The Physical Education program at the Long Ridge School sets the foundation for children to learn the importance of physical activity for health and enjoyment.
The formal physical education program is structured with the developmental skill level of the two to three year old in mind. The children begin each class with an organized running experience. The program includes the opportunity to practice balance, jumping, rolling, crawling, and stepping up, over and under obstacles. The teachers encourage movement by having the children imitate various animals, or by pretending they are swimming, for example. Children begin rudimentary mat exercises; they begin to learn how to kick balls, and they practice catching and throwing balls. This structured program allows the children to develop flexibility, range of motion, balance, hand-eye coordination, and the ability to cross the body’s midline. The children also begin to learn how to work together as a group by playing simple games.
As Nursery children engage in large motor activities involving walking, running, crawling, jumping, hopping, and climbing, for example, they develop balance, strength, agility, body control, and spatial awareness. They also learn rules of simple games and develop throwing, catching, and kicking skills.
In Grades K-1, children explore movement through practice on motor activities, manipulative skills, basic body control, developmental games, and exercises improving body spatial awareness. Children are expected to:
- develop locomotive motor skills through walking, running, hopping and non-locomotive movements in bending, twisting, swinging and rocking.
- be able to move both quickly and slowly.
- maintain balance while bearing weight on various body parts.
- develop spatial sense and be able to move safely without colliding with others while chasing and dodging.
- roll and throw various types of balls.
- work on eye-foot coordination while rolling, throwing, and catching various balls.
- during play, be able to change direction and speed in avoiding or catching others.
- be able to roll properly in different directions, forward, backward, to the sides.
- improve manipulative motion, involved in catching and kicking various kinds of balls.
- improve endurance, flexibility, agility, and body awareness.
Students prepare to participate in group and team activities, while continuing to work on manipulative and motor skills.
Students become aware of the benefits of physical activities. They learn strategies to resolve conflicts. Students:
- work on proper form, in running, galloping, leaping, jogging, chasing, and dodging to avoid or catch others.
- practice lifelong activities such as jumping rope, gymnastics, and running.
- improve balancing skills, controlling balance while moving in and out of various positions.
- bear weight on hands in activities such as cart wheels, wall walks, and octopus.
- improve manipulative skill form and motion pattern, through practice in bouncing, throwing, kicking, catching, dribbling, and chest passing a ball.
- move in different directions, and change direction quickly and safely.
- jump a self-turned rope repeatedly.
- improve both muscular strength and cardiovascular.
- demonstrate important elements in manipulative skills such as overhand throw, underhand throw, catch and kick from various angles.
- exercise for flexibility in shoulder, trunk, and legs.
- practice safety precautions and react appropriately in emergency situations encountered in play activities.
- demonstrate good sportsmanship in both winning and losing.
- realize that practice and effort are necessary for improving skills.
Grades 4-5 focuses on reinforcing and refining motor skills necessary for various games and activities in both group and individual sports. Children continue to work on basic skills, jumping, running, catching, and throwing in games. Reflective of our integrated studies, these games sometimes incorporate the cultures the children have been studying social studies. Students:
- change speed and catch objects while running in straight and curved directions.
- continue to demonstrate locomotive skills: dodging while jumping and landing for height and distance, bending and extending knees and arms.
- develop agility with simple jumping stunts.
- jump rope repeatedly using various foot patterns and rhythms.
- combine locomotive and manipulative skills, such as pivoting, throwing, twisting, striking, catching, and running during games.
- pay attention to form and accuracy in performing movement skills.
- be able to jump high or bend knees during specific activities, such as guarding an opponent.
- become competent in ball skills such as throwing, catching, striking, and kicking, and dribbling.
- realize the benefits of exercise on heart rate, strength, endurance, and flexibility.
- become aware of opportunities to engage in community physical activities.
- demonstrate the importance of teamwork and identify personal fitness goals.