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Commonwealth Games

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games takes place between Wednesday 4 April and Sunday 15 April.

Here is a collection of teaching ideas and resources to help you learn about and celebrate the Commonwealth Games with your school and community.

Curriculum links | Classroom suggestions | Resources

Links to the New Zealand Curriculum

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games provide a useful context for meeting the intent of The New Zealand Curriculum. Students can:

  • demonstrate the curriculum vision of being connected, actively involved, lifelong learners
  • explore the future focused issues of sustainability and globalisation
  • consider the NZC values of excellence, diversity, integrity, community, and participation
  • make use of key competencies, especially thinking, and using language, symbols, and texts
  • achieve learning outcomes in a range of learning areas, especially social sciences, and health and physical education.
Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Links to the social sciences

Students can meet achievement objectives in the social sciences by:

  • investigating current issues during the Commonwealth Games
  • learning about the history of the Commonwealth Games
  • exploring the ways that host countries represent themselves to the world
  • considering the economic and social impact on host cities.

Links to health and physical education

Students can meet achievement objectives in health and physical education by:

  • exploring the attitudes and values relating to sport and world games
  • recognising the benefits of physical movement
  • following the journeys of famous sportspeople
  • learning about and participating in sports from the Commonwealth Games.

Classroom suggestions

Here is a selection of ideas to help you incorporate the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games into your teaching programme. Adapt the suggestions to suit the needs and interests of your students.

Opening ceremonies

  • Students could watch highlights from the Gold Coast 2018 opening ceremony and discuss how Australia and the Gold Coast region represent themselves to the world.
  • Students could watch opening ceremonies from previous Commonwealth Games and discuss how each host country represents their cultures, values, and national identity, and how opening ceremonies have changed over time.
  • Students may consider how New Zealand might represent itself in an opening ceremony. What aspects of our culture, values, and national identity could we highlight?

Useful links

Research the history of the Commonwealth and Commonwealth Games

Students could investigate the origins of the Commonwealth of Nations and the Commonwealth Games. The following questions may guide research and discussion:

Commonwealth of Nations questions:

  • What is the Commonwealth of Nations?
  • What are the benefits and responsibilities of being part of the Commonwealth?
  • Does anyone else want to join the Commonwealth and if so, why?
  • Why have some countries been excluded from the Commonwealth?

Commonwealth Games questions:

  • What are some benefits and disadvantages of being the host nation for the Commonwealth Games?
  • What is the Queen’s Baton Relay?
  • What are the three core values of the Commonwealth Games and what do they mean to you?

Useful links

Analyse current issues during the Commonwealth Games

There will be media interest in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games before and during the event. It will provide opportunities for students to investigate issues relating to the Commonwealth Games and develop further understandings.

Recent news articles that students may wish to explore further include:

Showcase China, a unit developed for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, includes strategies and processes for analysing current issues. A set of five templates have been developed for this purpose. The templates can be used as they are, or adapted to suit the learning needs of your students.


Mascots are popular ambassadors of the Commonwealth Games and Olympic and Paralympic Games. Students could investigate the mascots for this year's Commonwealth Games and look at mascots from previous Games. They could explore ways that the mascots spread the Commonwealth spirit, communicate values, and promote the cultural identity of the host countries.

Useful links

Hold your own Commonwealth Games

One way of engaging students in the Commonwealth Games is to host your own games event. Classes could represent different countries and take part in a range of sports. Commonwealth traditions such as opening and closing ceremonies, mascots, and medal ceremonies could be included.

Follow famous sportspeople

Commonwealth athletes are inspirational with their fierce discipline and natural talent. Students could research famous athletes from the past and present day and send their best wishes to our New Zealand team.  

Useful links

Explore the Commonwealth Games values

The Commonwealth values are humanity, equality, and destiny. Students could explore how these values are demonstrated by athletes during the Games and the importance of these values in their own lives.

Career pathways

The Commonwealth Games and other global sports events provide many unique career opportunities for non-athletes. Secondary students could research the range of career options and investigate the courses and qualifications required.

Useful links


Game On resources
The New Zealand Olympic Committee have developed a set of teaching resources around the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. The resources are described below. Please note that you will need to supply an email and password to gain access to the resources.

  • Games of the Commonwealth – A Physical Education Resource
    This resource has games played in 20 different Commonwealth countries, and is based on the inquiry question: "What can we learn about a country from the games they play?"
  • Humanity, Equality, and Destiny – A Social Studies Resource
    This social studies resource on the Commonwealth Games is aimed at students in years 7–10. It is designed around themes, the values of the Commonwealth Games, and social sciences achievement objectives at levels 4 and 5.

GC 2018 Embrace Learning 
The GC 2018 Embrace Learning Education Programme created by the Queensland Department of Education and Training includes innovative educational resources using the Commonwealth Games as a context for learning. Teachers may wish to adapt these ideas to suit The New Zealand Curriculum.

Showcase China – Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
These teaching and learning resources from the Asia Knowledge website were written for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. They include an integrated unit and a health and physical education unit. There are lots of ideas and activities that can be adapted to suit the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Gold Coast 2018
This is the official website of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games where you can find news, photos, venue information, and results.

Facebook New Zealand Olympics team
Follow the official Facebook page of the New Zealand Olympic and Commonwealth Games team to learn about our own New Zealand athletes.

Te Ara – Olympic and Commonwealth games
Te Ara provides information, images, and sound recordings to help students learn about New Zealand's long history of participation at Olympic and Commonwealth Games.

New Zealand History Online – The Commonwealth Games
New Zealand History Online offers a multimedia exhibition about our nation's involvement with the Commonwealth Games that includes stories, images, videos, and sound recordings.

Updated on: 14 Feb 2018