Questions? AskAuckland


Healthy Start to Life: Nutrition

This programme is part of a full module of work for New Zealand Curriculum Level 4 which was trialled and evaluated in five Auckland schools during 2010-2012. The module, professional development for teachers, and interactive resources for students will be launched for general use in New Zealand schools during 2013. This will be available in both English and Te Reo Māori. Research reports from the trial will be made available at the time of the launch.

Target group

Year 7-9 Science Classes. Curriculum Level 4

Class size: Up to 30 students.

Programme aims

  1. Develop understanding of who scientists are and ways in which they work.
  2. Develop an understanding of the concept of hauora and the relationship between nutrition and health.
  3. Develop an understanding of how scientists plan an investigation.
  4. Develop an understanding of how scientists measure how healthy we are.
  5. Learn how to measure pulse rate and look at the heart's activity by recording their ECG and explore the effect of exercise on heart rate.
  6. Develop an understanding of what a scientific model is and why scientists use models in their research.

Programme schedule

Classes arrive between 9:15 and 9:30am and leave at 2:30pm.

  • Interactive teaching and learning session: A healthy start to life? Students explore what it means to be healthy and how doctors assess our health.
  • Practical 1: Students measure their own ECG.

Short Break (10 minutes)

  • Research story : Students learn about ways scientists work as they work to find out how nutritional environment in the uterus can affect adult health. This includes exposure to how scientists use modelling in research.
  • Practical 2: Vital Signs! Students learn about how to measure heart rate.
  • Practical 3: Exercise matters. Students investigate the effect of exercise on heart rate using data loggers and stationary exercise bikes.

Lunch Break (40 minutes)

  • Meet a Scientist: Small group discussions with scientists about their work.
  • Putting it all together. Students design a scientific investigation to help them understand what happens to their heart rate when they exercise.

Curriculum Links

The New Zealand Curriculum 2007 | Level 3-4 Science

Nature of Science: Level 3-4 Science

Understanding about Science

Appreciate that science is a way of explaining the world and that science knowledge changes over time.

Identify ways in which scientists work together and provide evidence to support their ideas.

Investigating in Science

Build on prior experiences, working together to share and examine their own and others’ knowledge.

Ask questions, find evidence, explore simple models, and carry out appropriate investigations to develop simple explanations.

Communicating in science

Begin to use a range of scientific symbols, conventions, and vocabulary.

Engage with a range of science texts and begin to question the purposes for which these texts are constructed.

Participating and contributing Use their growing science knowledge when considering issues of concern to them.

Explore various aspects of an issue and make decisions about possible actions.


Living World 3-4

Explain how living things are suited to their particular habitat and how they respond to environmental changes both natural and human-induced.