“There are skills to learn and games to play. Nothing can be accomplished unless the child feels safe enough to try something new. Physical education is the laboratory of life. Children should challenge their bodies and brains to try new tasks, accept difficult challenges, and learn a different vocabulary. When students fall down, they have to stand up again. If they drop a ball, they pick it up again. And if they lose, they learn to say, ‘That was a great game. I want to play again.’ -greatschools.org
Mabin Athletics: Everyone Plays
Based in a firm belief that all students deserve equal opportunity to gain the vast variety of physical and socio-emotional skills inherently gained by participation in a positive sports experience, everyone has equal opportunity to play at Mabin.
Students in Grade One and Two are invited to a morning sports club that runs throughout the year. Coached by an expert, the students engage in fun, inclusive skill building basics that form the foundation for further sports skill development.
The Grade Three students at Mabin are invited to a Beginner Basketball program, coached by our expert basketball coach in the morning before school. The entire class also attends a Volleyball Tournament in the winter term. This teaching games for understanding pedagogy allows students to prepare for more competitive team sports. A combination of activities allows the students to feel prepared and comfortable; ready to join into the experiences of the senior students in the athletic program.
The Grade Four, Five and Six students enjoy a variety of team sports, on both a seasonal and on-going basis. Choices such as the Basketball Team, Track Team, Soccer Team, Dance Team, Fitness Bootcamp and Floor Hockey program complement the Physical Education program throughout the year.
Grade Three, Four, Five and Six students participate in organized sports and games at morning recess. A committee of students decide on the activities, chose and captain the teams, referee the games and organize the schedule. Students sign up using an interest-based model, each child deciding their own level of participation and engagement.
Beginning in Kindergarten, all students in our community are invited to join physical activities outside of their scheduled gym classes. A weekly running club during warm spring lunch hours on the playground is open to participation by all of our community. Similar to the majority of our activities, the Mabin in Motion Running Club is facilitated by older student leaders, supervised by the PE staff and completely elective and inclusive.
All School Activities
Many activities, similar to our curriculum, are inquiry and thematic based and the children in the community choose activities based on their own interests and excitement. In 2015, the Grade Three class led the entire school community in a variety of activities based on National Frog Jumping Day!
Some activities, such as Terry Fox Run every September, are stable and traditional.
The entire school and parent community also engage in activities such as our Community Skate Day and we place value in outdoor play in our extensive local ravine and park settings.
As the students move through the school into the upper years, opportunities for leadership continue to increase in the PE program. Among the many examples, the Mabin Patrol Smile Savers are a student-led recess patrol focussing on conflict resolution and fair play on the playground; the Pink Day Committee organize and facilitate the National Pink Shirt Day in February; the Grade Five students organize community games for the Mabin Barbecue in September; the Grade Six students plan and facilitate our traditional Halloween Fun Day.
Activities in PE help children develop healthful social interactions. From a young age, children learn cooperation through group activities and form a positive sense of identity as part of a team. Such group activities are continually important as children grow older. The International Platform on Sport and Development states that “sport has been used as a practical tool to engage young people in their communities through volunteering, resulting in higher levels of leadership, community engagement, and altruism among young people. – Alison Datko, livestrong.com