Physical Education

Lower School

Physical education is an integral part of the school curriculum and contributes to the well being of students through activities designed to meet their physical and recreational needs. The program is devoted to purposeful instruction in a variety of activities that guide students through successful stages of physical development, as well as mental, emotional and social characteristics essential to a well-rounded personality.

General Goals

Social Development 
One of the major goals involves the interaction within a group of students by individuals. Development in this area is accomplished through instruction and experience in sportsmanship, leadership, cooperation and teamwork. 
 
Physical Development
The object of the physical activities is to train and improve the student’s coordination, speed, strength, stamina, agility and skill level.
 
Mental and Emotional Development
This main objective is attained through focus on the following sub-phases: assertiveness, self-discipline, temper control, poise, objective decision-making and the selection of options under stress. 

Tower Tots

For most 3-year-olds, this is their first exposure to physical education. Our goal is to help the children build a solid foundation to develop age appropriate tasks. Our program is centered on spatial awareness, basic motor skills, crossing the plane, personal involvement and fun. We are introducing and emphasizing the importance of sharing, taking turns and respecting one another. 

PreKindergarten/Kindergarten

In PreKindergarten and Kindergarten, our focus is to build a solid movement foundation. We do this by helping our children use their bodies to explore their environment. Our PreKindergarten and Kindergarten children are introduced to different motor skills and movement patterns that help in the development of spatial awareness and body control. They do creative movement in time to a beat and participate in rope and hoop activities to improve coordination and balance. In addition to learning locomotor and non-locomotor skills, our children are exposed to activities that involve object manipulation and tracking. One such activity would be simple balloon activities.

Our eager and independent learners are soon introduced to activities that require them to work in pairs and small groups to accomplish a common goal. Parachute activities require them to work cooperatively as a large group to achieve success. Our children have now experienced the importance of teamwork through simple cooperative tasks.

1st and 2nd Grades

In 1st and 2nd Grades we continue to provide additional practice opportunities and instruction to improve locomotor and non-locomotor skills. Activities are presented to provide our students with the opportunity to improve coordination, reaction time and ball tracking — thus making the manipulation of objects easier. They can now focus their practice time on mastering proper techniques. By providing appropriate physical education experiences, we can help them expand and refine social skills and acceptable ways to respond to challenges, success and failure.

Additionally, we begin to introduce the concepts of physical fitness. Our weekly fitness walk provides us with the opportunity to allow our children to discover that their heart beats faster and their breathing accelerates during physical activity, and why it is important to develop a lifelong exercise routine. We use their genuine excitement for learning to help them begin to control their bodies and emotions. Through activities we can help them begin to develop a sense of right and wrong, and that their actions have consequences.

3rd and 4th Grades

With a solid skill base firmly established, we find it more productive to teach the boys and girls separately beginning in 3rd Grade. We have equal expectations for both groups in terms of physical performance. Co-educational activities are presented at least twice a week. As our children have mastered the proper form for basic motor skills, we can focus on how to manipulate objects in a variety of ways, refine eye-hand and eye-foot coordination. This development occurs through participation in low-organized games and small group activities. In addition to skill and character development, we also present specific principles and concepts that include basic offensive and defensive strategies.

At this age winning becomes extremely important, so we will continue to emphasize teamwork and sportsmanship and provide our students with the tools and the support necessary to resolve conflict. We continue our focus on personal fitness with our weekly fitness walk. Our students take great pride in earning their "feet" charms as a marker for miles achieved.

Tower Hill Fitness Walk 

Once a week children participate in a fitness walk during PE class. Below are some guidelines about what the fitness walk entails. 
  • Gems represent one lap around our track 
  • 4 gems is equal to one mile 
  • 20 gems/20 laps equals 5 miles 

We will hand out a special foot for every 5 miles completed

**Special Feet**
  • Glow Feet - given out out after completing 15 miles 
  • Small Medallion - given out after completing 20 miles 
  • Large Medallion - given out for completing 25 miles. If your child runs an organized 5K run, they can earn a special foot by bringing the race number (bib) in to school. (For example: breast cancer run, Homecoming, turkey trot, etc).

Middle School

5th and 6th Grade - Physical Education

The fifth- and sixth-grade physical education program marks a transition from Lower School into Middle School. The program is designed to introduce sport-specific activities in 3-week units; students learn to combine and apply a variety of movement patterns and skills to different sports. The program emphasizes participation, improvement, enjoyment and effort; the goal is to help students develop the skills and game tactics needed in the competitive athletic program in 7th Grade. The importance of physical activity and personal fitness is stressed, and students participate in the President’s Physical Fitness Test. Since physical activity plays an important role in the social and emotional development of our students, the program aims to provide a positive setting in which our students can learn and practice social and personal responsibility skills. 

7th and 8th Grade - Athletics

Students participate in interscholastic competition in the 7th and 8th Grades. Qualities of teamwork, cooperation and good sportsmanship are stressed with an emphasis placed on participation. Students are placed on teams compatible with their skill development. Contests are scheduled on weekdays almost exclusively. At the Middle School level, coaches make a conscientious effort to give everyone an opportunity to play and to communicate with individual players to help them accept and enjoy their roles on teams. Seventh- and eighth-graders are required to participate in athletics in all three seasons. Time for athletics, a component of the student’s physical education requirement, is built into the school day. 

    • Director of Physical Education Chris Aitken