Junior high school students on P.E.I. will experience an entirely new kind of physical education class next year. One that focuses less on sports, and more on just getting kids moving.
C. J. Studer, the phys ed teacher at Athena Consolidated in Summerside, helped write the new curriculum and has been trying it out on his students for the last year and a half. Grade nine student Taylor MacAulay said the move away from sports is going over well.
"We play a variety of different games. Every month we change games and activities, rather than just sports. We've done everything around here," said MacAulay.
This week the grade nine class was playing an elaborate game of bean bag toss.
"You have to get all the bean bags towards your end of the gym," said MacAulay.
"It gets everybody moving. Everybody really likes this one."
The new curriculum comes at a time of increasing concerns about the sedentary lifestyles of young people. Just this week, Active Healthy Kids Canada released its 2012 report card, giving Canadian kids an F grade for physical activity.
The intermediate physical education curriculum on P.E.I. hasn't changed in more than 20 years. Studer said the new curriculum shifts the focus from sports to building healthy bodies.
"The old curriculum was more sport based: so, these are the basketball drills, this is how you play dodge ball and stuff like that," he said.
"The reason why I love this curriculum more is it's a lot more science based."
The curriculum includes new ways of assessing the students and safety guidelines to minimize injuries.
Teachers across P.E.I. will get a look at the new curriculum next month. It goes into effect when school starts in September.