Imagine going for indoor surfing, stand-up paddling, or even mountain hiking during your Physical Education lesson at school. These exciting activities are no longer only weekend plans, they are now a part of the weekly academic schedule with the new POP Programme at Institut Montana Zugerberg.
POP – Physical Outdoors Programme
This academic year the private school introduced POP or Physical Outdoors Programme. It is based on the idea that the school curriculum should inspire young people to have a healthy holistic approach to life. The goal is to help students discover different exciting activities that will inspire them and also keep them physically fit for now and for the future in their adult lifes.
Traditional Approach to Physical Education
Many cohorts of school children are subject to a physical education regime that incorporates a narrow range of options for keeping fit. Whether one exercise system or another, or competitive games often involving balls, it is a singular activity at which they might never be good or enjoy. These activities are often not continued in the future as a personal exercise regime after graduating from school.
Moreover, competition can easily lead to fear of failure or even bullying of the incompetent, thus producing an unhealthy atmosphere in the class. This system creates a large body of students reluctant to participate and therefore was not entirely successful.
Institut Montana’s Approach to Physical Education
At Institut Montana we believe, that modern PE is about motivating today’s children to be the healthy adults of tomorrow. It can do this, if exercise is both educational and fun. Therefore, the focus on discipline and competition should be shifted to a preference for participation and engagement.
Institut Montana’s International School section took an insightful look at the bigger picture and came up with an inspiring solution called Physical Outdoor Programme.
How Physical Outdoor Programme works
The traditional three weekly PE lessons are being replaced with an entire afternoon dedicated to activities that encourage physical health. There is a vast variety of age and seasonally appropriate physical outdoors activities on the Zugerberg and its beautiful surroundings. Institut Montana’s students will get to experience most of them and probably even find those that they will carry with them into adulthood.
POP recognizes the mental health dimension of physical education and will contribute to the holistic development of young people, who will become even more curious, confident, responsible and engaged adults in the future.
As an added bonus, physical activity can be linked to other parts of the curriculum. A good hike in the mountains builds strong legs and a healthy heart while incorporating a lesson in geology, history, zoology or even arts, literature or economics. The cross-disciplinary teaching opportunities are endless.
At the moment POP is available to Cambridge Lower Secondary Programme Students.