Physical education! Isn’t that just forward rolls and running shuttles?

By Stewart McDonald | Posted: Tuesday November 14, 2017

Currently there are close to 400 boys taking part in physical education classes at the college and eleven staff involved in teaching them. 

In 2017 the Davies Sports Centre, which is the home of the Physical Education Department, has seen a wide range of activities occurring within its walls. These include curriculum-based classes, sports practices, matches, events, prize giving, chapel services, the school production, tournaments and house meetings. The constant use of the gym during lunch for informal games of touch, basketball and football also add considerably to the time which it is utilised by the boys.

This diverse use of the Davies Sports Centre is pleasing to see as it ties in closely with the fundamental aims of physical education as a subject. These aims are broadly that students should learn a variety of physical and social skills, develop positive attitudes and values, be able to express themselves and be able to maintain personal physical well-being. All of this is done through using movement as the basis or medium for learning.

Through our varied units from Year 7 to 13 we provide each student with the knowledge and skills to ensure that they can incorporate physical activity into their daily lives and maintain lifelong physical well-being as a result.

Our junior physical education programme from Year 7 to 10 has a very practical focus with as much physical activity undertaken as possible. Units are based around a variety of team and individual sports, fitness activities and movement activities such as parkour and gymnastics.

Upon moving into the senior school our physical education classes add to the practical skills a range of theory based topics which include exercise physiology, motor learning, anatomy, biomechanics, sports psychology and sociology. We also incorporate a wide range of outdoor education opportunities. These include mountain biking, orienteering, skiing, snow boarding, rock climbing, snow caving, cross-country skiing and mountain running.

With concerns around increasing rates of both obesity and mental illness in New Zealand there is an ongoing need for reinforcing healthful behaviours. Physical education has been shown to be beneficial in both these areas and many others. We hope that the skills and knowledge gained through participating in physical education at school continue to be developed when boys leave McGlashan. I have found one of the greatest rewards of teaching physical education at McGlashan has been seeing old boys of the school continue to be physically active; whether this is competing at international level, running the Dunedin half marathon, playing social touch or coaching a junior hockey team. I hope that McGlashan students will not only be able to enhance their own well-being but will be able to encourage and motivate those around them as well.

During the course of 2017 the Physical Education Department has benefitted from the experience and skills of a fantastic group of teachers. The students are privileged to be taught be such a passionate, supportive and knowledgeable team.

I hope that students, staff and your families all find some time to relax over the summer (active relaxing of course!). 

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