Children play outside during gym class.

New documentary brings home the importance of phys ed

It’s a new school year. Do you know what your child’s physical education program looks like? More and more, school PE is suffering from poor resourcing and inconsistent delivery.

For example, many schools in Canada are relying on classroom teachers to teach PE whether they are knowledgeable or comfortable doing so, instead of employing specialists who understand physical literacy and the best way to engage children in physical activity.

No Running is a new documentary that looks at what needs to happen in our schools in order to get physical literacy to be seen as equally important to literacy and numeracy, and interviews the people who are championing the cause.

The film is important viewing for all parents and educators. Producer Matthew Young believes that we are all responsible for making sure kids are developing fundamental movement skills. So have a look, and if after watching you’re inspired to advocate for your child’s right to learn how to move, here are three immediate actions you can take:

  1. Contact the administrators of your child’s school to find out what their approach is to phys ed.
  2. Forward the link to this documentary and to these resources for educators to your child’s teachers.
  3. Make sure you’re making time to be active with your child at home. Schedule time each day for structured and unstructured active family time.

Editor’s note: We’ve made an edit to the beginning of this article. PE is not being “cut,” or removed from school programs. But in many schools the quality of PE has suffered and is being delivered inconsistently.

3 responses to “New documentary brings home the importance of phys ed

  1. I think that physical education and physical activivty in general is necessary in the lives of children because it is important for them to learn healthy habits early on. Implementing physical education programs in schools is a great thing for the students if run properly. Its definitely important for schools to tailor their physical education program based on the needs of the school in order to make it as beneficial as possible. It is also important to hire teachers and staff members who are knowledgeable about physical education and can provide alot of support and insight to their students.

  2. I just watched the video ” No Running ” and I am glad to see the focus on teaching physical literacy skills. This is the primary responsibility of the PE teacher and the school system. A couple of comments:
    – Physical literacy is not the only building block to a physically active life. Access to facilities, environments and programs in the community are also critical. PE needs to complement use of the gym with teaching kids about community opportunities when they leave school.
    – Perhaps the role of the PE teacher should shift to becoming a resource and a leader in integrating physical activity into all aspects of school life i.e. bike and walk to school, coordinate after school programs with community agencies such as Y’s, municipal recreation and Boys and Girls Clubs
    – We need to see more youth engagement in PE and PA in the schools. How often do students get asked about their satisfaction level with PE? for accountability this should be a regular task and the results should be made available to the school community.

    Mike Arthur
    Halifax, NS

  3. I think this was a great documentary and I completely agree with everything they are saying. As a PE teacher I have implemented this type of program for the past couple years with the hopes of improving the students fundamental fitness and movement patterns. I do have one issue with all of this and in the video, the thing is teachers do not know how to properly teach a student a movement. I saw students squatting incorrectly, exercising in a way they could hurt themselves, etc. This is where the problem grows because students learn improper movement patterns and by the time they do get older they will have other issues preventing them from living a healthy lifestyle. It is a great video but some of the people in it did not take the time to teach proper technique.


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