National Moderator's Reports

February 2020

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Download PDF: Physical Education National Moderator's Report (PDF, 125KB)

The following report gives feedback to assist assessors with general issues and trends that have been identified during external moderation of the internal Physical Education standards in 2019.

It does not clarify specific standards but provides further insights from moderation material viewed throughout the year.


Awarding Excellence

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When making judgement for Excellence, it needs to be ensured that all indicators of the Excellence criteria in the standard have been fully addressed. These are outlined in the Explanatory notes. The quality of evidence provided should also reflect the curriculum level. If the evidence demonstrates that the Excellence criteria have been only partially met, then the grade awarded cannot be Excellence. This is critical in distinguishing between high Merit and Excellence.

Consideration also needs to be given to the overall submission, such as succinctness and clarity.

In Physical Education, when making a judgement for Excellence at Level 3, critical thinking should be evident in student responses at level 8 of the curriculum. For example, for standard 91502, students critically examine by challenging and questioning assumptions about a current physical activity event, trend or issue from different perspectives that is supported with research.

Also, to show deeper understanding for 91502, students should be able to draw coherent and insightful conclusions from this examination by using relevant socio-cultural factors.

Collecting evidence

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Opportunities are encouraged that allow students to collect evidence through different modes, such as blogs, video clips, etc. Such opportunities allow students to have agency on how best to demonstrate what they know.

In Physical Education, students collect evidence using a range of different modes.

It is important to consider the most appropriate mode for capturing the evidence required to meet the standard. For example, when annotating student verbal assessments, sufficient evidence is required to reflect the requirements of the standard.

Student wellbeing

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Where students are guided in how to present their evidence succinctly, the quality of their responses improves. When students are aware of the concept that quantity is not an indicator of quality, this also helps to reduce workload pressures.

In terms of student wellbeing, it is also timely to consider the importance of positive contexts and guidance regarding potentially ‘dark themes’ or inappropriate material. While the need for self-expression and realism is not disputed, the mental and physical wellbeing of students in their learning and assessment should be a significant consideration in programmes.

Focusing on the most relevant strategies, principles or factors could help reduce student workload. For example, for standard 91500, when evaluating the effectiveness of the programme, focusing on the most relevant biophysical principles and socio-cultural factors rather than all the principles and factors is more effective.

In Physical Education, ‘dark themes’ or inappropriate material is not an issue.

Assessor Support

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The Best Practice Workshops (online and face-to-face) offered by the Assessment and Moderation Team continue to be viewed by the sector as significantly contributing to improved assessor practice:

"The workshop helped to review my own knowledge, and great to share ideas."

"It was great having time to challenge my thinking in assessment."

Based on the success of the ‘on request’ model and the ability to have targeted support, the Assessment and Moderation Team will continue delivering this support model in 2020. Workshops or presentation slots can be requested to provide targeted support to regional or national audiences.

Additionally, we will continue to run the generic Transforming Assessment Praxis Programme, an online programme which helps assessors learn about re-contextualising assessment resources and collecting evidence in different ways to better meet the needs of their learners.

More detailed information, including how to request or register for a workshop, can be found on our Best Practice Workshop pages or by emailing

During 2019 in Physical Education, regions have requested workshops that best meet the needs of their teachers. At the PENZ National Conference, teachers have had the opportunity to clarify their thinking about standards through the ‘Issues seen in Moderation’ presentations.

Integrated assessment of standards

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There has been a small number of integrated assessments seen in moderation. For example, Level 2, standards 91332 and 91335.

The intent of each standard should be clear within the student evidence submitted for moderation.

Assessors could consider combining standards within Physical Education or across subjects to support students when making connections in the contexts being used.

Examples for combining standards within Physical Education can be found within the Learning Programme Design Level 8 sample programmes and the Level 6 and 7 snapshots in the Teaching and Learning Guidelines on Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI).

Examples for combining standards across subjects can be found in the TKI assessment resources 2.8C (Dance 91207 and Physical Education 91334) and 2.5C (Technology 91856 and Physical Education 91331). These documents can be accessed from the Physical Education subject page on the NZQA website.

Observations from selected standards

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In 91789, it is often observed that there are too many physical activity outcomes identified and too many strategies selected that are not explained at level 8 of curriculum.

To meet the requirements of the standard, successful students provide a clear succinct physical activity outcome(s) and clearly identify relevant strategies that demonstrate that they can apply knowledge at level 8 of the curriculum. Also, they provide evidence of the strategies being trialled, as well as explaining adjustments made to these strategies after the trialling process in order to achieve their intended physical activity outcome(s), rather than evaluating the strategies at the end of the physical activity event, programme or experience. The explanations are supported with specific examples.

In 91500, it is often observed that there is a lack of depth in the evaluation of a performance improvement programme at level 8 of the curriculum.

To meet the requirements of the standard, successful students examine a performance improvement programme by using the most relevant biophysical principles and socio-cultural factors. Also, they make judgements about the effectiveness of the programme using these principles and factors and support these with specific examples from their own training experience.

In 91504, it is often observed that there is a lack of depth in the analysis of the safety management issues at level 8 of the curriculum.

To meet the requirements of the standard, successful students select safety management issues appropriate to their outdoor activity. They clearly explain why each safety management issue is relevant to their outdoor activity.

Successful students also explain how and why safety factors can influence each safety management issue, and how and why safety management strategies address these issues. These explanations are supported with specific examples from the outdoor activity experience.


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Outcome statements in external moderation reports

In 2017, moderation report outcome statements changed from ‘Confidence’ statements to ‘Consistency’ statements, as explained in an NZQA Circular at the time.

The previous FOUR ‘Confidence’ statements were changed to THREE Consistency statements. This reduction in the number of categories of statement has, in some cases, resulted in moderation report outcomes previously noted as ‘Confident’ now being noted as ‘Not Yet Consistent’.

It is important to recognise that ‘Not Yet Consistent’ does not imply major issues on the part of the assessor, but that the aspects highlighted can be easily addressed through the advice given in the report.

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