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How a school got wellness in motion
What do you do when your school does not have a gym? École Sainte-Bernadette School in Moncton decided that no gym was no obstacle, ushering in a new era of movement in the classroom.
Since September 2010, students and staff alike have benefitted from an innovative teaching practice known as pédagogie en mouvement, whereby teachers find ways to incorporate physical activity into their educational planning. This ranges from teacher-student sports such as a friendly soccer game every morning during recess, to calming yoga sessions, and even finding creative ways to inject movement into classes, such as learning math using bowling pins!
The spark that began this active innovation was the announcement by the Minister of Education five years ago of new guidelines recommending 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week for children to achieve measureable health benefits. But it’s not only the kids who are on the move. Teachers are required to have a pair of sneakers with them at all times and are expected to get in motion with their students to demonstrate the importance the school places on overall wellness.
This dynamic approach to teaching has become ingrained in Sainte-Bernadette’s culture, and the benefits go beyond just the physical. Physical activity is proven to enhance brain activity and a student’s ability to learn, and staff members have reported a reduction in conflicts since pédagogie en mouvement was introduced.
The relationship between staff and students has been enhanced through this program, and wellness levels at Sainte-Bernadette’s, gym or no gym, are through the roof!
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