The Physical Education program at St. Thomas School is designed to promote physical health and to promote personal health, fitness, and participation for a lifetime. Children are encouraged to develop a lifestyle that promotes personal wellness:
- To love and enjoy physical activity and physical education
- To learn the joy of participation
- To improve motor skills
- To increase balance and awareness of the body
- To maintain and/or improve fitness and strength
- To develop a wide variety of skills
- To explore creative and interpretive movement
Participation is the key factor in developing these skills regardless of a student's ability. This program provides meaningful opportunities for the students to develop a willingness to lead skillfully and follow intelligently, as well as opportunities to observe, make good decisions, and use good judgment.
In the Early Learning Center, the physical education program is integrated within the Music, Movement, and Drama program. This cross-disciplinary approach for young children captures the natural approaches to learning that are inherent in young children. Music provides the rhythm for fine and gross motor exploration, and drama enables students to bring their creative imaginations alive through language, music, and physical movement.
Beginning in the Elementary Center, Physical Education is offered as a separate class. The focus remains on developing physical fitness through movement and exercise, in addition to developing more refined skills and eye-hand coordination that support more advanced individual and team sports in the later years. As with the Music, Movement, and Drama program, an emphasis remains on developing confidence, a healthy body image, and overall coordination, flexibility, and strength.
In the upper elementary grades and in the Middle School, Physical Education becomes increasingly sports and team oriented. An emphasis remains on the development of the underlying skills that enable students to be successful across a wide variety of sports and athletic activities. In addition, the more refined skills and rules of various sports are integrated. Middle School is all about exploration and consequently, students are exposed to a wide variety of sports, while continuing to enhance their overall fitness, confidence, and healthy body image.
Beyond Physical Education, a greater focus is placed on overall health including human development, sexuality, and nutrition.