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Sport in Education Project

The Sport in Education (SiE) project contributes to improved academic, social and sporting outcomes for schools and their students by using sport as a context for learning and student engagement.

Sport has generally been promoted for its positive impact on young people's physical health but an increasing body of international evidence suggests that increased participation in sport and physical activity can also lead to improved academic and social outcomes, benefitting students, schools and communities.

So the three-year SiE project, currently being delivered in eight NZ secondary schools, aims to develop, trial and evaluate approaches to deliver improved outcomes that will then be made available to all schools.

The schools participating in the project are:

  • Aotea College, Wellington
  • Hillmorton High School, Christchurch
  • Howick College, Auckland
  • Kaikorai Valley College, Dunedin
  • Papakura High School, Auckland
  • Queen's High School, Dunedin
  • Tauranga Boys' College, Tauranga
  • Te Kuiti High School, Te Kuiti

The project also aims to improve the delivery of PE and sports programmes in surrounding primary schools, and to engage community organisations, such as clubs, in supporting teachers and students involved in sport in schools.

The initiatives receiving current focus include:

  • developing teaching and assessment resources in Maths, English and PE using sport as a context to engage students in learning
  • developing an associated professional development support programme
  • resourcing a dedicated PE leader within the school to provide professional development and assist with the introduction of new teaching practices
  • linking secondary schools and clusters of primary schools, where secondary PE experts can provide professional development and support to primary school teachers
  • delivering a student leadership programme in secondary schools, focussing on coaching, and utilise these leaders/coaches in primary schools
  • incorporating the values and characteristics of sport into the school environment – eg teamwork, rules, respect and leadership
  • enhancing links to the wider school community, including families - improve facility utilisation and access, establish school-community/club/RST partnerships and establish sports councils.

The participating schools are helping develop the approach, resources and practices.

If you have any questions please contact the Project Manager, Garry Carnachan at or phone 027 563 8000.

Project resources

See Project resources for more detail on SiE and links to related initiatives.

Project critical success factors

Seven critical success factors have been identified that give Sport in Education the best chance of being successfully implemented and integrated into schools. The seven critical success factors are:

  1. Principal and Senior Management Team leadership, support and advocacy - including being pro-active in driving enablers like timetable structures, budget, planning and preparation opportunities, professional learning and network opportunities.
  2. A quality, dedicated in-school SiE leader - including an ability to connect with primary school principals and the wider sporting community.
  3. Time to plan and prepare – including time for cross-curricular planning.
  4. Motivated, valued, passionate teachers – including an ability to understand and apply a range of effective pedagogies.
  5. Build buy-in from other staff as well as the school community (students, Board of Trustees, contributing primary schools) – including the use of student voice to leverage the SiE concept. 
  6. SiE is a part of School Strategic and Annual Plans – including SiE being braided into other school programmes, strategies and interventions.
  7. Expert support through project design and leadership – including the provision of quality professional development and networking opportunities.

More information

Contact Project Manager Garry Carnachan at

SiE newsletter editions