Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Health and Physical Education 2019

Standard 93501

Part A: Commentary

There appeared to be an increase in health-focused evaluations. Furthermore, for those candidates that selected a sport-related or physical activity-based focus, there was an increase in evaluations that brought in health-related issues, or wider sociological themes. Responses that were single-issue focused (such as concussion, drugs, violence, technology) tended not to be strong unless a broader societal perspective/angle was evident.

Some candidates set up an ‘analysis’ rather than an ‘evaluation’, which at times limited the depth of critical evaluation within the report.

The HPE underlying concepts were often incorporated, but at times were not well integrated into the evaluation or were applied superficially. For example, “collective action” was often mentioned as a health promotion strategy, but often the ideas that were explained did not show an understanding of collective action.

Transgender, gender, and mental health issues were popular. However, some candidates who selected these topics confused gender and sex; or conflated mental health with mental illness – and did not demonstrate the required understanding of the complexity of the issues.

Candidates including their own data this year was common across the submissions. For example, interviewing people, survey of students, survey of community members. The integration of this into the critical evaluation was variable – for some candidates it seemed an add-on; the candidates did not make sense of the data, which would have added value to the evaluation.

Candidates from some schools seem to be pushing the formatting expectations; for example, stretching margins, selecting smaller fonts, and submitting reports in excess of the 30-page limit. Some candidates see the 30-page limit as a target, and the quality of the report decreases because they are merely filling in space. 


Part B: Report on performance standard

Candidates who were awarded Outstanding Scholarship commonly:

  • understood the outcome of the standard, i.e. a critical evaluation, which involves weighing up different perspectives/sides to an issue
  • produced a compelling argument and clever writing to capture and retain interest
  • submitted reports that were well constructed with a logical development of their argument/ideas (this allowed for coherent, convincing, and interconnected discussion, analysis, and evaluation)
  • had a strong structure that allowed their argument to develop in a logical and persuasive manner, including the use of headings and subheadings
  • communicated with fluency and sophistication
  • were convincing in their argument, developed ‘a case’ and a strong supporting narrative that placed the examination within a relevant and clear context
  • applied knowledge across the report that showed 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)
  • critically evaluated, with perception, insight, and in-depth understanding of the topic, its connection to HPE underlying concepts and knowledge
  • 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 
  • demonstrated a deep understanding of the issue being critically evaluated – content knowledge, theoretical underpinnings, links to BP and/or SC factors
  • selected a unique, out-of-the-box topic, or if they chose a common topic (e.g. nature/nurture or PEDs) presented a unique and out-of-the-box take on the issue
  • explored future the consequences and outcomes of the selected topic 
  • showed a sophisticated level of critical thinking, with divergent, perceptive, and insightful ideas
  • challenged theoretical ideas, or included some critique of literature – did not just take the information presented to them as gospel
  • could integrate and extrapolate theories and make connections with their own experience or New Zealand examples
  • provided a balanced view – explored the different perspectives – but were able to state a position and justify it on the basis of reasoned argument and supporting evidence
  • challenged theoretical ideas, or included some critique of literature – did not just take the information presented to them at face value
  • drew on theories from a wider range of sources, e.g. sociology, psychology
  • showed a sophisticated level of critical thinking, with divergent/perceptive/insightful ideas
  • created their own theoretical model, or tweaked an existing model, as a result of their learning/investigation.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • selected a topic which meaningfully linked to the Health, PE, or Home Economics (HPE) learning areas
  • constructed a logically structured report, including use of headings and subheadings
  • introduced clearly the topic and the nature of the critical evaluation that they intended to pursue
  • followed a format that enabled them to research, present a range of ideas, challenge assumptions, and make substantiated conclusions
  • 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,
    Socioecological perspectives)
  • understood the interrelationship between sociocultural and biophysical concepts
  • referenced supporting evidence (and integrated this evidence effectively into their report) 
  • showed independent reflection on their argument
  • provided New Zealand-based examples
  • used both their own experience as evidence or to reinforce a point, and research, to justify their conclusions
  • showed independent reflection on their argument
  • consistently applied a strong critical perspective to appropriate issues, theories, practices, and learning experience
  • questioned and challenged issues, theories, and practices with insight and perception (this also included challenging commonly held beliefs)
  • identified, challenged, and questioned assumptions, the status quo, and/or power relations in society
  • effectively brought wider societal ideas into the topic, e.g. political, cultural, religious, historical, social context (this was particularly the case for those who used a sports context, e.g. sport and politics, sport and gender (in)equality, sport and religion)
  • meaningfully weaved own experience and/or own evidence into the report.

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • lacked a coherent report structure
  • did not link to in, through, and about movement
  • did not select a topic that lent itself to be critically evaluated, or did not demonstrate an understanding of what an evaluation meant
  • wrote more of a persuasive essay on a particular topic
  • chose a topic of narrow focus
  • used few references, or poor quality references such as Wikipedia, popular movies, or YouTube clips
  • provided an account-based discussion with minimal critical evaluation (this was often closely linked to certain ‘narrow focused’ topics that were frequently approached through account-based writing)
  • submitted work from Achievement Standards that had little or no alterations to make it a New Zealand Scholarship report (this is considered unacceptable 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 and which often ended up being superficial
  • lacked the demonstration of knowledge and understanding befitting a L8/NCEA Level 3/Scholarship report in terms of HPE conceptual understanding and/or content knowledge
  • wrote from a position of opinion rather than using evidence from a range of sources to support personal reflections
  • 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
  • inaccurately applied HPE theories and concepts
  • provided little independent discussion or reflection
  • applied SPEEECH in a formulaic way, which did not show the interconnections between the different sociocultural aspects
  • wrote in an overcomplicated way, which interfered with communication, as well as including a number of images, diagrams, tables, statistical information without explaining their relevance to the argument
  • made few New Zealand links and relied on foreign examples (athletes, sports, political/cultural environments)
  • included a significant amount of unsubstantiated information – assumptions and generalisations.

Subject page


Previous years' reports
2018 (PDF, 109KB) 2017 (PDF, 50KB) 2016 (PDF, 198KB)

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