Young people in junior cycle are at an important stage in their lives where they are developing rapidly; physically, psychologically and socially. Increasingly, they are making their own lifestyle decisions, including whether and/or how they will participate in regular physical activity. Physical education can provide all students with enjoyable and worthwhile learning opportunities where they develop the movement skills and competencies to participate and perform in a variety of physical activities competently, confidently and safely. It builds students’ motivation in and commitment to physical activity and sport within and beyond school. It can encourage students to get involved in both participation and leadership roles, irrespective of their previous experiences of or ability in physical activity.
In this short course, students learn to appreciate the importance of regular health-enhancing physical activity and to make informed choices about how to include physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle. Such informed choices are key to the development of lifelong habits of physical activity; thus student choice and consultation with students are given particular emphasis in the course and assessment design. The course builds on learning in physical education in primary school and lays the foundations for their learning in senior cycle physical education.
This short course contributes to important learning in the school’s Wellbeing programme within junior cycle. As a result of their learning in physical education, students should be better able and more motivated to include regular physical activity in their lives thereby contributing to their overall sense of wellbeing.
In junior cycle, six indicators–Active, Responsible, Connected, Resilient, Respected and Aware– have been identified as central to students’ wellbeing. PE provides learning opportunities which contribute to each of these wellbeing indicators.
The short course in physical education aims to develop students as knowledgeable, skilful and creative participants who are confident and competent to perform in a range of activities safely. The course aims to build students’ appreciation of the importance of health-enhancing and inclusive physical activity and a commitment to it now, and in the future.