The Confederation of Australian Sport (CAS) is a proud supporter of the Physical Education Physical Literacy (PEPL) approach.

The PEPL Approach is an evidence-based system that aims to increase physical activity, improve physical literacy and enhance the delivery of health and physical education (HPE) curriculum in primary schools.

The PEPL Approach is a University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise (UCRISE) initiative led by Professor Dick Telford and developed by Dr Rohan Telford, Prof Dick Telford and Dr Lisa Olive (Deakin University).

The approach doesn’t rely on external program providers, instead assists teachers to meet existing health and physical education curriculum requirements and provides ongoing professional development.

The approach is made up of four building blocks targeted in sequential order:






The PEPL school climate
A school climate that values HPE and physical literacy is essential for student health and wellbeing.

The Australian Lifestyle of our kids (LOOK) research showed that children who undertook 90 minutes of quality physical education per week improved their NAPLAN numeracy score by 10 points more than those who undertook “usual” physical education and sport.

“The whole aim of schools is to improve NAPLAN because that is what everyone looks at but if they knew that improving NAPLAN was consistent with improving physical activity, physical education and physical literacy we would all be a lot better off for a lifetime,” Prof Telford said.

The delivery of the HPE curriculum

The PEPL coach supports the HPE school teacher and classroom teachers to deliver a quality year-long HPE program that meets state curriculum requirements.
“The PEPL approach involves a mentor or a coach that is there to professionally develop the classroom teachers who traditionally don’t take physical education, to help build their training and confidence in the area,” Prof Telford said.

Student physical literacy opportunities

The PEPL approach extends beyond the classroom and provides teachers with resources and support to promote increased physical activity opportunities such as active travel to school and strategies to develop student physical literacy during lunch, recesses and classroom breaks.

Sport and physical activity are important but you have to be able to enjoy it and have the skills, knowledge and understanding and they are the elements of physical literacy.

“A physically literate child is one who has the motor skills and confidence to be able to go out and do it. They don’t have to understand all the theory but just have to be able to get out there and enjoy it,” Prof Telford said.

“Combining the cranial enjoyment of computer games with the physical enjoyment because we know that mind and body work together.”

School community links

The PEPL Coach assists the HPE leaders to build school partnerships with community organisations and local sporting clubs to provide students with a range of extracurricular opportunities and learning experiences.

A major aspect of the approach is to facilitate and integrate the Sport Australia Sporting Schools program into the HPE curriculum, enhancing the impact of the program and the physical literacy of the students and reinforcing the opportunities for children to participate in local junior sport.

“The PEPL Coach was able to make that important link between Sporting Schools, HPE curriculum, the classroom teachers and the physical education teacher (if there was one),” Prof Telford said.

To download the PEPL Case Study click here.