Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Rachael Jefferson-Buchanan

 Rachael Jefferson-Buchanan

BEd (Hons) Specialist Physical Education and Special Educational Needs, Master of Arts in Dance Studies, Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Social Research (merit)

I am a lecturer in human movement studies (health and PE) within the School of Education. I hold a BEd (Hons) in physical education, dance and special educational needs, and an MA in dance studies. I also have a postgraduate certificate in Applied Social Research and a diploma in research on yoga in education, as well as a wide range of other qualifications in specific movement areas such as gymnastics, aerobics, athletics, netball, orienteering and early years in the outdoors. I am currently in the process of completing my PhD, which focuses on gendered and classed constructions of the body in UK physical education. I have more than 28 years experience in education, teaching and managing physical education, dance and health activities. Most of these years have been spent in international contexts, as after two years of teaching in the UK (my country of origin), I moved to Switzerland where I was head of physical education at the International School of Geneva for more than 13 years. In 2004 I returned to my home country to take up a senior lecturer post in physical education, dance, education studies and primary professional practice at Bath Spa University, coordinating the primary postgraduate physical education programme, creating and teaching dance, health and movement modules on the undergraduate, and supervising masters students in the Professional Masters Programme. In February 2013 I began my current lecturing post at Charles Sturt University.

I have extensive experience in writing and leading regional and national physical education professional development for teachers within the UK. Alongside my UK lecturing role, I also took on a more international role as the lead consultant for physical education curriculum design and professional development within Cambridge International Examinations' Egyptian and Central Asian Projects. Moreover, I was the UK consultant for Fundamental Movement Skills (STEPS PD, Western Australia) from 2007-2012, which served to intensify my passion for working with teachers, students and children in the early years sector. This role was also a catalyst for the writing of my book: 'Fundamental Fun: 132 activities to develop fundamental movement skills', as well as my PhD research. I believe that generalist primary teachers can make a real difference to the quality of their physical education and health programmes with more specialist knowledge of fundamental movement skills, in tandem with a richer understanding of the connections between teaching, learning and assessment in kinaesthetic contexts. The processes of learning about, through and in the physical are vital to children's holistic development and well-being.

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PhD title: 'An examination of the relationship between philosophy, pedagogy and practice in UK Education: focusing on specific epochs in Physical Education'.

Mindfulness research with local teachers in New South Wales: mindfulness professional development with pre and post training questionnaires and interviews.

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I teach a range of Physical Education, Health and Creative Arts subjects at Charles Sturt University. These are all Bachelor of Education subjects within the Faculty of Arts and Education in either the K-12 or the Early Childhood and Primary courses. I also regularly supervise students within the Masters of International Education and the Masters of Education programmes.

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  • Editorial board member for the 'Teaching, Research, and Media in Kinesiology' academic journal; peer reviewer for Routledge books; peer reviewer for European Physical Education Review (EPER).
  • Professional Associations: International Dance Council (CID); Research on Yoga in Education UK.
  • Member of the School of Education's Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Committee.

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Academic journals


  • Jefferson-Buchanan, R. (2009). Fundamental Fun: 132 Activities to develop Fundamental Movement Skills. Perth, Western Australia: STEPS PD.

Book chapters

  • Jefferson-Buchanan, R. (2012). Dance: Teaching and Learning Possibilities within the Early Years and Primary School Context. In G. Griggs (Ed.), An Introduction to Primary Physical Education (pp. 135-150). London: Routledge.
  • Jefferson-Buchanan, R. (2011). The Fundamental Movement Skills programme (Steps PD). Physical development challenges and opportunities in the primary school context. In A. Howe, & V. Richards (Eds.), Bridging the Transition from Primary to Secondary School (pp. 113-126). London: Routledge.

Professional journal articles

  • Jefferson-Buchanan, R. (2011). Egyptian Myths. Resource Pages: Key Stage 2. Dance Matters, 62, 12-13.
  • Jefferson-Buchanan, R. (2011). The Benefits of Using Yoga. Early Years Educator, 13(3), 30-32.


Cambridge International Examinations, UK: writer of a wide range of international Primary and Secondary Physical Education curriculum documents with related professional development for Egypt and Central Asia.


  • 2012: Invited speaker and panellist at the Westminster Education Forum National Curriculum Seminar Series, London: 'Developing a Programme of Study for Physical Education: historical and philosophical lessons from the past to inform the future'.
  • 2012: Invited speaker: keynote on 'Fundamental Movement Skills' at FITTSport conference in Tralee, Ireland. Interviewed by 'The Irish Times' regarding my Fundamental Movement Skills research.
  • 2010: Presented a paper at the Primary PE ITTE Conference: 'Critical Analysis of the Western Australian Programme: Fundamental Movement Skills (STEPS PD)'. Hilton Warwick Hotel. Published on afPE website.
  • 2010: Invited speaker: keynote on 'Fundamental Movement Skills' at St. Patrick's College, Dublin.

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