Exercise, higher grades go hand in hand
Dubai - A healthy lifestyle is as important as scoring high grades in school.
Ask any student if he prefers to sit in class and study or play outside, and the answer will mostly be in favour of the latter.
Students are full of energy and need adequate amounts of physical activity throughout the day to keep them charged. A healthy lifestyle is as important as scoring high grades in school. And one Sharjah school is going the extra mile by integrating academics and PE.
"Over the years we have seen remarkable improvement in the academic performance of students who have also focused on their fitness levels," said Poonam Heryani, Head of Academics from Aspam Indian International School, Sharjah (AIIS).
"We try to build a variety of curricular and co-curricular activities allowing students to practice their positive attitudes and hone their skills. To be successful in the real world, students need more than academic skills and knowledge," she added.
"Obesity and juvenile diabetes are on the rise across the globe, and ignoring physical fitness will not only impact the physical health of a child but will also have an impact on their academic performance. The UAE, today, provides a lot of opportunities for students to explore and adopt a healthy lifestyle," Poonam added.
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The physical education department at AIIS has a set of competencies and standards. Standards are based on the set of skills, knowledge and values that students are expected to know and do at a specific stage of education.
The school believes that PE is the subject that can effectively teach all the three domains - cognitive, affective and psychomotor. The schools plans to incorporate other subjects like Mathematics, English, Science, Social Studies, even Value Education through physical education.
Integrating subject with sports
English: Integrating vocabulary, words and verbs into PE drills.
Maths: Calculating the heart rate, measurement of the sports equipment, locomotor skip counting and logical thinking in chess.
Science: Physiological function of heart and lungs before and after physical activity, balance diet to good performance, friction on sports shoes, brain cells growth from doing physical activity, part of the body and its coordination
Social Studies: Mostly in bonus games and simulated games for grades 1-2. Traffic light games (Roads in UAE), crossing the river game (different water bodies) learning about space, pathways, direction, level and gross motor movements.
Value Education: If there's unexpected chaos happening in the match for whatever reason, we pause for a while and sit down all together and get it sorted out. This is sorted through Conflict Corner which is a tool used in resolving any conflict. This is apart from teaching values from sports participation.
Sports Matches: Every term, the PE department conducts school-wide inter-house competitions in all sports that children have learned from their regular PE. The purpose of having this is to familiarise students with advanced skills and bring them into the real sporting event. The processes of selection are fair and open as they are involved in actual sports management from elimination to finals. Chess, badminton, football, athletics and basketball are some of the games that kids love to pursue at the school.
"The mission of PE at Aspam Indian International School is to provide opportunities to students to explore movements and develop skills to be active, healthy and become physically literate individual for life. Students learn from a variety of aerobic exercises, low organisational games, small-sided practice tasks and sports activities through purposeful, differentiated and standard-based curriculum and instructions. Acquisition of life's lessons in participating in physical activities is also given importance," said Poonam.