How EMSB supports physical literacy
Students all across EMSB schools have many physical activity options throughout their schooling. The most foundational is the Physical Education and Health program in each school. During these classes, students develop fundamental movement skills such as throwing, running, jumping, balancing and kicking. These skills are the building blocks of physical literacy, and throughout 11 years of Physical Education and Health in EMSB’s elementary and secondary schools, students learn to apply them in a variety of physical activity settings. They also learn tactics and strategies needed to apply these skills in a number of different sports and activities. Most importantly, they are provided these opportunities in a learning environment that is carefully structured by the Phys. Ed. teacher to instill a love of life-long physical activity.
In addition to Physical Education and Health, non-competitive options of extra-curricular activities include outdoor education in hiking, camping, skiing, snowshoeing, canoeing, biking and rock climbing. Through the Greater Montreal Athletic Association school sport leagues, students also have the opportunity to participate in sports that have a competitive or team aspect, including swimming, track, golf, and team sports such as basketball and badminton, among others.
The EMSB recognizes the impact that a quality physical and health education can have on students’ success and overall well-being. Some of the ways in which the board ensures strong support for this subject area are the following:
- It is the only English board that has a full-time Physical Education and Health Consultant;
- An annual grant, Keeping the Physical Education, provides schools with funding to purchase equipment that allows them to offer a varied Physical Education program;
- A Professional Improvement System allows teachers to apply for funding to bring in presenters so that multiple physical education and health-specific workshops are offered annually;
- Technology funding is provided to support learning in Phys. Ed. classes, such as 15 recently installed SMART Panels in EMSB gymnasiums;
- Active participation by EMSB Phys. Ed. and Health teachers in projects help develop curriculum and teacher resources that are shared and presented provincially and nationally;
- Collaboration between EMSB’s Educational Services department and Student Services (autism consultants and occupational therapists) provides workshops and support to enable Physical Education and Health teachers to offer the best possible program for students with special needs.