National Moderator's Reports

February 2023

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Download PDF: Physical Education National Moderator's Report 2023 (PDF, 174KB)

The following report gives feedback to assist assessors with general issues and trends that have been identified during external moderation of the internally assessed standards in 2022. It also provides further insights from moderation material viewed throughout the year and outlines the Assessor Support available for Physical Education.



91498: Evaluate physical activity experiences to devise strategies for lifelong wellbeing

This standard requires students to examine personal physical activity experiences and make judgements about the relationship between these experiences and their potential impact on lifelong well-being. Students are also required to devise strategies for lifelong wellbeing.

Evidence that met the requirements of the standard had effective strategies showing connections to the physical activity experiences, the judgements between the experiences and anticipated future well-being needs. There were also clear links to well-being in the examination and judgements of the physical activity experienced to date.

To better meet the requirements of the standard, the evidence needed to make clear judgements about the relationship between the physical activity experiences and their potential impact on lifelong wellbeing. These judgements need to be justified and supported with specific examples from the examination of personal activities. The standard also requires a range of physical activities to be examined. In some instances, the evidence showed only one physical activity context.

91499: Analyse a physical skill performed by self or others

This standard requires students to analyse a skill (performed by themselves or others) by breaking down the skill into components and explaining the parts using bio-mechanical principles. Then, using the analysis, providing feedback and/or feedforward to the performer with the intent of improving performance of the skill.

Evidence that met the requirements of the standard provided explanations for the most relevant biomechanical principles in the analysis of the skill. For example, when performing a volleyball serve, the biomechanical principles most relevant in the analysis were force summation and projectile motion.

Common misinterpretations of the standard occurred where no evidence of feedback and/or feedforward to the performer was provided. The standard requires an explanation of the parts of a physical skill using biomechanical principles, which is then used to provide feedback and/or feedforward with the intent of improving the performance of the skill. Functional anatomy should support the biomechanical analysis, rather than a separate anatomical analysis.

The High Achieved annotated exemplar for this standard provides further guidance about the feedback and/or feedforward required to meet the standard. This document can be accessed via the Physical Education subject page on the NZQA website.

For Excellence, evidence of critically analysing a physical skill is required. This entails drawing conclusions from the performance analysis about which parts of the skill have the greatest impact on performance. For example, the preparation phase in the volleyball serve. Drawing conclusions about factors (biophysical or socio-cultural) that directly influence the person's ability to perform the skill is also required. For example, skill acquisition using a constraints-led approach to improving the volleyball serve.

91500: Evaluate the effectiveness of a performance improvement programme

This standard requires students to examine a performance improvement programme by using biophysical principles and socio-cultural factors to make judgements about the effectiveness of the programme.

A context seen in moderation that worked well is where students connected with the community to improve the performance of another individual, or group of individuals, in a chosen physical activity. For example, students worked with Kaumatua to improve their wellbeing by co-creating a goal to achieve by 6 weeks and developing a programme to reach that goal.

Common issues seen in moderation were a lack of understanding of socio-cultural factors and how these are to be examined to make judgements about the performance improving programme. The standard requires more than one socio-cultural factor to be examined, relating to the actual performance improvement programme, e.g. societal, political, economic, environmental, ethical, cultural or historical factors.

The online Making Assessor Judgements workshop for 91500 is a useful resource for seeing full samples of student work to help with understanding what evidence for social culture factors is required at each step-up of achievement.

91501: Demonstrate quality performance of a physical activity in an applied setting

This standard requires the effective demonstration of a wide range of elements and skills to participate proficiently in a physical activity in an applied setting.

Examples of good practice observed by moderators was in the collection of assessor evidence of the elements and skills at Level 8 of the curriculum demonstrated over a period of time. Observation dates and kaiako commentary supported evidence towards grades given by the assessor.

Moderators often encountered a range of issues with the assessment resource used. Some assessments used an assessment resource that was an expired performance rubric that no longer meets the requirements of the current standard. Assessors must ensure that the rubric for the chosen physical activity is correct before assessing.

The 'Guidelines for assessing against standard 91501' document contains a range of up-to date rubrics which will provide guidance when developing skills and elements for a new physical activity in an applied setting. This document can be accessed via the Physical Education subject page on the NZQA website. The guidelines for assessing students with disabilities are also available in this document.

Several effective examples of Kaiako developed assessment resources were evident in 2022. Exploring a range of te ao Kori was popular as an applied context. When developing assessment resources for a new physical activity context for this standard, the elements and skills should be defined in detail and reflect level 8 of the curriculum. Consulting with professionals or sporting bodies will assist in determining the appropriate elements and skills at the appropriate level for each criterion. The 'Guidelines for assessing against standard 91501' document contains updated rubrics. These guidelines help to ensure national consistency and should be consulted prior to Kaiako developing their own rubric.

Assessor Support


NZQA’s learning management system (Pūtake) offers 150+ easy to access courses, materials and products. These are designed to support teachers as assessors to improve their assessment of NCEA standards.

Online, subject-specific, bite-sized learning modules and short courses are now available to complement the traditional face-to-face workshops that NZQA offers. These online courses can be accessed using your Education Sector Logon. Courses available for Physical Education include:

  • 90966: What is an explanation?
  • 91335: Linking Outcomes to Aims
  • 91789: The process of devising strategies

Online Making Assessor Judgements workshops are also available throughout the year. These workshops are structured to guide teachers to improve their understanding of each grade level by examining several full samples of student work. The following standards are available for enrolment in 2023:

  • 91500 Evaluate the effectiveness of a performance improvement programme
  • 91502 Examine a current physical activity event, trend, or issue and its impact on New Zealand society

Feedback from teachers for these workshops indicates that more than 90% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that the content in the module was beneficial:

“This would be a really good department exercise to do in a meeting before marking the standard.”

“I found reading and analysing the extracts for evidence against level 8 in the curriculum very useful.”

In 2023, Physical Education teacher-assessors will have the opportunity to participate in the Phase Two pilot for the Assessor Practice Tool, which enables assessors to practice making judgements on up to ten samples of student evidence per standard. Once assessors have assigned a grade, they will receive immediate feedback from a moderation panel on their judgement. NZQA are piloting the Assessor Practice Tool with the following standards for Physical Education:

  • 91504: Analyse issues in safety management for outdoor activity to devise safety management strategies
  • 91505: Examine contemporary leadership principles applied in physical activity contexts

The Assessor Practice Tool will be used to provide assessors with support for the new NCEA standards from 2024 onwards. Schools will receive further information about Phase Two of the Assessor Practice Tool in early 2023.

NZQA will continue to offer several non-subject-specific modules and workshops, designed to improve general assessment practice. The following modules and workshops will be available in 2023:

  • Assessment Approaches, an online workshop exploring different methods of assessment
  • Culturally Responsive Assessment • Assessment Guidance – Reviewing Your Practice
  • Tāku reo, tāku mahi – My voice, my work, a guide to managing authenticity
  • Why Less is More, a guide to reducing volumes of student evidence

We will also continue to run the Transforming Assessment Praxis programme, an online workshop relevant to all subjects which helps assessors learn about re-contextualising assessment resources and collecting evidence in different ways, in order to better meet the needs of students.

Check the NCEA subject pages on the NZQA website regularly, as more online modules, workshops and courses will be added throughout 2023.

Live and Face-to-face

The Best Practice Workshops (online and face-to-face) offered by Assessment and Moderation 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."

Workshops, webinars or presentation slots can be requested to provide targeted support to local, regional or national audiences. National Moderators are available to present at conferences, local or national hui or via live webinars. These services are available on request and subject to availability.

Contact NZQA

More detailed information, including how to request or register for a workshop or online course, can be found on our Assessor Support pages or by emailing

Please click on this link to give your feedback about this report.

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