Physical activity is more than minutes per day, it is about minutes per year of life. Creating physical activity habits is the anchor for physical health and overall wellbeing. The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018–2030: More Active People for a Healthier World, highlights that “Physical activity is important across all ages. Active play and recreation are important for early childhood as well as for healthy growth and development in children and adolescents. Quality physical education and supportive school environments can provide physical and health literacy for long-lasting healthy, active lifestyles”. The WHO action plan also states the importance of integrating physical activity into settings where people live, work and play. This aligns with our role as educators in PE, to instill the values of life-long participation in physical activity.
We aim to implement these values through our Health and Physical Education curriculum at Strathcona. Some examples are the Unit 3 PE students who are currently analysing the impact that deliberate play has on skill development, students in the Unit 2 PE course are investigating the Youth Physical Activity Promotion Model as it relates to the influences on physical activity. At Year 10 we are providing options of sports-based curriculum and lifestyle options through Cardio Tennis, Spin, Self-Defence, and Lawn Bowls. And in Junior School we are in the first term of the implementation of the Health Education Curriculum, which will feed into the existing Senior School program.
School plays an important role in influencing skill development and participation, PE and wellbeing are interwoven and intrinsically linked. In PE we use the term ‘physical literacy’ which is lifelong learning through movement and physical activity. The establishment of physical literacy has lifelong positive benefits that influence physical behaviour along with physical, social, cognitive, and psychological health.
We are fortunate at Strathcona to have structures and facilities that provide opportunities to physically active and develop our physical literacy. Our students will eventually graduate and enter the adult world where those structures and opportunities will be less readily available to them, they will have to seek out sports teams, sign up for a local gym membership or find that motivation to do that YouTube Yoga class on-line. Our intention is to empower students with the knowledge and confidence to be positive decision-makers about their health. Through the Health and Physical Education program, we aim to be able to instill the knowledge and enthusiasm for being physically active, develop students who are mindful of their overall wellbeing and understand the importance of the role of lifelong physical activity plays in the balance of life.