Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
June 06, 2024

Nurturing Bodies and Minds

Nurturing Bodies and Minds - Nurturing Bodies and Minds
Physical Education at BISC-LP

What role does social-emotional learning (SEL) take in Primary Physical Education?

Nurturing Bodies and Minds - Nurturing Bodies and Minds

Physical Education (PE) isn't just about running laps or perfecting a jump shot; it's about laying the foundation for a lifetime of healthy habits and holistic well-being. In recent years, educators have recognized the significance of integrating Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) into primary PE programs. This fusion of physical activity with emotional intelligence and social skills development offers benefits that extend far beyond the gymnasium, and it takes a high priority here at BISC-LP.

At its core, SEL encompasses the skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve goals, feel and show empathy, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. These competencies are not only essential for academic success but also for navigating the complexities of life. By infusing SEL principles into our PE classes, we aim to create an environment where children can thrive both physically and emotionally.

One of the primary advantages of integrating SEL into primary PE is the promotion of self-awareness and self-management. Through activities like yoga, mindfulness exercises, and reflective journaling, children learn to recognize and regulate their emotions, develop resilience in the face of challenges, and build confidence in their abilities. These skills not only enhance their performance in physical activities but also equip them with valuable tools to manage stress and navigate interpersonal relationships outside of the gym.

Nurturing Bodies and Minds - Nurturing Bodies and Minds

Furthermore, SEL in PE fosters social awareness and relationship skills by emphasizing cooperation, communication, and teamwork. Through collaborative games, partner exercises, and group challenges, children learn to respect the perspectives and feelings of others, resolve conflicts peacefully, and work effectively in diverse groups. These experiences cultivate empathy and inclusivity, laying the groundwork for a supportive and harmonious classroom environment.

Integrating SEL into primary PE can contribute to improved academic outcomes. Research has shown that regular physical activity enhances cognitive function, concentration, and academic performance. By incorporating SEL principles into PE classes, we can maximize these cognitive benefits by creating an environment conducive to learning. When children feel emotionally supported and socially connected, they are better able to focus, retain information, and engage in meaningful learning experiences.

SEL in PE helps to cultivate responsible decision-making skills and ethical behavior. Through discussions about sportsmanship, fair play, and ethical dilemmas, children learn to make thoughtful choices, consider the consequences of their actions, and uphold moral principles both on and off the playing field. By instilling a sense of integrity and accountability, we aim to empower our students to become conscientious citizens and leaders in their communities.

The integration of Social-Emotional Learning into primary PE programs is essential for nurturing the holistic development of children. By fostering self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, responsible decision-making, and ethical behavior, SEL in PE lays the foundation for a lifetime of physical, emotional, and social well-being. We strive to prepare students for success in all aspects of life, prioritizing SEL in primary PE is not just beneficial—it's imperative.


Steven Humphreys, Athletics Director