Bright eyes, big smiles, and stomping feet fill the blacktop at Almaden Country Day School every day of the week.
ACDS recognizes the tremendous benefits of physical education for all children, a belief supported by research demonstrating the positive relationship between children’s physical activity, healthy habits, readiness to learn, and academic achievement.
All students at our school participate in physical education every week. We provide developmentally specific instruction for students in our Early Childhood, Elementary, and Middle School, with emphasis on foundational activities and skill building for the younger students, and an activity-based model for our upper elementary and middle school students.
P.E. in Early Childhood Education and Kindergarten
Once a week, our Early Childhood Education specialist helps mixed-age preschool and Kindergarten students develop spatial and body awareness, further define their auditory discrimination skills, and learn rhythmic movements through Musical Movement class. They have fun moving like different animals at the zoo, undulating to musical beats from around the world, and playing various musical instruments. In doing so, the children are acquiring body and spatial awareness, non-locomotor and locomotor skills, manipulative skills, and elements of movement fundamental to their academic and social development.
The Elementary P.E.'s curriculum is led by two teachers specializing in developmental P.E. approaches featuring continuous movement lessons that offer introductory conditioning, gross motor development, skill building, lead-up games to team sports, and fitness testing.
Elementary students participate in physical education three times per week. In addition to fitness training, introductory nutrition, and fitness testing, students have the opportunity to play modified multiple ball and equipment games, which help develop fundamental skills for team sports including soccer, football, softball, basketball, hockey, volleyball, and track and field.
Middle School P.E.
The Middle School program further expands on these competencies to include “Fitness for Life” studies and team sports. Middle School students participate in physical education four times a week.
The program’s goal is providing exposure to a variety of athletic activities and basic nutrition, with an emphasis on effort rather than skill — all while instilling a joy of movement, having fun cooperatively, learning sportsmanship, and achieving improved physical fitness.
Middle school students also have an opportunity to take sport-related electives, including basketball. In basketball, students of all skill levels work on the fundamentals of the game including shooting, dribbling, passing and defensive skills.
Another interesting elective is Relax, which helps students learn how to … well, relax. They learn about stress and how to cope with it, including meditation, yoga and Tai chi.