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Physical Education

The physical education program is based on a well-rounded series of units from pre-kindergarten through fourth grade.  
The primary goal is to develop students’ fundamental movement skills within a variety of developmentally appropriate games, dance movements, and gymnastic activities. The program enhances our students’ personal fitness and provides them with the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in a variety of physical activities. The physical education program reinforces students’ understanding and application of fitness concepts and motor skills through a variety of movement forms. The program aims to develop students’ personal and social responsibility, self-management skills, and ability to make informed choices.  The program nurtures a joy and confidence in moving and a healthy competitive attitude. It encourages and prepares students to participate and benefit from a lifetime of physical activity and to transfer ethical and social lessons and values learned in sport to their daily life.

Essential Questions
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How can I develop effective movement skills?
How can we work together to achieve team goals?
How can I take care of my body in a safe and healthy way?
How can wellness activities and physical education activities combine in meaningful ways to make me the best I can be?

Skills and Enduring Understandings
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Pre-Kindergarten’s Movement Education class covers many fundamental skills and approaches for gaining physical awareness and development.  We focus on appropriate use of individual and group space. Through the use of manipulative objects and their own bodies, they explore non-locomotor skills such as balancing, twisting, bending, and stretching, while also exploring general space through creatively moving through high, medium, and low levels. Locomotor movements including galloping, hopping, jumping, and skipping are integrated into the curriculum on a daily basis.  The pre-kindergarten students learn the concept of the four elements of movement (space, time, shape and force/flow) and are immersed in a variety of activities intended to master and discover skills within this conceptual realm. Gross and fine motor skills are introduced through tracking objects, such as throwing and catching scarves and bouncing and catching balls. The curriculum is supplemented with a literacy approach, utilizing age appropriate books with movement themes to reinforce classroom activities.
   
In kindergarten and first grade, the movement exploration approach is used in teaching locomotive movements, manipulation skills, balance skills, eye-hand and eye-foot coordination, and spatial awareness. Children learn how to apply directional commands to all locomotor skills.  Students are taught how to apply speed, level, spatial relationships and the use of various body parts to movement skills. Students are encouraged to exhibit responsible personal and social behaviors such as working well independently and with others, following directions and safety rules, staying on task, and putting forth their best effort.
 
The focus for grade two is to refine previously acquired skills in the areas of balance, spatial awareness, eye-hand and eye-foot coordination, locomotion and to understand the concepts of force, speed, level and range. Activities that involve sharing and cooperating in a small group are emphasized. Physical fitness is explored further by explaining the importance of stretching and introducing the concept of heart rate.
 
In third and fourth grade the focus is on the development of gross motor skills while progressing toward the development of more finite motor and coordination skills. Students begin to apply the skills and concepts learned in grades Pre-K-2 to modified team sports and individual activities. These units help to further develop eye-hand and eye-foot coordination, locomotor skills, and spatial awareness.
 
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Berwick Academy

Berwick Academy, situated on an 80-acre campus just over one hour north of Boston, serves 600 students, Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Deeply committed to its mission of promoting virtue and useful knowledge, Berwick Academy empowers students to be creative and bold. Berwick strives to graduate alumni who shape their own learning, take risks, ask thoughtful questions, and come to understand and celebrate their authentic selves.