As 2018 comes to a close, we sat down with five Shanghai teachers to talk about the year ahead and delve into an element of their college program. They tell us about developments for 2019 and how they encourage all students to embrace the opportunities that will prepare them for the world after graduation.
This week, we talk with Rachel Crossland, who is the Head of Primary PE at Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong.
Can you tell us about the core philosophy behind the Dulwich physical education program and what distinguishes this?
The core philosophy that underpins Physical Education at Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong is that each student is entitled to develop physical literacy through physical experience. Every child is encouraged to value and take responsibility for engaging in physical activities for life by developing motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding. This is simply translated into a progressive PE curriculum which focuses on:
Head – Cognitive understanding of physical literacy
Heart – Character development and effective elements of physical literacy
Hands – Practical application of the knowledge and understanding acquired through physical literacy
Our Head, Heart and Hands program begins with our toddler cohort and extends to Year 13. Knowledge, skills and understanding are vertically aligned within the Dulwich Physical Education curriculum, and blend with the opportunities within the classroom curriculum and the experiences offered through the extensive co-curricular sports program offered across all age groups.
How will your program evolve in 2019?
The Physical Education program continues to engage students and staff through a range of innovative and transformative projects. Our team aims to develop a positive culture of understanding related to physical literacy – we inspire, enthuse and have an incredible amount of fun in the process of learning. The following projects are to be implemented in 2019:
Go A.P.E. (Active Physical Education)
As students walk through the door, they are immediately immersed in a range of challenging fundamental skills practices that consolidate and develop core motor skills. We aim to reduce fixed seat learning time and enable students to increase activity and engagement in lessons. Our mantra is: 'get 'em in, get 'em going, get 'em thinking, get 'em doing it at home and get 'em coming back for more.'
Heart and Sole (and soul!)
Students from Year 1-6 participate in fitness testing (of each other) as a precursor to engaging in a range of alternative health and well-being activities to emphasize breadth of interest. For example, aqua aerobics, cardio drumming, boxercise and yoga.
DAB Bags (Dulwich Activity Bag)
Students in Year 1 and 2 classes are provided with a Dulwich Activity Bag to take home on a rotational basis. The bags contain many fun physical activities with stage-appropriate instructions such as juggling balls, French skipping bands and pretzel yoga cards. The project encourages students to connect with people in their community and link all elements of physical literacy (Head; Heart; Hands) to play. This is 'homework' that all children will love to complete, and in doing so, will be bringing 'play' back into the home.
Our TRYathlon event inspires students to experience a range of physical movement activities on land, water and on wheels. The project has a service learning theme culminating in advocacy for health and wellness in our community. Students learn that all people (regardless of health, wealth, able-bodied or otherwise) can find a physical activity within our community.
Can you elaborate on physical education as a core dimension of childhood development?
The acquisition of physical literacy is a lifelong journey. The development of fine motor skills in our early years is as essential as refining movements to adapt to our aging bodies in adulthood. We aspire for all young people at Dulwich College to engage in daily physical activity, with increasing levels of intensity, to impact positively on their health and well-being. We help students build connections between fitness, mindfulness, exercise, health, neuroplasticity and nutrition so that they recognize and meet developmental milestones.
[All images via Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong]
Rachel Crossland is the Head of Primary PE at Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong. She is an experienced teacher and leader of Physical Education who believes passionately in active and experiential learning. She has a track record of leading high performing teams to facilitate great learning opportunities in the United Kingdom (17 years in the state and independent sector) and overseas (6 years in East Asia – Singapore and Shanghai).