Learning about health and exercise at school

One of the great things about children starting school is that you no longer have to answer every question they ask.  I’m presuming the teachers get a lot of their questions too.  But there’s also the mystery about what they learn at school.  Because you can never get a complete school day run down from 5 year olds.

N’s quite good at telling me what he’s been doing.  Sometimes it’s sporadic, but I can prompt because the school send us ‘what we’re learning this week’ emails on Mondays.  So I probably get more information back from N than many other parents of children the same age.

But the importance placed on teaching children about wellness, health and food creates a lot more questions for me about what they’re learning.

Several times I’ve found the government Change 4 Life leaflets in N’s book bag, and after school club have mentioned that children talk about not eating too much of certain items, so propaganda information is filtering through to the children.  He’s also pretty hot on recycling – reusing junk in models, putting food waste in the food bin (or in our case putting bits outside for the dogs or chickens) helped by us putting out the recycling at home together.

N also comes out with amusing comments after doing sports activities which does make me wonder what the messages are, and how he’s hearing or translating them.

‘Mummy I’m riding my bike, but I still need to do my exercises’.  Eh?  I had to explain that riding a bike and playing outside, running around is exercise.  And that any kind of moving around would do the job in absence of specific fitness regimes.

For a small village school, he does get a lot of sports opportunities even in foundation stage.  He’s had football and dance with external teachers, tennis both in school and at after school club, and now they’re doing gymnastics.  The football he wasn’t keen on (although he doesn’t mind kicking a ball round the house), dance was ok, and he enjoys tennis.  But the gymnastics he’s been practising at home.

‘I’m doing my exercises like in gymnastics’.

Thankfully I’ve not found him trying backwards rolls, but the other day I spotted him doing stretching positions, his version of a bridge, and various other poses that I’d view as yoga or body conditioning exercises.  He’s quite good at holding them, and knew the names they’d been given too.

It really shows that he loves the physical side of education and I’m hoping that will help him in future with both fitness and being able to relax outside of the academic side of learning.

I’m a little concerned that he does come out with a lot of comments about having to do his exercises at such a young age.  If he takes after the OH’s male side of the family, he’ll be lean and not have a problem with his weight especially if he stays active, but he’s definitely aware of diets through me saying I’m needing to lose a bit of weight to be healthier even though I’ve tried to avoid making a thing of it in front of him.  And now exercising to stay fit via school.  But it seems it’s sinking in that it’s crucial to exercise even at a young age.  When really for children it’s just about keeping active and gradually finding sports that you enjoy to be able to carry them on as you get older.

exercising on bikes

Overall though, I’m glad he’s enjoying sport.  My enjoyment didn’t kick in until I was 7 or 8 when we moved house, prior to that I was terrible at it.  So hopefully he’ll take up a couple of sports he enjoys and then it won’t feel like exercise.

What kind of information do your children get taught about exercise at school?  What sort of sport and fitness do they get to experience?

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