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Friday, February 19, 2016

What an Elementary School Physical Education Program Should Be

The focus of an elementary school physical education program should be in developing children’s perceptual abilities, motor skills and interest in physical activity. The program should not be overly technical, as specialized, sports related, skill development will come later in the children’s life, especially during high school. 

An elementary school program should focus on having a personalized approach to each individual student. Some children are fast learners and highly coordinated and others are not. The program should help each type of student with their particular needs. The physical education program should help children see the value in physical activity and help them develop a positive relation with it. 

Basic motor skill development should be included as this is an important learning process for children. The basic skills including running, jumping, skipping, climbing, throwing and catching should be taught as part of the fundamental program. Perceptual motor skills should also be included, to not only help the children function more efficiently in a learning environment, but to also help with better overall movement patterns.

Physical education programs at this level should be progressive in nature and begin with basic skills and then evolve into more advanced game and sport related skill development. Team building, social interaction and group participation should be emphasized over victory and defeat, in sporting events and games. 

This program has the ability to help children develop a positive self-image and allow them to face physical challenges with confidence. This is a critical part of a child’s development that will assist them throughout their lives. The elementary school physical education program can build a child’s foundation for self-confidence, functional motor skills and a desire to be active, that will have a lifelong and positive impact.


Fahey, Thomas. Youth Fitness Trainer, 3rd Ed. Carpinteria: International Sports Sciences Association, 2015. Print.

Fahey, Thomas. Fitness for Kids and Teens, 3rd Ed. Carpinteria: International Sports Sciences Association, 2015. Print.

Eric Dempsey
MS, NASM Weight Loss Specialist
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