The aim of the Health and Physical Education Program is to promote health and wellness of one’s lifestyle through physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects. Accomplishment of this is through guided instruction and participation in a variety of experiences involving sports, fitness and other activities. Students will be able to assess their own capabilities and liabilities, stimulate self-discipline, and discover interests that may be continued throughout his or her adult life. Students in Grades PreK through Eight receive instruction in physical education approximately thirty times a year. The following are the summaries of the curriculum covered in this subject area in each of the units.
PreK and Kindergarten
Students will learn to actively participate together in a safe and positive way. They will experience different ways to move safely with each other in the gym within a movement exploration framework. Basic loco-motor movements such as jumping, hopping, skipping, galloping and sliding will be introduced and practiced. Mastery of fundamental loco-motor skills will provide Kindergarten students with movement “building blocks” that are the basics for learning more advanced skills. Incorporated within this movement format will be activities that emphasize spatial awareness and relationships. Movement to music will be experienced in both structured and creative ways. Hand-eye coordination skills (catching, bouncing and throwing) will be stressed as well as eye-foot (kicking) skills. Low organization type games will provide Kindergarten students with opportunities to learn to follow rules and become responsible team players in an enjoyable way.
Grades One to Three
Students will first participate in cooperative games where they will work as a team or with partners, to learn the importance of communication, sportsmanship, and accountability. Spatial awareness, body awareness, and loco-motor movements will be incorporated weekly into the warm-ups, as well as into enjoyable activities such as tag games and other activities that are age-appropriate. Team sports will also be introduced throughout the year, with a focus on improving the individual’s motor skills such as throwing, catching, serving, etc. Lastly, Physical Fitness will be introduced in a fun activity-based format, where the students will begin to understand correct form for body weight exercises and the positive effects on the mind and body.
Grades Four to Six
Students will begin the year participating in cooperative games and activities where they will learn to develop effective team strategies, communication, goal setting positive behavior, and good sportsmanship. Traditional sports will be introduced in a way that can accommodate, yet challenge each student individually, beginning with Lacrosse. Sport specific motor skills, followed by small modified games, and eventually full sided team activities will allow the students to build confidence in the skills necessary to be successful in each sport. Cognitive, affective, and psycho-motor assessments will be given throughout these units. Offensive and defensive strategies will be introduced, as well as refining of basic motor skills, such as throwing, catching, and serving in a variety of sports. Lastly, students will gain a greater understanding of the health-related fitness components – including cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition.
Grades Seven and Eight
Students will begin the year participating in challenging non-traditional cooperative games that stimulate critical thinking and focus on strategizing, communication, teamwork and lastly good sportsmanship. Sport units will begin to be introduced after this, beginning with Lacrosse. Higher-level thinking will be stressed, and cognitive, affective, and psycho-motor assessments will determine the knowledge gained from each unit from a mental, physical, and emotional perspective. Students will work on refining sport specific motor skills, team strategies, as well as plans for self-improvement. Students will also complete a health related fitness assessment and develop a plan for maintenance or improvement.
For a complete description of the Curriculum Guidelines of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, please visit the website of Archdiocese of Philadelphia Office of Catholic Education.