Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Health and Physical Education 2021

Standard 93501

Part A: Commentary

The assessment specifications worked well, giving candidates a New Zealand context within which to critically evaluate. The change to a 26-page limit meant reports tended to be more concise and coherent. A clear topic with connection to the selected strategy document(s) needs to be introduced early. It is not just about connecting the topic and argument to a selected document; it is about also critiquing an aspect of the document.

There was a good balance between physical activity / sport and health-focused evaluations. Furthermore, for those candidates who 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, technology) tended to not 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.

In general, the layout of the reports has become more consistent with requirements. However, it is notable that some reports push the limits of the format guidelines – stretching margins, reducing font size, selecting smaller fonts and submitting reports in excess of the 26-page limit – often focusing on quantity to the detriment of quality.



Part B: Report on performance standard

Candidates who were awarded Outstanding Scholarship commonly:

  • were specific in their focus for the critical evaluation from the outset of the report. They chose a specific aspect of one of the strategies, introduced this early on, set up their critique and constantly revisited this across the report
  • made extensive links to the underlying concepts of Health, PE or Home Economics (HPE): these were woven in across the report and showed a sophisticated understanding of the knowledge behind the concepts; for example, health promotion theory or determinants of health
  • drew from wider sociological theories to inform their critical evaluation
  • understood the outcome of the standard – i.e., a critical evaluation, which involves weighing up different perspectives / sides to an issue
  • provided a balanced view: explored the different perspectives but were able to state a position and justify it on the basis of reasoned arguments and supporting evidence
  • used a strong structure that allowed their argument to develop in a logical and persuasive manner, including the use of headings and subheadings, which allowed for coherent, convincing and interconnected discussion, analysis and evaluation
  • made a compelling argument and used clever writing to capture and retain interest
  • were convincing in their argument, and 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 depth and breadth 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. This criticality was evident throughout the report
  • integrated and extrapolated theories and made connections with their own experience or NZ examples
  • 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 biophysical and / or sociocultural factors
  • selected a unique, “out-of-the-box”, topic, or if they chose a common topic (e.g., gender inequality in sport, child poverty) presented a unique take on the issue
  • explored future consequences and outcomes of selected topic
  • challenged theoretical ideas or included some critique of literature – didn’t just take the information presented to them at face value
  • showed a sophisticated level of critical thinking with divergent, perceptive and insightful ideas
  • drew on theories from a wider range of sources, e.g., sociology, psychology
  • created their own theoretical model, or tweaked an existing model, as a result of their learning / investigation.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • critically evaluated an aspect of one of the strategies/documents within the report and set this up early within the report
  • selected a topic which meaningfully linked to the HPE learning area, as well at the selected document/s
  • clearly introduced the topic and the nature of the critical evaluation that they intended to pursue
  • constructed a logical 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
  • included a theoretical and practical balance, including links to own experience
  • made explicit and deliberate links and interconnections to the underlying concepts of HPE (Hauora, Attitudes and values, Health promotion, The socio-ecological perspective)
  • demonstrated an understanding of the interrelationship between socio-cultural and biophysical concepts
  • referenced relevant supporting evidence and integrated this evidence effectively to their report so that it added value
  • showed independent reflection on their argument
  • provided New Zealand-based examples and often included a strong Māori or Pacific cultural perspective
  • used their own experience as evidence or to reinforce a point and research to justify their conclusions
  • 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, and challenged 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 mental health
  • 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 select a topic that lent itself to be critically evaluated or didn’t demonstrate an understanding of what an evaluation meant
  • did not link their report to one of the strategy documents stated in the assessment specifications or mentioned this only fleetingly
  • did not critically evaluate an aspect of the chosen specification document
  • tried to cover too many issues or topics and did not focus on a key issue – which meant that the work was difficult to follow and an argument was not developed or only scraped the surface
  • chose a topic with narrow focus
  • analysed, rather than evaluated, an issue
  • wrote what was more of a persuasive essay on a particular topic
  • 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 from Achievement Standards that had little, or no, alterations to make it a Scholarship report. 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 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 or insufficiently applied HPE theories and concepts
  • included little independent discussion or reflection
  • provided long examples or visuals that did not clearly add value to the argument
  • 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, or included a number of images, diagrams, tables or statistical information without explaining their relevance
  • made few NZ links and relied on foreign examples (athletes, sports, political / cultural environments)
  • included a significant amount of unsubstantiated information – assumptions and generalisations
  • instead of being critical, wrote comments that went against the attitudes and values of HPE or accepted the status quo and did not dig deeper to challenge assumptions.
  • used large excerpts from the selected strategy document that didn’t add value.

Subject page


Previous years' reports

2020 (PDF, 148KB)

2019 (PDF, 89KB)

2018 (PDF, 109KB)

2017 (PDF, 50KB)

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