curriculum,  Professional Development,  Quality PE,  Teacher Reflection

Quality PE at ISB – Define and Inquire

UNESCO Quality PE – link here to the online booklet

UNESCO Quality PE – link here to the online booklet

Do we provide Quality PE at ISB?  Over the last few months, I have been pondering this question.  And also how we might audit or facilitate meaningful dialogue with relevant stakeholders about how we would find out.  I re-read this document that UNESCO published and that resonated with me as it opened my thinking to more than just what I could offer as a single teacher at my school and made me think bigger about how to advocate for my students, their community (and mine) and then also how I might be a stronger advocate for Quality PE in our region and the World.    Think Big.

Below are the Core aspects of inclusive Quality PE – the online book goes into detail about each area in this diagram and offers examples of organisations and schools or communities that are leading the ‘doing’ of Quality PE.


Next year our ISB MS timetable will shift to make available more choice for students.  Part of this includes shifting our Grade 7-8 program to be a G7-8 combined class offering.  Our Grade 6 will remain the same but this presents an opportunity for auditing our current practice and curriculum and to make decisions based on what we find out.  I am keen to engage with our Office of Learning staff to do some research that will give us some information about best practice before we make decisions so that we can anchor our process in what we know is best for our students and be in a place of knowledge when we talk to our parents about what we are offering their children in our courses.

UNESCO write the following about Curriculum – and this is where I would like to focus our efforts as we can grow our Community and Advocacy from this beginning.  After reading the QPE document, I feel that our school does a very good job in our Teacher employment practices, we have incredible facilities and resources (although a stronger timetable will make this even better), we have a lot of community partnerships but this can always grow and we have specific standards and monitoring that we undergo as a PE body at our school.   So back to Curriculum:

What do you notice?

I love that I can already see the following words in this document: Inclusive, equitable, personally meaningful, socially and culturally relevant, attract people to the “joy and pleasure of physical activity” and that the focus is on lifelong movement and healthy lifestyle choices.  I also really feel connected to the program being about more than skills and games – that knowledge and understanding are all important to this process.

What are you wondering about?

I am wondering about:

  • How do we know if our program is equal and inclusionary? (across age, ability, gender, religion, culture, needs etc.) and that we can develop the needs of our students with special requirements?  How might this look?  What might we need in terms of resources or support?
  • How do we ensure sequence across our program?  What are we trying to accomplish from Grade 6 through to the end of Grade 8?  If our students didn’t come to us, would they be any different?  Are we enhancing their learning?  How do we know?
  • How are we providing opportunities for knowledge?  How do we embrace the culture and tradition of our home country (China) here?  For example, how are we linking to non-traditional Chinese games or learning?  How do we link to bigger areas like the Winter Olympics in 2022? How could we do this?
  • How do we be more physical literacy-focused?  What is missing?  How might we audit this?
  • Do we offer a healthy competitive spirit?  Where?
  • How are we challenging our most able students?  how do we make this relevant and help them to grow as athletes?
  • How do we explicitly teach social and affective domains of learning in PE?
  • How do we explicitly teach respect, tolerance, and fair-play in PE?

What do you notice?

That the connections beyond our PE spaces are important – what we know and can help our students within their communities and whole school learning is important.  I feel that only one or two points raised in this document deal with motor competency – that we want our students to develop a range of physical competence and adapt these in a variety of environments.

I feel confident that we are actively working on our assessment practices here at ISB and that there are frequent conversations between students/teachers/parents/colleagues and our curriculum staff.

What are you wondering about?

I am wondering about:

  • How to emphasize Leadership in our school, and in PE.
  • How we get more buy-in from students who could be more involved or are yet to have a strong positive or meaningful experience in our classes.
  • How to engage in more research networks and make this more central to our collegial conversations in PE, not just in our MS or HS or ES practices.


If one of our goals is to develop a Physical Literate person (read above), then it is time to consider how we will implement this through our ISB program.

So What?

What are our priorities moving forward in this design process?

Firstly we need to define and inquire.  We know that our program will change next year and so we need to now do some inquiry into what best practice should and could look like in our amazing spaces and with our incredible Middle School students.

  • Could we find some other schools that offer G7-8 combined classes?
  • Could we find some research about gender separation or not?
  • Could we find some research about whether to stream based on motor competency and experience in our classes?
  • Could we find some research about ideal class size and how to best support our special needs students (all in one class with another teacher?  spread out across the program? how do we cater to this need?)  Do we need further Professional training to better support high need or strong motor competency students?
  • Do we need to look at how we use our spaces?  How we prepare kids for multiple environments (winter sports, water sports, – are we biased or over heavy in some areas?)
  • What do our students love?
  • What could our community support?  Other providers? Resources that we could use? What other roles could our Activities office or others help us out with?
  • What criteria could we use to measure these ideas and research to know what is important to us?

I am keen to get onto this, I feel once we have some bigger picture research and solid information to guide us, we can then see how to weave in other pieces like Leadership, Ordering equipment, Use of Spaces etc.

If you have any ideas, research or a school in mind that could help us with our inquiry, please do let me know!

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