As promised, we return with part 2 of our roundup of Canadian schools with great physical literacy programs. Part 1 showcased a school from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. The following highlights programs from the territories and Atlantic provinces.
Yukon, École Émilie-Tremblay
Students at École Émilie-Tremblay get an impressive amount of opportunities to move. They have a soccer team, a basketball team, a badminton team, a wrestling team, a hockey team, and a running club. Students also play Arctic Games such as kneel jump, stick pull, bench reach, seal crawl, triple jump, and one-foot high kick. In addition, students participate in a week-long dancing festival where they experience a variety of workshops.
Northwest Territories, Deh Gah School
An Active for Life reader suggested this school offering a unique physical literacy program. The Deh Gah School staff want their students to achieve fitness and well-being. They offer many sports such as volleyball, ping-pong, badminton, soccer, and basketball. The school also offers training programs and classes for all ages. Its Active After School Program includes yoga, a walking/running club, ski development, a cardio room, and women’s fitness. Physical activity events are integrated into the schedule. Students can participate in a Sports-Day, a Warrior Fit Bootcamp, Zumba, and a Community Ski Day. In order to offer these options in a way that is affordable, they have partnered with external providers within the community.
Nunavut, École des Trois-Soleils
There are many cultural and physical activities at l’École des Trois-Soleils. Students can do cross-country skiing, ice skating, build igloos, pick berries, and participate in Arctic Sports, the Terry Fox Run, and la course Pierre Lavoie. They also go on expeditions on the tundra.
Nova Scotia, Crichton Park Elementary
When researching for a school from Nova Scotia, I stumbled upon the Twitter account of a passionate and engaged PE teacher, named Ms. Hudson. In her Twitter feed, she gives lots of great examples of ways to get students moving. Some of the highlights include a pickleball club run by parent volunteers and returning grade 7 students, and Flashlight Tag as a Halloween game (Ms. Hudson turned off the lights in her gym and the students played tag with a flashlight). The school also introduced the kids to curling by partnering up with Rocks and Rings.
Newfoundland and Labrador, Gros Morne Academy
Gros Morne Academy is home of the Panthers. If you’re a Panther, you can participate in softball, volleyball, cross-country skiing and running, ball hockey, soccer, basketball, biking, table tennis, badminton, and canoeing. The school’s physical education teacher, Charlene Shears, won the 2012-2013 National Award for Teaching Excellence in Physical Education. She likes to add hip-hop, dancing, juggling, and hiking to her physical education programming. Students can definitely improve their movement repertoire at Gros Morne Academy.
New Brunswick, Polyvalente Louis-Mailloux
After the release of part 1 of this series, I had an interesting chat with one of my Twitter followers. She suggested that I speak with a teacher from l’école Polyvalente Louis-Mailloux. This school does a very good job of providing its students with plenty of movement and learning opportunities. Once a month, the school organizes a physical activity day. During that day, they modify the class schedule in order to incorporate 52 extra minutes of physical activity. Teachers and community leaders offer their expertise and the students can sign up for an activity they think they’ll enjoy. In the past, they’ve offered Zumba, yoga, dodgeball, walking, running, bowling, CrossFit, fishing, skating, mountain biking with a fat bike, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Even the teachers join in on the fun!
Prince Edward Island, Westwood Primary
Westwood Primary offers its students a robust physical education program that includes gymnastics, fitness activities, yoga, dance, and a variety of other sports. The school offers other movement opportunities such as Speed Stacking Day, Olympic Games Day, and June Sports Day. Intramurals are introduced at the grade 2 level and athletic competitions are introduced at the grade 3 level.
I hope this second roundup of great physical literacy programs from across Canada has inspired you to advocate for quality physical literacy programs at your own child’s school. Download this letter and send it to your school’s administration along with this article to give them loads of great ideas as a starting point.