How we teach Physical Education at Bristol Steiner School
The opportunity to take part in movement and games is absolutely fundamental to a healthy childhood. There is a great deal of research that stresses the importance of physical activity to improve a child’s capacity to learn.
At Bristol Steiner School there is both integrated and discrete physical education. Integrated physical education includes the movement exercises that come at the beginning of the Main Lessons. The use of rhythm and movement may come into various lessons, such as maths where the pupils, for example may throw and catch beanbags as they recite their times tables. In a foreign language class, pupils might follow a sequence of movement when learning parts of the body.
Children in class 1 and 2 focus on circle games, cooperative games, hand clapping rhymes, skipping with a long and individual rope and bean bag exercises developing hand-eye coordination.
In addition, Class 2 and 3 have a weekly country and folk dancing session, which aids their physical health as well as helping them develop socially, cognitively and rhythmically.
In class 3, skipping practise continues with the addition of more complex tricks and tagging games and ball games are introduced.
In class 4, ball games and tag games continue, and games with a team goal or competitive relays are introduced.
In class 5 there is a progression of team and ball games which develop children’s sports skills. For example ‘space ball’ and ‘bench ball’ focus on passing and moving into spacesand hand-eye coordination. Other games introduce the basics of offence and defence. One of the highlights of class 5 is attending a traditional Greek Olympic event, where over 400 class 5 pupils attend participating in long jump, high jump, wrestling, relay, mini marathon, discus and javelin.
Eurythmy is taught from Kindergarten through to the end of school and is an art form which aims to harmonise the child physical well-being with their feelings or emotions. Regular Eurythmy practice lessons help children to become more coordinated, graceful and alert and to be more at ease with themselves. In the Eurythmy lesson the children move to poetry, prose text and live instrumental music and this experience deepens their aesthetic appreciation of literature and music and complements other aspects of the curriculum. Eurythmy also requires the children to work in groups which develops spatial awareness and a capacity to sense the movements of the group as a whole, while also concentrating on their own movement.