Last spring, a panel of ISTP alumni spoke to the Board and administration about their ISTP experience, and one of the benefits of an ISTP education that they unanimously heralded was their physical education experience. We are very proud of our dynamic physical education program, and we wanted to share some of the highlights with our community.
In an analysis of the curriculum, including comparison to other schools and specific feedback, we see that ISTP has a very strong PE curriculum. Students learn a wide variety of skills and leave our 8th grade feeling very comfortable playing a variety of sports and games. Middle School PE Teacher Tara Speed explains, “The Physical Education program aims to build upon and develop pupils’ knowledge, sportsmanship, and self confidence in sports and games, and creativity in movement and health related activities, alongside emphasizing the individuals’ communication, integrity, and leadership skills.”
In elementary school, each grade is exposed to special PE courses such as circus, judo, or ice-skating, to name a few. By the end of Middle School, students have learned the basics of at least fifteen different sports/games, as well as an understanding of the importance of leading an active life. Even more importantly, the concepts of responsibility, teamwork, leadership, respect, and positive risk taking are both explicitly taught and reinforced throughout the ISTP PE curriculum.
One area we have worked to develop in the past few years is that of competitive athletic teams. A few years ago, we started to address this need with the founding of a Futsal team. Futsal quickly grew in popularity amongst our students and has been a wonderful cross-grade and cross-language experience for our participants and their parents. We recently added basketball, which is similarly successful and popular.
As we see the need and possibilities for growth, we will consider adding more competitive athletics. It is not a goal of ISTP to be a top athletic competitor, but rather to offer our students a variety of meaningful activities that round out their excellent academic experience.
Overall, we are very proud of the breadth and depth of our physical and athletic offerings and are working to continuously refine and improve them in ways that make the most sense for our school.