Physical Education, Health, Social Skills
Most schools find themselves having to create artificial activities so that students can move and play: our students have ample time throughout the day. Forest School students spend most of their day engaged in active play and movement. From climbing trees and walking along balance beam logs, to playing ball and jumping rope at recess, our students spend most of their day engaged in some form of exercise! Research shows that students who spend more time playing outdoors have healthier weights, eat healthier diets, and have lower levels of stress and anxiety. Age appropriate health topics, including hygiene and nutrition, are discussed throughout the year.
Elementary and Middle School students spend about 90 minutes outdoors each day: they have a 30 minute morning recess, and an hour at lunch. This time is largely spent in unstructured play, and we have a variety of sports equipment for student use. Sometimes, teachers will lead games and activities at recess. Popular games include Capture the Flag, Kickball, and a wide variety of "Tag."
Wednesday afternoons have a Games theme, which often involve structured outdoor games. Many students also stay for our After School classes, which include a variety of fun, low-key, active games and activities.
Students at all levels explore a wide variety of health and wellness topics over the course of the year, in unit studies designed and taught by instructors. All Middle School students also take a one-year weekly course entitled Adolescent Sexuality. The instructor is trained in the Our Whole Lives (OWL) program, and the class covers a wide variety of topics relating to puberty, personal hygiene and health, sexual education, friendships and relationships, and self-awareness.
One of our core values is that a 21st century education is collaborative and social. All of our classes are collaborative, and group projects are common.
Although some children are naturally more gregarious than others, all children can benefit from direct instruction in social skills. Katy Shamitz, the founder of Norwell's Skills for Living and director of the Chapman Farm School, leads a weekly social skills class for our elementary and middle school students. Students will work on building positive relationships, conflict resolution skills, and more.