Being physically active can help children and youth reach their full potential. Aside from many health benefits, students who are physically active are well prepared to learn. Schools and school communities need to work together to ensure that all children and youth have opportunities to be active throughout the day.
Resources for physical activity
See ideas and resources below that support physical activity:
Curriculum, teaching & learning
- Follow the Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum.
- Review and adhere to the revised Daily Physical Activity policy (PPM 138) for grades one through eight.
- Refer to and promote the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth.
- Access online health and physical education resources and training from Ophea such as lesson plans, student .templates, and assessment tools.
- Review the 2018 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth.
- Refer to Active and Sustainable School Travel Lesson Plans.
Classroom & school leadership
- Learn about Quality Daily Physical Education (QDPE) and its benefits. Apply to have your school recognized for excellence in school physical education programs through the Quality Daily Physical Education Award Program.
- Create a school policy to ensure that physical activity is never used or taken away as a punishment; instead, consider using it as a reward (such as an extra recess).
- Develop a school travel plan, which focuses on school travel route analysis to improve the students’ daily journey to and from school.
- Review the Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play and have your school sign on as a supporter of the position statement.
- Be an active role model by walking or biking to school, being active during lunch, recesses, or breaks.
- Ask students for their opinions on ways to get students and staff more active at school.
- Support students to assess their school’s physical activity policies and environments by using the Joint Consortium for School Health’s Healthy School Planner.
- Assist students to make positive changes to their school physical activity environments by applying for Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification program.
- Have students identify free/low cost physical activity opportunities around the school and where they live including parks, trails, and recreation facilities.
Social & physical environments
- Ensure student access to physical activity equipment, playground markings, and playground zones at recess, breaks, before and after school.
- Walk around the neighbourhood to determine transportation and safety concerns at and around the school.
- Use Ophea’s Steps to Inclusion to support inclusive physical activity for all students.
- Promote Kid Sport Canada for students to access financial support for organized sports programs.
- Adopt True Sport’s principles for fair play - ethical, inclusive, fun, safe and welcoming environments.
- Check Smart Commute Hamilton to learn more about the School Bike Rack Seed Fund Program.
- Follow school board policies and Ophea’s Ontario Physical Education Safety Guidelines to ensure a safe active environment
Home, school & community partnerships
- Engage parents and caregivers and encourage them to get involved in school physical activity by providing them information and opportunities at parent council meetings, newsletters, school website, or parent engagement nights.
- Check out the City of Hamilton’s recreation courses, lessons or drop-in’s and learn about their Recreation Assistance Program.
- Visit the Ontario Active School Travel website to read about creating a culture of walking and active school travel options.
- Find out if your school is eligible for YMCA Y on Wheels. This program provides free health, fitness and recreation programs and services to eligible schools.
- Contact a Physical Activity Specialist or Public Health Nurse by emailing [email protected] for help and advice on physical activity in schools.
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