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PE in lockdown: pupils focus on wellness

One of the biggest and most important challenges for our school at this time is adapting the curriculum to make it fit for purpose in the current nationwide lockdown.

At Junior King’s, we have been working hard to provide a remote education full of stimulating and engaging educational content that also aims to benefit pupils’ sense of well-being. While a daily timetable of work and contact from teachers provides a sense of stability and community, lessons such as PSHE and now PE are focusing particularly on mental well-being. In fact, PE lessons have been restyled completely as wellness sessions.

The PE department took some time out from lesson planning to explain how the PE curriculum has been tailored to better fit our pupils’ needs at this time.

How will PE lessons work now that we can’t be together in school?

As of the start of the summer term last week, pupils will be taking part in weekly wellness sessions. These are customised according to age group, with different lesson plans for Pre-Prep, Junior House, Middle School and Upper School. The sessions have multiple aims: to get pupils to try new things, challenge themselves and have fun; to enhance health and well-being; to provide space to step away from screens; and to allow pupils to take time to complete a task alone or together with family. Each week a selection of activities is provided for pupils to choose from, allowing for a range of interests and skill levels. Tasks may be physical (e.g. setting up an activities circuit) or more focused on mental well-being (e.g. writing a letter to a family member or friend), with children encouraged to take on one of each type of activity. Last week’s sessions also provided food for thought on setting personal challenges. Junior House, for example, were encouraged to be inspired by Captain Tom Moore and to think about a challenge that they themselves could complete 100 times.

How do the sessions work on the new timetable?

Every year group has a session each Friday afternoon, but some of the challenges we set each week could be done at other times if pupils would like. As with other lessons, there is flexibility for those that need it (especially considering a number of our pupils are currently in different time zones). The Friday afternoon timetable slot was chosen specifically so that everyone could round off the school week in a calm and enjoyable manner.

What about pupils that want to do more exercise or wellness activities in their spare time?

Pupils are free to take on more of the suggested activities if they wish. The tasks are designed to be enjoyable, structured and productive ways for pupils to take time to focus on themselves. This makes the tasks transferable and enjoyable as weekend or evening activities if desired.

What are you looking forward to most about being back together in school in the future?

Seeing pupils enjoying the glorious grounds and taking part in sport with friends.

Click here to find out more about the full sports curriculum, which we hope to be able to return to soon.