Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Physical Education 2016

Standard 93501

Part A: Commentary

The report format for New Zealand Scholarship Physical Education, introduced in 2015, enabled candidates to explore their areas of strengths and interests; the diverse range of topics was evidence of this. 

Candidates are encouraged to select topics they have a passion for, and can make a personal connection to, as this will lead to greater insight within their reports.

Topics chosen need to allow candidates to address all aspects of the Physical Education Scholarship Performance Standard, including having a movement context.

Reports should follow the requirements and expectations of the annual Assessment Specifications.

Part B: Report on performance standard

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • produced reports that were well constructed, with a logical development of their argument / ideas. This allowed for coherent, convincing, and interconnected discussion, analysis and evaluation.
  • communicated with fluency, sophistication, were convincing in their argument, developed “a case”, and a strong supporting narrative that placed the examination within a relevant and clear context
  • structured their report clearly and with creativity, e.g. using quotations or rhetorical questions to grab the reader’s attention and set the scene
  • clearly articulated the focus of the debate / angle from which they were communicating their ideas, and explicitly kept this at the forefront of all discussion, analysis, and evaluation
  • applied knowledge across the report showing exceptional breadth and depth of understanding. This was always relevant and pertinent to the argument that had been foregrounded at the front of the report.
  • showed a sophisticated level of critical thinking, which was sustained across the report
  • synthesised highly developed knowledge, concepts and ideas in a complex manner
  • provided a wide variety of examples (and referenced supporting evidence from a range of relevant and reputable sources) to support the critical evaluation, e.g. across sporting codes or physical activity contexts, or across countries
  • demonstrated a deep understanding of the issue being critically evaluated – content knowledge, theoretical underpinnings, links to biophysical and / or sociocultural factors, and the underlying concepts of Health Physical Education (HPE)
  • selected a unique, out-of-the-box topic, or if they chose a common topic (e.g. nature / nurture or performance-enhancing drugs), presented a unique and
    out-of-the-box take on the issue
  • suggested a thoughtful alternative health-enhancing situation – future outcomes 
  • drew on theories from a range of areas (not just Health / PE research and theories)
  • could integrate and extrapolate theories and make connections with own experience or New Zealand examples
  • challenged existing literature and research through the use of disparate research and with a unique opinion
  • made a clear link to learning in, through, and about movement
  • demonstrated insight and perception in their challenging of assumptions and stereotypes
  • provided a balanced view – explored the different perspectives – able to state a position and justify it on the basis of reasoned argument and supporting evidence.   

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • selected a topic, which was a movement-related issue meaningfully linked to Health, PE, or Home Economics, (HPE) learning
  • constructed a logically structured report, including use of headings and subheadings
  • followed a format that enabled them to research, present a range of ideas, challenge assumptions, and make substantiated conclusions
  • selected a topic that allowed opportunity to explore bothbiophysical and socio-cultural aspects at a deep level
  • included a theoretical and practical balance
  • made explicit and deliberate links and interconnections to the underlying concepts of HPE (hauora, attitudes and values, health promotion, and
    socio-ecological perspective)
  • referenced supporting evidence (and integrated this evidence effectively to their report) 
  • provided New Zealand based examples
  • used both their own experience as evidence or to reinforce a point, and research, to justify their conclusions.
  • identified, challenged, and questioned assumptions, the status quo, and / or existing power relations in society
  • showed independent reflection on their argument
  • applied a strong critical perspective consistently to appropriate issues, theories, practices, and learning experience
  • questioned and challenged issues, theories, and practices with insight and perception
  • applied a theoretical basis to the report, often including a review of literature and research, and subsequent questioning and challenging of commonly-held beliefs
  • integrated their own experiences and evidence from research, books, newspaper articles, or empirical evidence through the report
  • included relevant and cohesive judgements. This was often evident through conclusions around likely future outcomes in relation to their selected focus.

Other candidates commonly:

  • lacked a coherent report structure
  • did not link to in, through, and about movement, e.g. poverty and obesity were topics that were frequently, not meaningfully, linked to “in, through, and about movement”
  • provided an account-based discussion with minimal critical evaluation. This was often closely linked to certain “narrow focussed” topics that were frequently approached through account-based writing, e.g. concussion in rugby and performance-enhancing drugs were often very account-based, lacked criticality, and theoretical underpinnings.
  • submitted work from Achievement Standards that had little, or no, alterations to make it a Scholarship report. This was considered unacceptable, as it was not possible for a candidate to reach the Scholarship standard; however, drawing upon learning experiences from HPE programmes to support critical examinations of a selected topic is encouraged.
  • wrote a piece that tried to cover too many ideas that often ended up being dealt with superficially  
  • lacked the demonstration of knowledge and understanding befitting a L8 / NCEA Level 3, and consequently Scholarship report, in terms of HPE conceptual understanding and / or content knowledge
  • used minimal references or relied upon low-level sources to base report upon (e.g. knowledge and concepts retrieved from Wikipedia, YouTube clips, and popular movies should be cross-checked, with more academic sources)
  • wrote from a position of opinion, rather than using evidence from a range of sources to support personal reflections
  • lacked a theoretical knowledge base, e.g. discussed ethics without using the underpinning ethical principles used commonly in Health and Home Economics learning at this level, or referred to health promotion without applying knowledge of what makes for effective health promotion (collective action, aspects of Te Pae Mahutonga and / or the Ottawa Charter). Other examples of report topics that candidates submitted that too frequently lacked strong theoretical connections (despite numerous related theories and concepts being available) were concussion in rugby, violence in sport, and performance-enhancing drugs. It is recommended that candidates selecting such topics should explore theories and concepts underpinning the topic, as opposed to relying on “storytelling” of popular narratives.
  • lacked explicit links to the HPE underlying concepts, or provided these in too little depth
  • included assumptions and generalisations and did not sufficiently substantiate judgments
  • made few New Zealand links, and relied on foreign examples (particularly American examples)
  • applied HPE theories and concepts inaccurately.

Further comments

Topic selection was very important. There needed to be an explicit link to “in, through, and about movement”, which is meaningfully interwoven through the report. Some Health and Home Economics-based reports did this very effectively, while others approached it in a token manner, often with a side comment or disconnected paragraph.

Narrow topics that lacked divergent analysis or connection to theories and concepts were also a significant issue.

Overall, the use of the underlying concepts of the HPE was not fully utilised. This was a missed opportunity to apply relevant theory and links to the very essence of HPE.  Hauora, attitudes and values, SEP, and health promotion provide a cornerstone for candidates to examine critically the influence and outcomes for individuals and society.

In general, the standard of reports was higher in 2016, particularly at the Outstanding level. However, some candidates do appear to be not referencing support materials on the NZQA website that would have enabled them to reach the standard required to achieve New Zealand Scholarship.


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