The Lower School physical education program develops the confidence and competence of each boy, stressing movement education and developing fundamental skills. In the earlier grades, the movement program takes precedence. It focuses on the movement process and the student’s ability to perform a variety of movements skillfully. As students develop an understanding of movement themes, they make connections to space, time, effort, and relationships that are critical to skill development. Students are also introduced to sports and the skills required for each particular sport. A greater focus on teamwork and sportsmanship is stressed in the later grades. At all levels, mere winning is de-emphasized. Soccer, basketball, floor hockey, and baseball are the featured sports. In addition, other games and activities are introduced to reinforce skills taught for those sports and to add variety to the program. The Lower School program also focuses on fitness. A warm-up portion is a part of every class, including jogging, stretching, and strength-developing exercises. The boys learn about and gain appreciation for their bodies and how fitness relates to the activities of everyday life. The President’s Challenge physical fitness test is administered to boys in Grades Three and Four in the fall and again in the spring to be sure age-appropriate physical development is in place.
Pre-Primary and Grade One
On the days when movement education is emphasized, students focus on body control, fine and gross motor coordination, space dynamics, and group interaction. On the skill-development days, classes begin with stretching and the introduction of the skill, followed by a drill reinforcing the skill, and ending with an activity incorporating the skill. On the remaining day, boys practice the skills they have learned in game situations. The boys develop specific skills for soccer, basketball, floor hockey, and baseball. They also practice and develop their throwing, catching, and kicking skills.
Skills introduced in Pre-Primary and Grade One are further developed two days a week. Boys begin to learn about teamwork and sportsmanship by participating on teams selected by the coaches. Games based on soccer, basketball, floor hockey, and baseball are played the other two days a week. On the fifth day, activities based on other sports are presented for variety.
Grades Three and Four
Skills continue to be presented and reinforced two days a week. Boys begin to learn about game strategy through teamwork. Movement with and without the ball, body positioning, and different positions on teams are taught. Boys play games incorporating appropriate strategies and skills two days a week. On the fifth day, activities based on sports other than the principal three are presented for variety. In the spring, Fourth Grade boys are assigned to a floor hockey team and a whiffle ball team, and they participate in an intramural program designed to help them develop their teamwork skills.
Physical Education Uniform
Browning boys are given a set of physical education clothing on the first day of class, consisting of a T-shirt, shorts, sweatshirt, and sweatpants. Additional sets may be purchased from the physical education department located in the Lower Gym. Uniforms must be worn at all times during physical education classes, along with white socks and sneakers. If a student is not in uniform, he may not be permitted to participate. Boys are also responsible for keeping their uniforms clean and free of rips and holes. Sharing or borrowing another student’s physical education clothing is prohibited.