Why Physical Education Matters
In this edition of Teacher Talks, we talk with Primary School Physical Education and Sports teacher Tom McCabe about the importance of physical education at YCIS Beijing and hear his advice for how parents can encourage their children to remain physically active at home.
Why are physical education and sports important for children?
Physical Education and Athletics programmes are a vital aspects of our commitment to holistic education. Sport is an integral part of developing students’ spatial awareness, analytic thinking, coordination, and decision-making. Sport develops teamwork and sportsmanship, which has applications in all areas of life. With today’s increasingly screen-based and sedentary environment, the importance of good old-fashioned fitness is greater than ever.
How do you and YCIS Beijing develop our students’ skills?
We approach our skill development from a lot of different angles. First of all, our teachers place value and importance on the athletic skill development of our students. At the younger levels, we use a lot of cooperative and team-building activities to promote skill development in a safe and supportive environment. At the older levels and in our Athletics program, we spend time developing not only the physical skills of our athletes, but also mental skills. These mental skills not only improve our gameplay but also help students comprehend and deal with the inevitable highs and lows of sport. One of our main goals at YCIS Beijing is to try and develop a love and appreciation for physical activity in our students that lasts a lifetime.
How can parents help their children become more engaged in sport and physical exercise?
My biggest advice to parents would be to participate with your children! Some of my fondest memories are of simply throwing the (American) football around with my father when I was young. We live in hectic times, but taking half an hour when possible to kick a football or play catch with your children is invaluable. If you are an athletic person, bring your kids out to see a game; children at school are always telling me about the athletic exploits of their parents. Parents are the heroes of their children and if they see you valuing and enjoying sport, there is an infinitely stronger chance that they will as well. That being said, one does not need to be an athlete to pass this on to their children. Anything from walking in the park, swimming in a pool, or going to see a Guoan match can be a doorway to sport. Remember, fitness is fun and healthy is happy!
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