Physical Fitness & Health
Most of us have fond memories of active childhood games. These grew out of children doing what children do best – building, dreaming, imagining and just having fun. Sadly, today's children often have fewer opportunities to enjoy this kind of active play.
Our increasingly hectic lifestyles can leave families with little time for recreation. Safety concerns mean children no longer play outside unsupervised. We all rely more and more on sedentary, indoor entertainment provided by computers and electronic toys.
The impact can be seen in our classrooms, as rates of childhood obesity are a growing public health concern. It is also a concern for educators, because research tells us that physically active students are not only healthier and happier, but also learn better. That's why schools take seriously our responsibility to promote daily, healthy, active behaviours.
But here's the good news. It's human nature to keep doing the things that we enjoy, that we do well, and that give us a sense of accomplishment. By encouraging a new generation of students to set aside the X-Box and pick up the skipping rope, ball or hockey stick, we are getting them hooked on a good habit that will last a lifetime.
Promoting Active Living in the TDSB
Canadian schools are criticized for contributing to rising rates of childhood obesity by promoting a deskbound existence. While it is certainly true that our society in general has grown increasingly less active over recent decades, here in the TDSB the level of physical activity experienced by most students has actually increased significantly.
Check out the links below to learn about all the ways that TDSB is promoting healthy active lifestyles, both in the classroom and beyond it:
Read about the Ontario government's Healthy Schools Initiative.
Physical Education and Head Safety
At the TDSB, we want all students to learn in a safe environment whether they are inside the school or outside on the field. That is why we follow the Ontario Health & Physical Education Safety Guidelines – provincially recognized safety guidelines that set out the standards that must be met by teachers and coaches when addressing the safety components of the curricular, intramural and interschool programs.
Using these Guidelines as the standard, all injury prevention and management training is incorporated into professional learning opportunities and is provided to teachers and coaches so that student engagement can be accomplished in a safe environment.
The Board is currently reviewing its concussion protocol for students. It is also developing a process for students to reacclimatize themselves to the classroom through Return to Play and Return to Learn working groups. These groups ensure that the Fall 2011 Trustee motion on concussions is effectively integrated into the philosophy of providing athletic opportunities in a safe and caring environment.
In addition, the Board is working with Dr. Charles Tator (PhD, MD, Neurologist at Toronto’s Western Hospital) and the ThinkFirst Foundation of Canada to deliver mandatory training sessions for high-risk sports to teachers, coaches and parents.
New this year, the Board will be inviting parents to attend a discussion with Dr. Tator to better understand the impacts of brain-injury and what they should do at home to help their child heal.