Growing and Changing – Health Unit

MMI - Growing and Changing

RSE is a key area of learning in Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum and must be included in teaching programmes. RSE at Mount Maunganui Intermediate emphasises the holistic nature of sexuality education (which has physical, social, mental and emotional, and spiritual aspects).

In terms two and three, we focus on ‘Growing and changing- Te tipu me te huri o te tangata’.
This theme focuses on pubertal change, a time of rapid physical, emotional, social, and spiritual development. Many of the changes that take place at this time are interrelated.

Young people can feel unsure about the changes that they will encounter during puberty. It is important to address these feelings, reassure them that they are not alone, and prepare them with the knowledge and capabilities they need to manage these changes.

Comprehensive relationship and sexuality education helps young people feel good about themselves and understand that puberty is a natural stage in their journey towards adulthood. At Mount Intermediate, we believe that equipping young people with knowledge and understanding in this area is pivotal to their health and wellbeing.

Key Learning Areas

Pubertal change

  • Students will review and identify the changes that take place during puberty and recognise that most of them happen to everybody.

Underlying concept
Hauora: identifying changes that occur at puberty and that the changes impact all dimensions of hauora

Managing pubertal change

  • explore how people experience pubertal change and identify and discuss practical ways of managing changes and feelings.
  • explore concepts about body image and how to foster positive body image.

Underlying concepts
Hauora: understanding and managing pubertal changes which impact all dimensions of hauora.
Health promotion: identifying the strategies and resources, including people, that can help young people manage pubertal change.
Attitudes and values: valuing themselves and developing positive body image.

Getting to know our reproductive systems

  • Students will explore the human reproductive system, its functions, and be comfortable using correct terminology.

Underlying concepts
Attitudes and values: as students learn to understand and talk about the reproductive system, they also learn to treat themselves and others with respect.
Hauora: gaining further knowledge about the physical body, its growth and development, and the part it plays in reproduction.


  • Explore the concept of intimacy and the behaviours that may feel right at different levels of intimacy 
  • Explore concepts about consent and identify what giving and receiving consent looks like. 

Underlying concepts
knowledge of rights and responsibilities
knowledge of the need to give and receive consent and to make informed choices
assertive communication.


  • Students will identify and describe the sequence leading to Conception.

Underlying concept
Hauora: developing knowledge about the process of conception.

Safer sex

  • Students will explore contraception and its use in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmissible infections (STIs).

Underlying concepts
Attitudes and values: developing a responsible attitude to their wellbeing and that of others.
Health promotion: developing knowledge to support them to implement safer sex strategies to positively support their sexual health.

Below is the Ministry of Education curriculum outline for teaching ‘Relationships and Sexuality Education’ at Intermediate Schools

April 2024