka said.

Indeed, a key focus of HPE Day is on the vital role of the subject in the Australian Curriculum, and its influence on the learning and development of children.

“HPE is the only part of the curriculum that prepares students to become active and healthy citizens who can make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing,” Ms Monsen said.

The BHSPE(Hons) team highlighted that HPE teachers make a difference, and emphasised their commitment to preparing the next generation of HPE teachers.

“In UQ’s Bachelor of Health, Sport and Physical Education (Honours) we are growing the next generation of passionate HPE Teachers,” Dr Stylianou said.

“Students are provided with the necessary support throughout their university experiences, so that by the time they graduate they are confident to work in a variety of settings. Providing a variety of experiences and exposing students to opportunities and challenges, while we simultaneously support them is important, so that they feel prepared and excited in their chosen careers,” Mr Treschman said.

“We are proud of our program and the leadership our graduates show in the HPE field. Our alumni regularly share with us stories about the impact they are having on the learning and lives of students throughout Australia and across the world,” Ms Monsen said.

Preparing the next generation of HPE Teachers

UQ takes its responsibility as an educator of future leaders in health, sport and physical education very seriously.

Our focus is on equipping our future educators with the tools to create change – but don’t take our word for it, here’s what our graduates and students say:

"Throughout the whole BHPSE degree you get to do a lot of different teaching placements. Some are at primary schools to help you see what a primary school HPE class is and how it differs from a high school PE class. You’re also encouraged to enhance your range through private and public schools to see what’s their different curriculum, how do their teachers differ and how do those student relationships differ." Maddi

"In third year we were given the opportunity to work one-on-one with children with disabilities. This was one of my favourite experiences to date. Over six weeks we designed practical learning experiences tailored to the needs and goals of our ‘buddy’. This experience saw our buddies progress their physical capabilities, personal skills and meet their individual goals. It showed me that teachers have the ability to help write young people’s life stories and pave the path for future endeavours and teach lifelong skills." Teagan

"I’m really excited for major practicum. Getting 13 weeks of straight placements is something that I don’t think many other degrees like this do. So getting a lot of placement in one block will be really exciting and we get to see how the teaching effects from the start to end of the term." Ryan

"I think this program really prepares us for our future career because we have so many opportunities to go out into the field, so it’s a really authentic experience. So we get I think it’s well over 100 days of practical experience over primary school and secondary schools so I feel like that’s giving us a really wide scope and we can get a really good look into teaching." Maggie

Find out more about studying the BHSPE(Hons) at UQ

See also

Meet the expert: Exploring health, sport and education with Paul Treschman

Creating challenging and supportive environments for people to thrive in is Paul Treschman’s passion. read more