Yorktown Sentry

A New Look at PE for the Patriots

Starting+in+the+2017-18+school+year%2C+the+Health+and+PE+department+introduced+a+new+curriculum.
Starting in the 2017-18 school year, the Health and PE department introduced a new curriculum.

Starting in the 2017-18 school year, the Health and PE department introduced a new curriculum.

Emogen Kelly

Emogen Kelly

Starting in the 2017-18 school year, the Health and PE department introduced a new curriculum.

Grant Blumberg, Sentry Staff Reporter

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Everyday at school, students look forward to letting out their energy in physical education (PE) class. Of all the classes offered in high school, PE perhaps allows for the most freedom. Students are free to talk with friends and are often able to choose which activity in which they would like to partake. However, starting in the 2017-18 school year, the Health and PE department introduced a new curriculum of sorts. In the past, freshmen took one semester of PE and another semester of health. PE covered a variety of sports, including weight training, basketball, football and a two or three week long swim unit. However, the Health and PE department was still not satisfied with the way in which the course was being taught. In response, this year, students will participate in two to three days of the swim unit each quarter, regardless of whether they are taking health or PE that semester.

“The end goal will probably be in a couple years. It is to integrate health and PE to be more fluid between each other. For kids to be in PE for a week and flip to health for a week,” department chair and health teacher Claire Shreeve said.

Students always look forward to the swim unit because it offers a unique experience to have fun in school while also getting some exercise. This year, most of the change in PE classes will be centered around the structure of the swim unit.

“Swimming is mandatory for all students so we thought that would be the best place to start. For the swimming, a couple classes are coming out of health to swim for a couple days, and then they will go back into health,” Shreeve said.

Shreeve, however, admits that the curriculum itself is not changing. She instead believes that the teachers will just be teaching in a different manner.

“We have specific standards and stuff we have to cover, so this year we’re just being more vocal about it. We’re taking a different approach…. and instead of just doing a lot of the stuff in health, where it’s just kind of incorporated into it without students noticing, they’re also doing it in PE. They are actually doing lessons in Patriot Hall. And there are tests at the end of the quarter about those power standards,” Shreeve said.

Many returning Patriots have grown used to the traditional style of PE class, and will have to adapt to the new changes. Sophomore Eli Waldman compared the new format to the one he was used to, and gave insight on what PE is like this year.

“Last year was very laid back. It was very care free. Have fun, get some exercise, whatever. Now it’s definitely more strict, there’s more structure. Sometimes, we will go into Patriot Hall and talk. We will have lectures about the power points, physical activity, stuff like that,” Waldman said.

When asked about what he thought the goal was of the changes being brought to PE this year, and how they would affect students, Waldman said that the purpose of the new format is to empower students to learn more and get more out of PE.

“The teachers are taking it seriously for sure. It is the students, I think, that are going to have the hardest time, that are going to have to keep up with it and adjust… It is definitely going to take a while. It might take a year or two for the teachers to get used to it too. Over time, I think it should be beneficial to both students and teachers,” Waldman said.

Shreeve believes that the changes brought to PE this year will be for the best, as she is hopeful for the future of the course.

“We want to start going that way, to moving things back and forth between health and PE, and so we figured out where to start,” Shreeve said.

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A New Look at PE for the Patriots