Heads Up

Welcome to Heads Up, your one-stop source for news about your son’s upcoming activities and events.

Middle Phys-ed

After returning from the winter break refreshed and well-rested, the Y6 and Y7 boys will continue participating in the respective winter physical education units. Y6 boys are currently rotating through four mini-units including skating, snorkeling, gymnastics, and badminton, while the Y7s are exploring gymnastics and skating. It is important to note that 7B, 7G, and 7M will begin their skating unit immediately following the break and are responsible for having their skates, gloves, and a helmet with a mask. They will also still be required to wear their regular P.E. uniform and tracksuit throughout the skating unit.

While it is always a goal for the physical education faculty to assist boys with developing technical skills associated with the activities they’re exploring, we feel it is important to highlight the following, “softer competencies,” that we explicitly teach while working with students throughout the year. For example, we feel it is increasingly important for our boys to be effective in collaborating with others. They will almost certainly require this skill to achieve their future goals and we feel strongly that it is never too early to be introducing, fine-tuning and polishing different ways to collaborate. For example, during our P.E. classes, we intentionally provide our boys with opportunities to give and receive meaningful feedback to help others succeed. Specifically, this might look like a boy walking on the pool deck and providing snorkeling tips to their partner performing in the water, or a boy reflecting with their classmates on how to improve the aesthetics of their gymnastics routine by focusing on body form, extension, and control. In all cases, P.E. faculty is mindful of the fact that boys need to be explicitly taught different strategies to offer appropriate feedback and to listen attentively to different perspectives.

A specific skill that we believe assists with effective collaboration, and is emphasized by P.E. faculty throughout the year, is feeling empathy for others. Unlike a rep basketball or soccer program, physical education classes are composed of boys who bring a wide range of technical skill and experience with them. Faculty is very aware of this class dynamic and intentionally provide boys with strategies for feeling empathy for their peers during P.E. classes. For example, while participating in the Badminton unit P.E. faculty will plan for, “halftime huddles,” where boys are reminded to put themselves in their “partner’s shoes,” and reflect on how they can best support them in an effort to improve their performance. While skating, teachers will also use specific partner and/or group combinations that will increase the likelihood of boys feeling empathy for each other while reflecting on how to best improve their partner performances.

In the end, it is our goal to support our boys with being active and positive participants in the physical education program. In addition to offering our students ample opportunity to practice the technical and strategic aspects of the activities we explore, we never lose sight of how the development for the softer skills will truly increase the chances of a boy reaching their full potential.

On behalf of the P.E. department, we wish you all a relaxing winter break!

Gareth Evans gevan@ucc.on.ca

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Yellow: Upper School
Red: Prep School

 


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