Short essay on An Upper-Elementary Sport-Education Program

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The upper-grades curriculum at Old Sawmill Elementary School is based on the sport-education model.

It grades 4-6, the curriculum is sports-oriented. Students are placed on teams at the start of the school year, remaining with their teams throughout the years as they work for points toward an all-sports award.

Students select a name for the team and team colours. Captains and assistants are assigned and selected for each new sport season. A schedule of competition is arranged for each season.

Each day that the students have physical education, they do everything as a member of their team. When they enter the gym, they have an assigned space where team members of their warm-ups together, led by their captain.

A period of skill practice follows, with captains again leading their team through the assigned drills. As the season progresses, less time is allocated for team skill practice and more time is allocated for games.

In each sport season, students are players, coaches, referees, or scorekeepers. Simple records are kept for each game performance. Short-duration, small-sided games are used for team sport competition.

Teams can earn points toward an overall championship in a number of ways, including winning games, practicing as a team at recess, behaving as good sportspersons, passing the knowledge tests, and exhibiting leadership.

In the soccer season, each class typically has three or four teams. Captains lead teams during the class and administer schedules and assignments between class sessions. The soccer season begins with a 2 v 2 round- robin competition in which games last 4 minutes.

Captains must assign players from their team for each of the 2 v 2 games. Students not playing at any given time are involved as either referees or scorekeepers. Captains must have all of these assignments completed and written out before the class begins.

After the 2 v 2 round-robin competition is completed, a 4v 4 round-robin competition begins. Here the game is more complex, requiring more teamwork and careful execution of skills. Again, captains make all assignments and all students are involved in some capacity during each game.

At the end of the soccer season, an overall soccer champion is named for each class based on points accumulated during game and practice time, as well as by good sportsperson ship. At the end of the season, intramural time is used for interclass games at the same grade level.

The gymnastic season is done differently but still teaches gymnastics primarily as a competitive sport. The first part of the season focuses on compulsory competition, in which each team member must learn and perform a group of gymnastic skills.

Students warm up and practice each day as a team, with captains not only leading during class but also handling administrative duties between classes. As part of learning the skills, students are also taught how to judge performance of those skills.

The compulsory competition is a routine involving the activities being practiced. Students choose routines at three different levels of difficulty. They then make up their own routine following the guidelines for their level of difficulty.

Compulsory competition takes place over a number of class sessions, with students acting as judges. Students earn points based on performance within their own level of difficulty. The team championship is determined by total points won in competition and for practicing.

An optional competition follows the compulsory part of the season. Now students choose one event to practice and compete in. Each day there is opportunity to practice and to take part in at least one optional competition.

Again, coaches have administered the assignment of students to events and have determined when each will compete. All individual performances count toward a team total. Students act as judges for the optional performances also.

At the end of the gymnastic season, interclass competitions are arranged during intramural time. At the end of the season, an overall champions is determined, individual award are presented for each event, and awards for sportsperson ship and coaching are also presented.

By the end of a school year, all students will have learned to be a coach, a referee, a judge, a scorekeeper, and a record keeper.

They no doubt will have been on some teams that lost, some that won, and some that finished toward the middle. They will have learned and experienced what makes any sport a sport and how the sport can be enjoyed from various perspectives.


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