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Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Physical Education 2017

Standard 93501

Part A: Commentary

There is an increasing variety of topics being submitted. The flexibility of selecting a topic allows the reports to reflect current issues, which is valuable and interesting. In general, the layout of reports has become more consistent with what is asked for. Some candidates still see the 30-page limit as a target, and the quality of the report tends to decrease because they are filling in space. 


Part B: Report on performance standard

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • wrote well-constructed reports 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 and 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 (eg nature/nurture or PEDs) presented a unique and out-of-the-box take on the issue
  • explored future consequences and outcomes of 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
  • drew on theories from a wider range of sources, eg wider sociology in particular
  • could integrate and extrapolate theories and make connections with own experience or NZ examples 
  • clearly linked to learning, in, through and about movement  
  • 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.  

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 
  • set up the critical evaluation by posing a question in the introduction (that they then answered by the end of the report) 
  • selected a topic that allowed them to explore both biophysical and sociocultural issues, but did not force them to be equally explored within the report
  • 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, Socio-ecological perspective)
  • demonstrated an understanding of the interrelationship between socio-cultural and biophysical concepts 
  • referenced supporting evidence (and integrated this evidence effectively to 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
  • identified, challenged and questioned assumptions, the status quo, and/or existing power relations in society
  • showed independent reflection on their argument
  • consistently applied a strong critical perspective to appropriate issues, theories, practices and learning experience
  • questioned and challenged with insight and perception, issues, theories, and practices. This also included challenging common held beliefs
  • identified, challenged and questioned assumptions, the status quo, and/or power relations in society. 

Other candidates

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • lacked a coherent report structure
  • did not link to in, through and about movement 
  • selected a topic that did not lend itself to be critically evaluated, or didn’t demonstrate an understanding of what an evaluation meant
  • did not ensure that the topic or issue was obvious – no title, no clear focus in the introduction and/or throughout the report 
  • chose a topic of narrow focus
  • used few references, or poor-quality references such as Wikipedia and 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 directly from Achievement Standards that had little, or no, alterations to make it a scholarship report. This will not allow the candidate to reach 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, which often ended up being superficial 
  • lacked the demonstration of knowledge and understanding befitting a NZ Curriculum L8 / NZ 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
  • used inaccurate application of HPE theories and concepts
  • gave little independent discussion or reflection
  • applied SPEEECH in a formulaic way, which did not show the inter-connections between the different socio-cultural aspects 
  • wrote in an over-complicated way which interfered with communication (sometimes not making sense at all) 
  • included a number of images, diagrams, tables, statistical information without explaining their relevance to the argument 
  • made few NZ links, and relied on foreign examples (athletes, sports, political/cultural environments)
  • included a significant amount of unsubstantiated information – assumptions and generalisations. 

 Standard specific comments

The quality of the lower-end reports has improved which means more reports are closer to scholarship standard. 

The length of the report is an issue, with some candidates being unable to select what should and should not be included. Depth is preferable to breadth. 

Some candidates submitted lengthy reports that did not comply with the submission rules around font size and spacing.

There is a general over-emphasis on ‘sport’ as a context for in, through and about movement, to the detriment of more holistic pieces of work. 

There was a wider range of topics/issues explored this year which was great. 

Generally, the HPE underlying concepts continue to be not fully utilised.

Very high level sociological concepts and theories were explored in many reports, but the challenge is for candidates to ensure this is not completed at the expense of unpacking and showing deep understanding of the HPE conceptual framework, which is the very essence of the learning area.

It is highly recommended that candidates are given guidance regarding the structure of their reports and where they can access relevant research. 

Selection of the topics is vital to ensure candidates can explore enough theories, concepts, and research to draw insightful independent reflection and plan how one might take action.

Special note

The New Zealand Scholarship Performance Standard for Physical Education has become the New Zealand Scholarship Performance Standard for Health and Physical Education for 2018. The revised standard can be downloaded and may be accessed from the Health, Home Economics, or Physical Education subjects pages on the NZQA website.

A modified assessment schedule, to assist in interpretation of the Performance standard, will be published by May 2018. 

Subject page


Previous years' reports
2016 (PDF, 198KB)

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