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At Birchville School, we take a holistic approach to implementing the Health and Physical Education Curriculum. Unlike some approaches that schools may take that merely teach 'sports' as isolated activities, we utilise sports and physical activities as powerful vehicles for holistic education.
Our mission is not just to develop physical ability but to instill life skills, values, and well-rounded physical health in our students. We believe that sports and physical education are invaluable tools for nurturing not only the body but also the mind and character.
One of our core principles is inclusivity. We understand that not all students are naturally inclined toward physical activity, and some may feel excluded. Therefore, we use sports for example: basketball as a means to teach inclusivity. We encourage our students to include others, irrespective of their skill level. This not only promotes teamwork but also helps students develop empathy and social skills.
Challenge and Grit:
Challenging oneself is another aspect we emphasize through physical education. Movement provides an excellent platform for students to push their limits and understand the importance of determination and perseverance. Be it through swimming down at the local river, participating in our GEMSletics, or participating in school team sports such as floorball students learn that facing challenges is a part of life and that with dedication, they can overcome them.
At Birchville School, we align our physical education curriculum with our school's core values, which we refer to as GEMS: Growth, Empathy, Mana, and Self Belief. We weave these values into our experiences and activities. For example, during soccer games, we encourage students to display empathy by helping up an opponent who has fallen. Through these actions, students understand that GEMS values are not just words on a page, but a way of life.
Beyond character development and values, physical education also helps students in developing practical skills. Hand-eye coordination, a crucial skill, is honed through activities like our tinana wā tākaro, inter school events, play stations where they explore skills linked to sports, and even non traditional games such as modified volleyball with balloons. These skills not only enhance their physical prowess but also have applications beyond the sports field, such as fine motor skills in everyday life.