At The Renaissance International School we use a multidisciplinary approach to physical education. The overall goal is to introduce our students to fitness and sports, which in turn helps encourage each child to reach her personal fitness level while having fun with her classmates. These activities also help to foster cooperation and teamwork in other areas outside of the physical education class.

The overall fitness program begins with a basic introduction to what personal fitness is by introducing the basic concepts. First, the child learns general conditioning, which involves running and stretching and an overall awareness of the body. We begin each session with warm-up laps and the children eventually work up their endurance through continual conditioning. The warm-ups may include jogging, sprinting, and walking at different speeds, as well as balancing exercises.

phys_edThe calisthenics vary from arm circles, leg stretches and trunk stretches, to isolating specific muscle groups and basic neck circles. In this way the child gains a greater awareness of her own body and learns how to stretch these areas before each class begins. By doing these various stretches and conditioning exercises, the child takes command of her own body, while at the same time participating in a group activity. Each child is given a chance to lead these activities, which in turn gives him a sense of leadership and confidence in assisting others.

Once the warm-ups are complete, the activities begin. Team-building exercises such as relay races, sprints, and drills before the activity of the day foster cooperation and enthusiasm within the group. The children also pair up with a friend to do individual exercises. These activities not only bring out team unity, but allow each child to concentrate on different skills. Whether it is hand-eye coordination, balancing by hopping on one foot, or just simple directional drills, the child is able to excel in a given area, at his own pace, with the support and encouragement of his peers.

Some of the sports we cover are soccer, kickball, track and field, basketball, football, Frisbee, and a number of races and drills that the children help create. We take excursions in the park that involve specific tasks, such as running to the structure and doing an obstacle course, following verbal instructions with specific tasks such as skipping 10 times, running around the tree five times, sprinting to the top of the hill, and finishing by doing ten sit-ups and ten push-ups. The children really seem to enjoy these games and take great pride in their individual achievements.

We stress the importance of team support and cooperation. There is some competition involved, but with encouragement. The idea is to help each individual child reach her highest potential without so much an emphasis on winning or losing, but rather how the individual does. The children reach many levels, both physically and socially. They usually show a high degree of sportsmanship through these activities and learn to meet the challenges of Physical Education!