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Handbook Transition

Our VCE Handbook content is undergoing a transition to a new, improved, consistent and easy to read format. We are working to transition our content from the original handbook format to the new format and you may see both formats below until we complete the transition. Apologies for any inconvenience, but we should be done with the transition soon.



 Health and Human Development

Health and Human Development is divided into two main areas. Units 1 and 2 introduce students to the concepts and interrelationships which exist between individual human development and health. Three dimensions of health are explored in these units:

   Physical Health - how efficiently or effectively the body and its systems are able to function.    Social Health -the ability to be able to interact with others and participate in the community in both an independent and cooperative way.

   Mental Health - a state of well being where an individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

Students learn that individual human development is a lifelong continuous process which begins at conception and concludes at death. It consists of a series of predictable and orderly changes which are classified as physical, social, emotional and intellectual. Considerations that identify and address what affects and determines our health and development are explored and major health issues are investigated.

The upper units investigate the Australian health system and the health status of Australians in comparison with other developed and developing countries. This provides a global focus which identifies many of the inequalities inherent in various health systems and the interventions that can be incorporated to produce sustainable improvements in health and development. Health promotion  strategies and initiatives administered by the United Nations (UN), World Health Organisation (WHO), and government and non-government organisations are investigated.

Unit 1: Health and development of Australia’s youth

Unit 1 explores the health and development of Australia’s youth (defined as 12-18 years of age). Development refers to the predictable and orderly physical, social, emotional and intellectual changes experienced during this age group. The determinants that can affect one’s health status through these developmental stages are examined with an emphasis on identifying risk factors and protective factors.  Health issues relevant to Australia’s youth include: mental health, asthma, diabetes, weight issues, injury, tobacco smoking, alcohol use, illicit substance abuse, sun protection, sexual and reproductive health, food allergies, homelessness and cyber safety.

Unit 2: Individual human development and health issues

Unit 2 focuses on health and development during childhood and adulthood. Predictable and orderly physical, social, emotional and intellectual changes experienced during stages are examined. Students investigate how biological and behavioural factors, physical environments and social environments, including family and community, influence child health, adult health and the health outcomes of the elderly. A range of issues that impact on Australia’s health system are identified; these include human rights, ethics, medical technology, alternative health services, environmental health, rural services and the ageing population.

Unit 3: Australia’s health

Unit 3 compares the health status of Australia’s population with other developed countries such as Japan, Sweden, the UK and USA. Explanations for the variations in the health status of Australia’s population groups (gender, Indigenous, rural/remote/metropolitan, socio-economic status) are identified. Diseases and illnesses that have a major impact on Australia’s health are discussed in relation to the costs incurred by both the individual and the community. The role of nutrition as both a protective and risk factor for particular diseases is also investigated. Students are required to become familiar with the Australian healthcare system and the values which underpin Medicare, private health insurance and other federal, state and local council initiatives. Many approaches to health and health promotion by government and non-government organisations are analysed.

Unit 4: Global health and human development

Unit 4 analyses the factors contributing to the variations and inequalities in world health. Factors contributing to the inequalities in world health investigated in this unit include poverty, gender inequality, education, access to health care, political instability, war, global marketing and the impact of physical environments.  Students are required to describe and evaluate progress towards the United Nations Millennium Developmental Goals which include initiatives to:  eradicate extreme poverty; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV-AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and the development of global partnerships for development. The interrelationships between health, human development and sustainability are explored, and the role and contribution of aid agencies is investigated. This includes the goals and priorities of the United Nations (UN), World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF), AusAID and non-government organisations.


Units 1 and 2

The assessment of levels of achievement in units 1 and 2 decided upon by the school. The award of satisfactory completion for each unit is based on a decision that a student has demonstrate achievement in the three outcomes that encompass the three areas of study. Assessment tasks for these units are selected from the following:

   case study analysis

   data analysis

   visual presentation

   multimedia presentation

   oral presentation

   test or written responses

Units 3 and 4

The award of satisfactory completion for units 3 and 4 is based on a decision that the student has demonstrated achievement of the set outcomes specified for each unit. The student’s level of achievement will be determined by school-assessed coursework (SACs) and an end of year examination. Assessment is as follows:

   Unit 3: three SACs (total of 25% of overall assessment)    Unit 4: three SACs (total of 25% of overall assessment)    End-of-year exam: (total of 50% of overall assessment)

 Physical Education

The study of Physical Education follows the requirements established by the VCAA. The essence of Physical Education is to examine the biological, physiological, psychological and cultural influences 
on performance and participation in physical activity. It focuses on the interrelationship between major learning and psychological, biomechanical, physiological and sociological factors that influence physical performance and participation; and enables an understanding of the health, well-being and performance of people. As part of the Physical Education program, students will further develop their understanding of each topic via various text books, mainly using Live It Up and other resources including the internet and eBooks. The integration of theoretical knowledge with practical application through participation in physical activities is an integral component of the study. There are many opportunities for students to apply theoretical concepts and reflect critically on factors that affect all levels of performance and participation. 

Unit 1

This unit explores how the body systems work together to produce movement and how biomechanical principles are used to analyse this. Through practical activities, students will explore the relationships between the body systems and physical activity. Aerobic and anaerobic pathways utilised to provide energy for movement and their unique characteristics are also introduced. 

Students will also apply biomechanical principles to improve and refine movement. They will use practical activities to demonstrate biomechanical principles and how the correct application of biomechanics can lead to improved performance.


A satisfactory grade for the unit will be given based on the teacher’s assessment of the student’s  overall performance on assessment tasks including three internally based school-assessed  coursework (SACs).  Students must demonstrate achievement in Outcomes 1, 2 and 3.1 or 3.2. 
           Outcome 1: Collect and analyse information from and participate in a variety of practical activities to explain how the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and respiratory systems functions, and how the         aerobic and anaerobic pathways interact with the systems to enable movement.

   Outcome 2: Collect and analyse information from, and participate in a variety of practical activities to explain how to develop and refine movement in a variety of sporting action through the application of biomechanical principles.

   Outcome 3.1: Analyse data collected through research and practical activities to explain the technological advancements that have led to biomechanical changes in sporting equipment in one selected sport and explain the implications of the change.

   Outcome 3.2: Observe, demonstrate and explain strategies used to prevent sports injuries and evaluate a range of techniques used in the rehabilitation of sports injuries.

Unit 2

Explores a range of coaching practices and their contribution to effective coaching and improved performance. It focuses on approaches, methods and skills used by a coach and their impact on the  degree of improvement experienced by the athlete. The students will have opportunities to apply  theoretical knowledge to practical sessions to give them an insight into coaching.  Students will also be introduced to physical activity and the role it plays in the health and wellbeing  of the population. Through a series of practical activities, students gain an understanding of the level  of physical activity required for health benefits and investigate how participation in physical activity varies across the lifespan. They will investigate a range of influences on participation in physical  activity and collect data to identify perceived barriers and ways these barriers can be overcome.


A satisfactory grade for the unit will be given based on the teachers assessment of the students overall performance on assessment tasks including three internally based SACs.  Students must demonstrate achievement in Outcomes 1, 2 and 3.1 or 3.2.

   Outcome 1: Demonstrate knowledge of and evaluate the skills and behaviours of an exemplary coach, and explain the application of a range of skill learning principles used by a  coach.

   Outcome 2: Collect and analyse data related to individual and population levels of participation in physical activity, and sedentary behaviour, and create and implement strategies that promote adherence to    the National Physical Activity Guidelines.

   Outcome 3.1: Explain the importance of interpreting game play and selecting appropriate tactics and strategies in sports.

   Outcome 3.2: Use subjective methods to assess physical levels within a given population, and implement and promote a setting based program designed to increase physical activity levels for the selected group.

Unit 3

Unit 3 introduces students to an understanding of physical activity and sedentary behaviour from a participatory and physiological perspective. Students apply various methods to assess physical activity and sedentary levels, and analyse the data in relation to adherence to the  National Physical Activity Guidelines. Students study and apply the social ecological model to identify a range of Australian strategies that are effective in promoting participation in some form of regular activity.

Students investigate the contribution of energy systems to performance in physical activity. In particular, they investigate the characteristics of each system and the interplay of the systems during physical activity. Students explore the multi-factorial causes of fatigue and consider different strategies used to delay and manage fatigue and to promote recovery.


Following the criteria set out by the VCAA, assessment occurs within the school.  Internal assessment is conducted during the year. There are three SACs (school-assessed coursework). Each one contributes towards the subject score that is part of the ATAR. Unit 3 SAC is 25% of overall assessment. Assessment outcomes are:

   Outcome 1: Analyse individual and population levels of sedentary behaviour and participation in physical activity, and evaluate initiatives and strategies that promote adherence to the National Physical Activity Guidelines.

   Outcome 2: Use data collected in practical activities to analyse how the major body and energy systems work together to enable movements to occur, and explain the fatigue mechanisms and recovery strategies.

Unit 4

Improvements in physical performance, in particular fitness, depend on the ability of the individual  or coach to gain, apply and evaluate knowledge and understanding of training. In unit 4, students 
undertake an activity analysis. Using the results of the analysis, they then investigate the required  fitness components and participate in a training program designed to improve or maintain selected 
components. Athletes and coaches aim to continually improve and use nutritional, physiological and  psychological strategies to gain advantage over the competition. Students learn to critically evaluate 
different techniques and practices that can be used to enhance performance, and look at therationale for the banning or inclusion of various practices from sporting competitions.


Following the criteria set out by the VCAA, assessment occurs within the school.  Each one contributes towards the subject score that is part of the ATAR. Unit 4 school-assessed coursework will contribute 25%.

   Outcome 1: Plan, implement and evaluate training programs to enhance specific fitness components.

   Outcome 2: Analyse and evaluate strategies designed to enhance performance and promote recovery.

There is also an examination set by the VCAA and assessed externally.  There will be opportunities for students to practise for this. End of year examination will contribute 50%. 

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