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Willoughby Girls High School

Willoughby Girls High School

A Leader in Girls Education

Telephone02 9958 4141


Personal development, health and physical education

Personal development, health and physical education (PDHPE) is mandatory from Kindergarten to Year 10.

According to the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA), students are expected to participate in PDHPE for 300 hours per year in Years 7 to 10.

PDHPE provides students with opportunities to explore issues that are likely to impact on the health, safety and wellbeing of themselves and others – now and in the future. Students also participate in challenging and enjoyable physical activity, improving their capacity to move with skill and confidence.

In Year 11 and 12, courses available include:

  • Community and Family Studies
  • Exploring Early Childhood
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
  • Sport, Lifestyle and Recreation Studies.


Sport is an essential part of Willoughby Girls High School’s holistic curriculum. It provides opportunities for physical and social development, while also encouraging sportspersonship and healthy attitudes to leisure pursuits and recreation. Research has shown that regular participation in physical activity during childhood and adolescence improves students’ learning, builds their understanding of teamwork and improves their general fitness and skill levels.

 Sports - Years 7 and 8

In Years 7 and 8 students experience an integrated sports program conducted by specialist Physical Education teachers during PDHPE (personal development, health and physical education) classes in the mainstream timetable. This program focuses largely on skill development and team skills through team sports. There is some exposure to individual sports.

Gala days are organised for Year 7, under the auspices of the North Shore sports zone, to provide further skill development and team experience in a competitive format against schools which belong to the zone.

Sports - Years 9, 10 and 11

The School follows a traditional sport program for students in Years 9, 10 and 11 where students participate in a range of recreational and team sports on Wednesday afternoon, supervised by school teaching staff. Often, instructors are available to take many of the recreation sports. 

During winter, students may join school grade teams, which compete against five other public high schools in the North Shore zone.

Recreational sports can include

  • ten pin bowling, 
  • fitness first, 
  • Zumba,
  • badminton,
  • yoga,
  • personal training,
  • cheerleading,
  • bushwalking,
  • Taekwondo,
  • hip hop dance and 
  • lawn bowls.

Grade sports include

  • open basketball, 
  • open volleyball, 
  • open touch football, 
  • Senior and Junior soccer and
  • Senior and Junior netball.

Opportunities to participate in state wide CHS knockout competitions are also available to students. 

Sports Carnivals and Interschool competitions

The school also provides opportunities for all students to participate in traditional sporting carnivals at a school level. These include swimming, cross country and athletics carnivals. Further representative opportunities at zone, regional and combined high schools (CHS) levels are available for students who excel in these areas.

Club Sports

We are proud to offer the largest range of external sporting clubs of any North Shore High School.  Girls can play Netball, Touch Football, Basketball or Hockey outside school hours. All these clubs are run by volunteers through our P&C.  Please click on this link to find out more.

Stage 6 Elective - Health and Movement Science

In 2024, Senior PDHPE is changing to Health and Movement Science with similar content areas that more clearly align to tertiary education.

The aim of Health and Movement Science is to develop in each student a capacity to think about and act critically in regard to key issues related to health and movement.

This enables them to make informed decisions that contribute to healthy and active lifestyles for individuals and communities, and support wellbeing.

Health and Movement Science

Stage 5 PASS:

At Willoughby Girls, the Physical Activity and Sports Studies (PASS) elective course in years 9 and 10 offers a comprehensive exploration of physical activity and its diverse contexts.

Our curriculum encompasses a wide array of lifelong pursuits, ranging from recreational and leisure activities to adventure sports, competitive games, and fitness regimes.

We also emphasise the therapeutic and remedial aspects of physical activity. Central to our approach is the concept of learning through movement. We believe that students can deepen their understanding of various course concepts by actively participating in selected movement activities.

Through engagement in these activities, students not only experience physical activity firsthand but also analyse and apply new knowledge gained.

Furthermore, we encourage students to delve into specialszed study areas, allowing them to pursue specific performance goals, attain formal qualifications, or investigate issues relevant to physical, emotional, social, cultural, or scientific dimensions of physical activity and sport.

In essence, our PASS program at Willoughby Girls is designed to foster a holistic appreciation of physical activity while providing opportunities for personal growth and exploration within the realm of sports and movement.

Units studied may include:-

  • Lifestyle and recreation
  • Physical activity
  • Gymnastics
  • Tennis
  • Badminton
  • Technology in sport
  • Nutrition
  • Lawn Bowls
  • Coaching
  • Body Systems

Stage 5 Dance

Year 9 and 10 students will be offered the opportunity to take Dance as an elective subject.  The content is a fantastic and exciting blend of dance performance, composition and appreciation. 

Dancers will be exploring the evolution of dance and learning about how different cultures celebrate different styles of movement.  Students will be able to express themselves by using the elements of dance to create their own composition pieces. 

Furthermore, the syllabus allows for students to develop safe practice in dance which is an excellent tool to have when looking for future opportunities to progress in the dance world. 

As part of the course, students will be encouraged to gain performance experience through shows and whole school performances as well as the opportunity to go watch professional companies on excursions.