Coombe Wood School is ripping up the rulebook of what traditional physical education looks like. But what exactly is “health related fitness” model that’s taken its place in the curriculum?
PE and phys ed but better for children's wellbeing.
To understand more about what makes up health related fitness compared with the usual education methods, we speak to a leader of learning at Coombe Wood School. He explains why traditional physical education in schools could be a thing of the past. “Our health related fitness model is all about sort of ripping up the rulebook of what traditional PE looks like,” explains Will Smith, assistant headteacher and head of HRF at Coombe Wood School. “We want to celebrate effort, and that goes in perfect harmony with Myzone's tagline of effort rewarded.”
Exercise accessible for everyone.
“When designing our health later fitness curriculum, we always had in mind that we wanted to remove barriers to participation,” Will continues. “We want all of our students to feel that exercise is accessible to them, and that they want to be active and they want to sweat and they want to work out and have fun with their friends.
“We've designed a gym purpose built for that, that we call the movement room. Our slogan that we want all of our kids to know and to be aware of is: fit for movement, fit for learning, fit for life.
“We really do pass on the message that being active and being healthy will support you to be a better mover, and it will also support you more in the classroom. It will support you to be more successful and happy in your life and support your overall wellbeing as well as your physical wellbeing.”
Instant feedback for students and teaching staff.
“Our health related fitness lessons start with our students collecting their own personal Myzone belt, from our class box. Then they head to the changing rooms and put on their belts.”
In addition to classes or yeargroups keeping their belts at school, Will and his team have also launched an initiative giving students their own MZ-Switch heart rate monitor to take home and use away from the classroom, too. This is part of what started as the school's Movember campaign.
“Having the Myzone belts in our lessons is unbelievable in terms of the instant feedback it gives our students,” Will continues. “It means they have their own personal milestones to let them know how hard they're working, whether they need to put more effort in, whether they need to slow down.
“I can't think of anything better that I've used in the classroom. It's just feedback that you want. As a classroom teacher, you're always looking to give students feedback in the moment and Myzone hits the nail on the head.”
Teachers and staff leading by example.
“As part of our wellbeing initiative in our school, our staff also all have a Myzone belt, their own individual one. They've loved it and it's been embraced. We have staff challenges that’s created a real is a great culture. We almost have a different challenge every month that someone comes up with, and it just keeps people going.
“It gives you something to chat about in the corridors. Sometimes, you know, if someone you spot that someone's done a great workout. And it's just another thing to motivate and keep staff enthused by exercise, because that's the culture of our school. And if the staff are infused by exercise and that filters through to the students.”