Exercise develops both your mind and body
Physical education leads to physical literacy, which is crucial for child development. Several studies have revealed physical literacy provides student athletes, or team players, a solid foundation to achieve more later in life, whether they pursue a career in sport or not.
Physical literacy is more than reading and activities
The core philosophy that underpins physical education at Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong is that each student is entitled to develop physical literacy through physical experience.
Every child is encouraged to value and take responsibility for engaging in physical activities for life by developing motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding.
This is simply translated into a progressive PE curriculum which focuses on:
Head: cognitive understanding of physical literacy;
Heart: character development and effective elements of physical literacy;
Hands: practical application of the knowledge and understanding acquired through physical literacy.
Our “Head, Heart and Hands” program begins with our toddler cohort and extends to Year 13. Knowledge, skills and understanding are vertically aligned within our PE curriculum, and they blend with opportunities within the classroom curriculum and experiences offered through the co-curricular sports program.
The PE program engages students and staff through a range of innovative projects. Our team aims to develop a positive culture of understanding related to physical literacy — we inspire, enthuse and have an incredible amount of fun in the process of learning.
The following projects have been implemented since 2019:
Through Go A.P.E. (Active Physical Education), students are immersed in a range of challenging practices that develop core motor skills. We aim to reduce fixed seat learning time and enable students to increase activity and engagement in lessons. Our mantra is: Get ’em in, get ’em going, get ’em thinking, get ’em doing it at home and get ’em coming back for more.
Heart and Sole (and soul!) helps students from Year 1-6 participate in fitness testing as a precursor to engaging in alternative health and well-being activities to emphasize breadth of interest. For example, aqua aerobics, cardio drumming, boxercise and yoga.
As for DAB Bags, students in Year 1 and 2 classes are provided with a Dulwich activity bag to take home on a rotational basis. The bags contain many fun physical activities with stage-appropriate instructions, such as juggling balls, French skipping bands and pretzel yoga cards. The project encourages students to connect with people in their community and link all elements of physical literacy (Head, Heart, Hands) to play. This is “homework” all children love to complete and will bring “play” into the home.
Our TRYathlon event inspires students to experience physical movement activities on land, water and wheels. The project has a service learning theme culminating in advocacy for health and wellness in our community. Students learn that all people (regardless of health) can find a physical activity within our community.
The acquisition of physical literacy is a lifelong journey. The development of motor skills in our early years is essential. We aspire young people to engage in daily physical activity with increasing levels of intensity, to impact positively on their well-being. We help students build connections between mindfulness, exercise, health, neuroplasticity and nutrition so that they recognize and meet developmental milestones.
(The article is contributed by Rachel Crossland, head of Primary PE at Dulwich Pudong.)
Click on kids’ love of tech with PE online
The sun is out, spring is on its way and, today, the world is a very different place than we could have imagined just a few months ago. Even without the current virus situation, the world is changing faster than any generation has ever experienced.
All aspects of life have to be adapted, updated and, in the same way your computer or phone often updates, this is no different in the field of education.
The role physical education and sport plays in a young person’s life has never been more important.
Take your average teenager today: They have a smart phone and many other electronic devices, and they can keep in contact with people all around the world at the touch of a button.
In today’s online world, how do we educators in PE spark a love of sport offline in our students? We do this by harnessing their love of technology — using it and embracing it. From vlogging about sporting experiences, to analyzing a student’s performance against elite athletes, technology is very useful and versatile. Students can compete virtually against anyone on a different continent from their front room or against a family member in the same room. Daily steps are eagerly amassed like Pokémon cards were in the past — and does it even count if your gym workout progress isn’t captured on Instagram or WeChat Moments?
The “new PE” involves sharing experiences and encouraging young people to find a myriad of activities and healthy recipes in the virtual world — and to understand and relive these online experiences. The dreaded cross-country run has been replaced by the “Strava” upload. Fitness class is out and CrossFit is in. Now it is cool to be out on a bike as if you were cruising the meadows of northern France on “Le Tour.” Traditional sports continue, but it is the players and not the clubs that are followed by fans. A generation of left-footed wizards mimic Lionel Messi, while others perform stepovers like Cristiano Ronaldo. It is up to us as educators to guide youngsters and help ignite that spark, keeping them relevant to the ever-changing world they are growing up in.
(The article is contributed by Matt Uffindall, athletic director at YCIS Pudong.)
Students benefit from education-based athletics
As director of Athletics at Concordia International School Shanghai, I often have to defend investments schools put into athletics. Couldn’t those time, energy and financial investments be used more wisely? The answer is an emphatic no! Research has found that students who participate in education-based athletics receive a host of benefits that provide a lasting, positive impact on the rest of their lives.
The purpose of education-based athletics is child growth and development. Important soft skills such as leadership, teamwork and communication, with perseverance and sportsmanship are taught on a daily basis through sport. While some of these principles can be learned passively through participation, trained coaches and administrators intentionally focus on these qualities throughout a season.
The National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) collated significant research on the subject and found that team participation provides benefits for students. Benefits include better GPAs, test scores and college admittance rates, on top of behavioral benefits — student-athletes were less likely to use drugs and alcohol or become a teen parent.
Finally, several studies have shown that student athletes attain higher levels of education and earn a higher income later in life. Ninety-five percent of male Fortune 500 CEO’s identified themselves as having participated in athletics, while 80 percent of female executives said the same thing — this is despite only 57 percent of students taking part. For more information, the NFHS provides online education and free courses for parents and students.
(The article is contributed by Turner Neal, director of athletics at CISS.)