Physical Activity – We don’t have enough time.
There is always enough time for physical activity.
As Physical Educators, one of our major concern is time. Time is a huge factor as we only see our students, well for most of us, once a week, 60 minutes. By the time we pick up our students, drop them off for their next lesson, settle them down and ready to learn, really we only keep them active for 40 – 45 minutes. I agree this is not enough time, especially when we need to follow the following policy which is stated in the Education Policy:
Schools must conduct physical and sport education for the mandated time for all students in Years P–10 in government schools. The mandated times are:
In primary schools for years:
o P–3: 20–30 minutes of physical education a day.
o 4–6: 3 hours per week of physical education and sport with a minimum of 50% of that time for physical education.
In secondary school’s years 7–10: 100 minutes each, per week for physical education and sport.
I wonder how many of us follow the guidelines above? Well let me help you to ease your thinking on how you can meet the mandated times with more physical activity at your school.
Encourage your staff Imagine being stuck indoors all day and every day, you’ll go crazy, well I would. So encourage your staff to conduct their literacy and numeracy classes outside. There are so many ways teachers can include physical activity into their lessons. But this just won’t happen on it’s own, as the leader we need to support, promote and educate our teachers.
* Lunchtime Clubs
Most schools I know run a Lunchtime Clubs Program. These are great because this will give you an opportunity to run a sporting club, walking/running club, aerobics club or any type of active club. Once again promote your club and allow your students to run these clubs.
* Move your body
Move your body could be implemented before classes begin, after recess or lunch or even to have a break in between lessons. Designate a time in your school that all year levels must head outside to ‘move their bodies’ for 10 minutes a day. Not only will this clock up the active time, but also refresh the students and staff minds and get them ready to be focused for their next session.
* Active Zones
Besides the lunchtime clubs, another idea you could use for students to be active during break times is to allocate ‘active zones’ around your school. For example, put signage near your courts or playground which will encourage students to move and run around safely in these areas. These active zones will also decrease students sitting down for the whole break. You may want to include on your signage or posters some exercises for students to follow.
When I was in primary school, I use to love going outside for a game because we met our class expectations, we completed our work or achieved enough class points to head outside for a game. Unfortunately, I don’t see this much at all any more, so remind your teachers to use games as rewards in their classes. Heading outside for a 20minute game is something students work hard towards to. Some teachers may say, “I don’t know any games” that’s easily fixed and a poor excuse in my thoughts, so provide them with a list of games.
* P-6 Development Sports Program
I’ve worked at schools where not only do the year 5/6 students head out for interschool or intraschool sports but also year 3/4 students. I love this, as the year levels get together (1 hour a week) and complete either station work, rotate through various sports, work as a team and enjoy running around.
As you can see there are many ideas (and I’m sure there are other ideas) to meet the mandated times above. The expectations start with us, we need to set the tone and ensure our students are getting enough active time. Not only will this improve their learning abilities, but most importantly improve their health and well-being. Come on let’s lead our students to a happy and healthy future.
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These are my own opinions and experiences. I love to share and reflect.