The World Health Organization (WHO) has found evidence of a global trend of a reduction in the amount of time students spend having Physical Health Education (PHE). However, WHO maintains that PHE is critical in students’ physical, mental, and academic development.
Why is physical activity critical?
“Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health,” said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You probably have an existing understanding of how exercise raises general fitness levels, but many are not aware of the huge benefits to mental wellbeing.
The CDC’s study found that regular physical activity has a significant, positive impact on brain health. In young children (up to 13 years of age), a correlation was found between physical activity and “improved thinking or cognition”.
In older children and adults, physical activity can “help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp”. Furthermore, the risk of depression, anxiety, and disturbed sleep is reduced.
My child exercises at home: do they need to have PHE at school?
It’s important that students exercise both at home and school. At this Shanghai international school, WISS, PHE is taught by athletically-accomplished and expertly-trained members of staff.
Staff teach students the proper ways to stretch, workout, and play sports. Students can then use these skills at home and maintain their fitness outside of school using the proper techniques.
What are the PHE facilities like at an international school?
The facilities at WISS are top-notch. They have a professional-grade Astroturf pitch, two natural grass fields, a running track, swimming pools, indoor gymnasiums with basketball and volleyball courts, a jungle gym, and a rock-climbing wall. PHE equipment is plentiful and well-maintained.
How is PHE taught at WISS?
No matter the age of their students, WISS places a strong emphasis on PHE and physical activity.
In their Early Years, the PHE course focuses on the developmental needs of young children — movement, balance, and fine and gross motor skill coordination. Students develop these skills through five strands of the program: Health-Related Fitness, Adventure Challenges, Games, Individual Pursuits, and Movement Composition.
The facilities for Early Years are tailored to their needs. They have their own indoor swimming pool, indoor gym, and jungle gym.
When students move on to Primary School, they are taught how to work as a team and cooperate with one another in a non-competitive environment. The Primary Years PHE curriculum has five strands: Health-Related Fitness, Adventure Challenges, Games, Individual Pursuits, and Movement Composition.
Primary students share first-class facilities with the Secondary students, making use of a 7-lane, 25-meter swimming pool; rock-climbing wall; Astroturf field; two natural grass fields; a large indoor multi-purpose facility; an indoor gym with basketball and volleyball courts; and an outdoor gym and playground equipment.
Students in the Secondary School are given a lot of variety in their PHE pursuits. They can hone their athletic skills with units learning how to play floor hockey, American football, soccer, rugby, and more. Secondary students focus on improving their endurance, strength, and flexibility. The Secondary School shares facilities with the Primary students — read about their facilities above.
The oldest students don’t have scheduled PHE classes unless they opt to follow the IBCP Sports pathway. This programme provides a door-opening experience through high-class instruction and athletic internships at WISS and the Shanghai community.
Which extracurricular sporting activities are offered at WISS?
WISS highly encourages their students to take advantage of their fantastic sports instructors and facilities and offers a robust array of extracurricular sporting activities.
They run several sporting after-school programs, including (but not limited to):
- SportEd Early Years Tennis (KG)
- WISS Mom/Dad & Me Swimming for Nursery (Nursery)
- Sport for Life Mini-Basketball (Pre-K)
- Stoke City FC Pint Size Potters Football (Pre-K-KG)
- Tigers Swim Team Primary (Grades 1-5)
- WISS Rock-Climbing (Grade 4-5)
- Sevillanas/Flamenco Dance (Grade 1-5)
- Jump 360 (Grade 3-5)
- SportEd Galaxie Tennis (Grade 1-4)
- Tae Kwon Do (Grade 1-5)
- Kung Fu (Grade 1-5)
- Sport for Life Basketball (Grade 1-12)
- CSU Swimming (Grade 1-5)
- Nike Sports Camps American Flag Football (Grade 2-5)
- Floorball (Grade 1-5)
- Stoke City FC Primary Potters Football (Grade 1-5)
- Tigers Swim Team Secondary (Grade 6-12)
- Tigers Running Club (Grade 6-12)
- Tigers Badminton Club (Grade 6-12)
What’s special about PHE at WISS?
Not only do they boast phenomenal sporting facilities at WISS, but they employ only the most qualified and inspirational instructors. Their holistic approach to sports education teaches students the importance of physical activity and inspires them to fall in love with sports and fitness. Furthermore, their state-of-the-art facilities allow them to offer a diverse range of activities, including more unusual, non-traditional courses, like rock climbing. They’re also incredibly proud to offer the prestigious Stoke City FC Academy at WISS, which helps to see talented footballers fulfill their dreams.