Innovative sports programs kick off healthy lifestyles at school

City kids go back to school with the emphasis at the beginning of the semester on personal safety and sports.
Dong Jun / SHINE

Students carry the national flag at a flag raising ceremony at yesterday at Huangpu District's Luwan No. 1 Central Primary School.

It was back to school for millions of students throughout China yesterday, with how to stay safe in public places the first lesson for city kids.

Students had already been told that their first class of the new semester would be on TV on Sunday night and as the hour approached, sitting rooms fell silent and remote controls were firmly in the hands of the younger members of the family.

It is the second year that the Public Security Bureau has got together with the education commission to produce a show about personal safety, aired on Shanghai Education TV.

In the program, three police officers took students to Metro stations, the fire department headquarters and shopping malls to explain safety signs and tell them how to avoid panic and stampedes.

Huang Yi, one of the three officers, showed up at Qiuzhi Elementary School on Monday morning and surprised his young fans recapping on some key points from the show in an interactive lecture to second-graders and their parents.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Huang Yi wows students and parents with an interactive lecture at Qiuzhi Elementary School yesterday.

Second-grader Yang Ruolin said she learned a lot of new things, but her favorite part of was a shopping mall evacuation.

“Shopping malls are always like a maze to me, but now I know more about how to find way out if there is an emergency and feel safer,” she said.

Over 3,500 traffic police officers and assistants watched over students at the 400 kindergartens, elementary schools and middle schools on the first day.

Illegally parked shared bikes were removed from streets near schools, while traffic cops paid special attention to offenses around schools including illegal parking, running red lights and not properly giving way to pedestrians.

The police are setting up road blocks to look out offenses by school bus drivers in the coming weeks and to check for unregistered buses.

Students at New Putuo Primary School had a fire drill and were trained in emergency rescue skills, including CPR.  At Fuxing Road East No.3 Primary School, books about food safety were given to students.

In Joy-Kids Kindergarten in Minhang District, 6-year children joined 3-year-old newcomers, to sing, dance and play to help the younger kids settle in to their new environment, dispelling any feelings of unease.

New programs

From September, there will be changes in local schools focused on improving students' health.

Primary school children are going to have four PE classes and two sport activities each week while middle schoolers will have four PE classes and one sport activities.

Pupils of all grades at Huangpu District's Luwan No.1 Central Primary School will have at least one sport session every day, along with after-school sports clubs.

"Besides basic sports courses, we provide various events for different grades in the extra class," said PE teacher Lu Beibei,  "First graders will learn soccer and move onto fencing, basketball and aerobics as they get older."

Dong Jun / SHINE

 Students at Luwan No. 1 Central Primary School have PE class yesterday.

Lu believes that students should exercise for at least an hour a day.

“It gets children out in the fresh air and sunshine, and gives their eyes a rest from studying, which might cut the rate of shortsightedness," said Lu.

Children can enjoy sports like swimming, martial arts, golf and bowling in cooperation with Luwan Gymnasium and some other organizations.

According to school vice principal, Deng Weihong, children will develop a greater interests in sports and teachers can pay more attention to each student with the extended classes, and develop personal exercise plans for them. 

"If children cultivate good habits when they are young, they can stay healthy through their life."

During classes children will wear wrist monitors to check their heart rate and blood oxygen level.

Dong Jun / SHINE

Children at Luwan No. 1 Central Primary School have some of their vital signs monitored during PE class.

Children's eyesight is now a major public concern across the nation, so the school has self-adjusting lamps that change their brightness in response to the environment.

"We can also adjust the height of the desks and chairs and each kid has their own health record," said Xu Lin, a heath teacher at the school. "We give two sight tests to the children every year."

The pupils are doing six-step eye exercises twice a day.

New schools

With the population growing, 90 new schools and kindergartens opened yesterday: 53 kindergartens, 34 primary and middle schools and two high schools, with a total of 1,940 classrooms.

Dong Jun / SHINE
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