The SPS offers 40 minutes of physical education (PE) to students in Grades K-8 each week. Health and PE instruction is aligned with Massachusetts curriculum standards for physical health, which are organized around the following four themes: (1) growth and development, (2) physical activity and fitness, (3) nutrition and (4) reproduction and sexuality.
Somerville PE instructors deliver weekly age- and developmentally-appropriate instruction intended to support students across grades K-12 in mastering knowledge, skills and attitudes in 61 required instructional standards for youth in Grades PK-12 organized around the following topics (1.1) body systems, (1.2) life cycle, (2.1) motor skill development, (2.2) fitness, (2.3) personal and social skill development, (3.1) improving nutrition, (3.2) safe and healthy food supplies, (3.3) social influences (on nutrition), (4.1) development, and (4.2) wellness.
The Physical Education program is broken down into three areas in the elementary schools.
In grades K-3 the major focus is on large muscle development and movement, simple ball skills: catching, throwing and rolling. Hygiene and rhythms
In grade 4-6 the major focus is still on movement skills and general muscle development. Skills are developed through practice and lead up games. Rhythms and mini health topics. This is also the start of our non-competitive unit. This focuses on team work and cooperation and positive responses.
In grades 7-8 the major focus is on team and individual activities. Greater stress is placed on the non competitive activities: problem solving trust, cooperation and team work.
The District's Physical Education program complies with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' call for the integration of these instructional topics to ensure students develop competence in identifying and experiencing the relationship of exercise to overall health, applying important social skills and safety in physical activity, integrating learning movement with other modes of learning, and practicing strategies to respond to stress, students can enhance their overall health and wellness.