The Importance of Physical Education in Schools
Growing up, many of us were subject to a half-hearted physical education curriculum in school. “Gym class” has garnered the negative reputation of being a blow-off subject, but a high-quality health and physical education program is one of the best ways for students to build a foundation for success. It’s no secret that healthy eating and exercise are important components of a child’s well-being. Activities in PE help children facilitate learning through play, form a positive sense of identity as team players, and encourage them to embrace fitness as a lifelong habit.
Well-instructed, high-quality physical education for schools has favorable effects on students’ mental development, but it also promotes better academic performance. Regular physical activity has been proven to provide students with improved focus, adequate sleep, and more energy to participate in hobbies and electives that expand their minds and talents. Movement gets hearts pumping. But most importantly, it stimulates the production of endorphins which ease pain and stress, creating feelings of happiness and calmness.
Currently, our nation is battling against inactivity and obesity in our young people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the past three decades has seen a tripling in the childhood obesity rate for preschool students (ages 2-5) as well as middle school and high school students (ages 12-19). Health and physical education classes will help challenge the promotion of sugary, high-calorie fast food culture that advertisers push on television programs, mobile devices, and magazines that target children and adolescents. Through effective physical education programs in public and private schools, we can change children’s attitudes regarding healthy living and exercise.
A good health and physical education program should include cross-curricular activities so that students see how academic pursuits like math, science, and are relevant to maintaining a sound body and mind. For instance, cross-curricular activities show students that dance is an excellent form of physical activity, biology provides information on how our bodies function, and math can be used to calculate the trajectory of a baseball throw or demonstrate the physics behind a soccer kick.
Ivy League’s physical education program is unmatched. In our lower elementary school PE classes, students build the gross and fine motor skills, spatial awareness, coordination, and self-esteem necessary to participate in physical games and sports. Our students work with Frisbees, hula hoops, and balance beams alongside dedicated instructors, to advance physical, personal, and social development.
Students in upper grade levels focus on reflecting on their own physical education performance and hone in on their sports skills through games like soccer, basketball, gaga ball, and other field/court sports. Our 16-acre campus, weather permitting, allows students to play outdoors as well as use our outdoor heated pools, where they are guided by our experienced swim instructors and lifeguards.
We’re committed to total mind and body health at Ivy League Kids. Every year, our students participate in the Presidential Youth Fitness Program where take part in health-related assessment for fitness, receive recognition for high motivation and performance in physical education, as well as provide youth fitness programs across the nation the assessment results they need to implement a better physical education curriculum.