Apart from exercise and fitness variety, we extend our practices to mental and emotional wellness. Many classes begin with breathing exercises to teach students the power of self-regulating strategies that maintain a calm control and focus during physical activity, competition, and any other stressful context in life.
We strive to expose our students to a wide range of sports and exercise activities while modeling a self-awareness philosophy for effort, participation, and competition. There is no substitute for the positive energy, physical and mental, that exercise engenders; it empowers people to engage more confidently in many other areas of life. Sports and other physical activities also provide ample opportunity for students to practice teamwork, fair play, and other community-building skills. No matter an individual’s skill level, there are always opportunities to teach those with less experience and learn from those with more. By highlighting this reality and giving kids the chance to actively participate in both roles, they can develop a valuable balance of confidence, composure, and humility. Our activities are guided by the phrase “challenge by choice,” which encourages students to extend their efforts and take risks while respecting their personal comfort zones and prior experience.
Humanity finds common ground in the world of athletics, and this provides context for celebrating cultural diversity through the lens of sports. Sports we facilitate in lower school classes include running, yoga, parkour, soccer, and climbing. Other activities include bipedal versus quadrupedal movement, jump roping, speed stacking, and “recess games” from around the world. Middle school classes teach many of the same whole-body fitness themes and collaborative activities at more advanced levels of skill and complexity. Middle school classes also focus on specific sports like rugby, volleyball, basketball, hockey, and frisbee. Both lower school and middle school classes include elements of wilderness skills like hiking, knot-tying, map orienteering, and basic first aid. There are science and social studies layers to our program as well, like studying human anatomy and learning about courageous athletes who affected positive social change. Finally, as an essential part of holistic wellness, we teach health, sexuality, and relationship curricula in middle school classes to help students navigate the physical and social challenges of puberty.