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volleyball, basketball, badminton and hockey, among others, and Mr. Bain adds, “we want our students to appreciate sport, exercise and movement so that they understand and undertake movement for the rest of their lives. In our classes students learn about the body and how the body moves. They learn about themselves – how to keep healthy, and how their actions a ect themselves and others. And they learn about the concepts that cut across categories of sports and games, so they can later apply them in any situation.”
PE lessons are shared and enjoyed at home as well. To the question, “what did you learn at school today?” my children often respond with another question: “Do you want to know what we did today in PE?” Brimming with excitement in his voice, my son retells the heroics at parkour, and my daughter shares the thrilling challenge of a group-timed precision performance for an Acrogymnastics choreography. At FIS, with the bene ts of technology, PE teachers record the students’ work and accomplishments so that they can view the results, and share their work at home with siblings and parents.
Increased  tness and an optimized brain are crucial in keeping our students mentally, physically and socially healthy.
For the research of this article I observed the classes of PE teachers Marnee Janitza, Primary School, and Gary Noble, Elementary School. Both teachers re ected on how PE helps their students deepen their understanding of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) learner pro les.
When Pre-Primary children learn to be risk takers, they learn not only the word but also to identify how it works and how it feels in their bodies when they try something new or di cult.
Primary School students with beach balls for their team sports unit on volleyball (above); Upper School students engaged in Acrogymnastics (opposite)
For Grade 5 students, to be a risk taker may mean working in a group to come up with solutions or manage the concepts of fair/unfair and/or right/ wrong when they develop rules for a game. PE links the PYP’s attributes to the students’ physical experience and to the real world.
In 2016, PE teachers at FIS came together to write a PE-speci c mission that would guide their units and curriculum developments: “The FIS Physical Education Department provides a fun, dynamic, engaging and collaborative environment that develops the whole child through diverse physical activities. We inspire students to become con dent and competent learners who value and understand the importance of movement and health now and in their futures.”
The rooting of this philosophy came to life in a conversation with Grade 1
student and movement expert, Natasha. She loves PE because it is great fun and she gets to move her body in exciting ways. One of Natasha’s PE favorites is the body sock. As she illustrated how this works, she bent low, twisted, then lifted her legs, and raised her arms high in the air, stretching at maximum capacity.
PE was good for her body she assured me. It taught her an “I can” attitude. “Was PE good for her brain?” I asked. “It makes me smart,” Natasha said,  ashing a big, bright con dent smile.
PE at FIS indeed generates a love of movement in all its versions and forms. And as We Move! now, we are also moving into a healthier, stronger and happier future.
Deirdre Harriet-Boettcher FIS Parent
February 2017 FIS World 13

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