A Healthy Balance
The PE faculty here at SOIS believe that the notion of developing physical literacy in students is vital to developing active, healthy lifestyles. Physical literacy is a holistic view of a person's knowledge of how to move and the ability to do so with competence, their understanding of why activity is important, and the willingness and desire to be involved in physical activity on a consistent basis. Whilst accepting that the development of fundamental movement skills in order to move with confidence and competence is of great importance in the development of physical literacy, it is equally important to consider that students participate in things that they enjoy. From an educational perspective, we know that students' participation rates in movement experiences tend to be higher when they value and enjoy movement experiences, choose to participate rather than being coerced, and have adult role models such as teachers. With this in mind, the PE courses offered at MS, HS and SNR levels have been developed and continue to evolve to meet current needs, cultural trends and government regulations.
In the MS and HS Physical Education Program at SOIS students are exposed to a broad variety of opportunities to develop their knowledge, understanding and competence in a wide range of movement and health associated activities. Safety, movement concepts, vocabulary, rules, fine and gross loco motor skills, non- loco motor skills, manipulative skills, games strategies and physical fitness are all covered throughout the years of the program. The Physical Education program involves the total child and includes physical, social and emotional growth experiences. It is hoped that the children will acquire and develop fundamental skills to enable them to be confident and capable in a variety of situations including lifetime, individual and team sports so as to enjoy and continue to be active throughout their lives.
Most units in MS involve 3-4 week units while HS units adhere to a 6 week timetable. In MS the emphasis is on Social Skills and Personal Engagement as prescribed by the MYP with a focus on cooperation and collaboration, concentration, respect, cultural awareness and active participation. In HS the current MYP assessment criteria are followed with added emphasis on Knowledge, Performance and Movement composition. HS curriculum emphasizes health and fitness with all students undertaking compulsory courses in swimming, endurance, weight training and Performance. Other units are optional and varied and are chosen by students on a 2 year cycle basis.
Activity units run for approximtely 3 weeks for MS and 6 weeks for HS. PE faculty change groups every unit so students get a mix of native English and Japanese speakers. This switching of teachers involves some internal moderation to ensure parity and clarity for assessment. This is done between the HS PE teachers involved in teaching that particular unit of activity (eg Badminton) so there is agreement on levels of achievement reached. All MS PE teachers are involved in the moderation of the MS students as all the students rotate through the 4 activity stations being studied that trimester and thus will spend some time studying under each teacher’s style and guidance. Whilst this occasionally results in rather lengthy discussions, it ensures a “best fit” for each student. Progress reports are written every 6 weeks in addition to the end-of-trimester reports.