Physical Education

Program Statement for Physical Education grades 1-12 Being physically active is one of the most important steps to being healthy. Schools are an ideal setting for teaching youth how to adopt and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. Schools can help youth learn how to be physically active for a lifetime.

Why Should Schools Provide Physical Activity Programs?

  • Youth who are physically active get physical and mental health benefits.
  • Comprehensive school-based physical activity programs can help youth meet most of their physical activity needs.
  • School-based physical activity programs benefit communities as well as students and schools. How Does Physical Activity Help?
  • Builds strong bones and muscles.
  • Decreases the likelihood of developing obesity and risk factors for diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
  • May reduce anxiety and depression and promote positive mental health.

What should students know and be able to do as result of a quality physical education program? Most states and local school districts across the USA use the National Standards to develop or revise existing standards, frameworks and curricula. In fact, these standards have been adopted globally as guidelines to develop student physical fitness and health. 

Standard 1 - The physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.

Standard 2 - The physically literate individual applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies and tactics related to movement and performance.

Standard 3 - The physically literate individual demonstrates the knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity and fitness.

Standard 4 - The physically literate individual exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others.

Standard 5 - The physically literate individual recognizes the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and/or social interaction.

Physical Education Goals

Skillfulness - Students will demonstrate the ability to enhance their performance of a variety of physical skills by developing fundamental movement skills, creating original skill combinations, combining skills effectively in skill themes, and applying skills. Biomechanical Principles - Students will demonstrate an ability to use the principles of biomechanics to generate and control force to improve their movement effectiveness and safety. Motor Learning Principles – Students will demonstrate the ability to use motor skill principles to learn and develop proficiency through frequent practice opportunities in which skills are repeatedly performed correctly in a variety of situations. Exercise Physiology - Students will demonstrate the ability to use scientific principles to design and participate in a regular, moderate to vigorous physical activity program that contributes to personal health and enhances cognitive and physical performance in a variety of academic, recreational, and life tasks. Physical Activity - Students will demonstrate the ability to use the principles of exercise physiology, social psychology, and biomechanics to design and adhere to a regular, personalized, purposeful program of physical activity consistent with their health, performance, and fitness goals in order to gain health and cognitive/academic benefits. Social Psychological Principles - Students will demonstrate the ability to use skills essential for developing self-efficacy, fostering a sense of community, and working effectively with others in physical activity settings.

Plan for Achievement of Goals: Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity at least three times a week.

■ Aerobic Activities: Most of the 60 or more minutes per day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. Vigorous-intensity physical activity should be included at least 3 days per week.

◦ Examples of aerobic activities include bike riding, walking, running, dancing, and playing active games like tag, soccer, and basketball.

■ Muscle-strengthening Activities: Include muscle-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week as part of the 60 or more minutes.

◦ Examples of muscle-strengthening activities for younger children include gymnastics, playing on a jungle gym, and climbing a wall. ◦ Examples of muscle-strengthening activities for adolescents include push-ups, pull-ups, and weightlifting exercises.

■ Bone-strengthening Activities: Include bone-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week as part of the 60 or more minutes.

◦ Examples of bone-strengthening activities include hopping, skipping, jumping, running, and sports like gymnastics, basketball, and tennis.

  • Some activities may address more than one category at a time. For example, gymnastics is both muscle- strengthening and bone-strengthening while running is aerobic and bone-strengthening.
  • Activities should be age-appropriate, enjoyable, and offer variety.
Quality Physical Education
  • Gives students the knowledge and skills to participate in a lifetime of physical activity.
  • Teaches movement skills and how to assess physical activity.
  • Uses materials that are appropriate for the age and skill level of the students.
  • Uses activities that keep students active for most of class time (more than 50% of class time).
  • Meets the needs of all students.
  • Is an enjoyable experience for all students.