Meet the Dulwich College Beijing PE team!
Meet our awesome PE team, a terrific group of experienced, energetic, enthusiastic, friendly teachers and athletes!
Their love and passion for sports drive them to encourage others to see the benefits of staying active, be it through playing sports or any other form of exercising. They enjoy working with children and helping their students to improve in sport is one of their main drivers.
While they set an active and sporty example to the students, it is their welcoming, caring and enthusiastic attitude towards life in general, and Sports in particular, that makes them inspiring educators to students.
Now introducing Leighton Edwards, Director of Sport, and his team in action: Peter Buxton, Oliver Du, Brant Gao, Stephen Hurworth, Adam Livingston, Hannah Marshall, David Nicholson, Klaudia Tomaszun, Jane Wang and Megan Wills!
How do you envision the role and value of PE at school?
Physical Education (PE) is the “heartbeat” of every school! Alongside Outdoor Education activities, PE gives students the opportunity of freedom, to express themselves, to “blow off a little steam” without the restrictions of the four walls of a classroom. Life skills that can be transferable in other areas of life are learnt – such as teamwork, discipline, leadership, responsibility, determination, grit and communication. Further to this, PE helps:
- Create lifelong participants in physical activity through positive and enjoyable experiences.
- Create opportunities to stretch our gifted and talented pupils through our PE programme.
With everything that has taken place over the last year, the value and role of PE are more important than ever. The brain-changing effects of exercise have been categorically proven to enhance wellbeing, academic performance and overall efficiency at the same time as reducing stress, anxiety and depression. With our students not being able to access the PE curriculum to its fullest, we have an enormous role to play in building the students back up and maximising their enormous potential in all walks of life.
PE is well integrated into the different schools’ curriculum through schemes of work, curriculum mapping and most importantly, the PE team works closely with the subjects leads and Heads of Scholl to ensure consistency and avoid overlapping.
How do you guide students to build up their PE skills?
The PE programmes aim to smoothly build-up the students’ PE skills and development. Therefore, we, as educators, have the freedom to bring any necessary differentiation which focuses on adapting or modifying the curriculum, activities, or environment to meet the needs of students.
What the most common challenges that students encounter in physical education?
As a school, we pay a lot of attention to our students’ engagement. This is especially true nowadays with this temporary online PE. To ensure students are genuinely engaged, we believe that both parents and students need to be aware of and recognize the value of PE.
In classes, the most common areas of challenges for students are:
- Coordination: our young learners learn to do simple activities such as catching a ball.
- Spatial awareness: they also learn to understand their surrounding.
- Lack of swimming experience, most frequently a lack of confidence and fear of the water.
- Decision making: when they grow up, students inevitably face situations where they have to make decisions under pressure, for example in matches.
How can parents support you?
Students will benefit most from seeing the same examples of staying active and healthy both at school and at home. We always greatly appreciate when seeing parents encouraging their child to be active, or even better, to practice some sports as a family. We appreciate parents entrust us with the care of the children in a holistic way, and we highly value this. We offer a wide range of options to meet the interests and abilities of our learners. For example, our competitive students have many opportunities to engage in our school’s sports team, while less competitive, yet sporty students will be able to engage in sports more recreationally.
During these challenging times of hybrid learning, you surely have had to devise creative ideas to carry on with the PE classes. Would you share a few?
Our PE Staff are providing many different activities to encourage students to be as active and engaged as possible during this time.
From Early Years to Junior School and through to Senior School, we are giving our students both live lessons and online lessons ranging from Kung Fu, Dance and gymnastics movements in Early Years, to different types of Fitness activities, games and challenges in Junior School, and finally, to students developing their own Fitness programmes and collaborating with others in Senior School.
Many staff have developed their own, or contributed to, workout videos which will be sent out to all Junior School students next week. We have different challenges such as juggling and skipping as well as World Record attempts where students can attempt to break world records!
In November, our Swim Team competed in an online swim meet with other schools in the region. The meet was run virtually with both Junior School and Senior School students involved. A very successful event!
What do you find most rewarding as educators?
Watching students learn to communicate, interact with each other and grow to overcome hurdles and challenges are very rewarding as we try to teach them lifelong skills they will be able to use in other areas of life. We want them to grow into young adults with the grit and determination to move forward while understanding how to lose and win graciously.