What is strikingly clear whilst taking a closer look into sport and well-being at WPNY, is that Physical Education here extends way beyond physical activity. The approach to sport is based upon a well thought out philosophy and vision, which provides the means to teach the children a wide range of values and skills. As well as being focused upon developing the children’s ability to compete and excel in sports, it is also designed to develop a positive mindset and inspire them to adopt a lifelong active and healthy lifestyle. It is based on a holistic approach to well-being, which can be applied to, and help with, all aspects of life.
The WPNY Physical Education Vision Statement
The three concepts represented in the triangle below are of equal value and all education about sport at WPNY is focused upon achieving balance between these three parts:Performance – WPNY strongly believes that all children should have access to a high-quality Physical Education program that provides them with the knowledge and skills that they need in order to be able to compete, achieve and excel in a wide range of different sports and physically demanding activities.
Participation – WPNY seeks to sustain a culture that promotes intrinsic and extrinsic competition, whilst also placing an emphasis on helping children to enjoy more collaborative and cooperative games. WPNY aims to use these sports and activities to enable the children to learn, practise and champion key values such as respect, fair-play, sportsmanship and teamwork.
Passion – By providing children with the opportunity to experience a wide and varied range of different sports and activities, it is hoped that the Physical Education program can motivate and inspire all pupils to lead lifelong active and healthy lifestyles.
This vision has been created by Mr Kinsey who, at the beginning of this academic year, was appointed Head of Sport at WPNY. Mr Kinsey is an exceptional sportsperson, has a wealth of teaching and coaching experience and academic qualifications. In addition to spearheading the sports program, Mr Kinsey is also a Grade 2 Lead Teacher. He is passionate about raising the profile of sport at WPNY and cementing its place as a centrepiece of school life.
It is exciting that there is an expansive vision in place, which will provide the basis for executing the sports program as the school grows and evolves.
As well as activities led by WPNY staff, relationships with external partners have been, and continue to be, carefully selected and successfully developed to ensure a high-quality Physical Education program is in place:
|Rugby||Play Rugby USA|
|Football / Soccer||Chelsea Football Club, UK|
|Cricket||Finalising links with USA Cricket|
|Tennis||Finalising links with US Tennis Association|
|Fencing||Tim Morehouse Fencing Club|
|Dance||New York Theatre Ballet Co.|
Currently, the curriculum provides children in Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 with the following lessons each week:
1 x (at least) 45 minutes of P.E.
1 x (at least) 45 minutes of swimming
1 x (at least) 45 minutes of gymnastics
Pre-K also have a swimming lesson and a lesson in the gymnastics studio each week, both 45 minutes in duration.
P.E. Lessons – Outside in Warmer Weather / 92 Y in Colder Weather
From September until November, the girls and boys in Grades 1 and 2 played Tag Rugby and were taught by coaches from Play Rugby USA. They have learnt:
- Fundamental Principles of Tag Rugby: attacking, defending, scoring, teamwork and rules; communicating and collaborating with teammates; understanding how to improve individual and collective performances.
- Movement: running with the ball; using speed and agility to evade opposition players; utilising space effectively.
- Passing and Receiving: practising technical skills; using these skills to achieve success in more complex games; moving with speed and agility to evade defenders.
Play Rugby USA was founded by former USA Eagle Mark Griffin who has gone on to be honoured by Her Majesty the Queen as a Member by Order of Excellence of the British Empire (MBE) for his charitable works in youth development in the USA.
Play Rugby USA has introduced more children to rugby than any other organization in the USA. The team has developed an intentionally designed curricula that cultivates character, builds skills and develops lifelong habits of mind and body.
During the latter part of November and December, the Kindergarten and Grades 1 and 2 children have been focusing on circuit training and gym activities such as obstacle courses, which involve amongst other things, the balance beam, the tumble track and jumping over appropriate equipment. This is at the 92 Y and the groups are split as follows:
Kindergarten and Grade 1 – Penthouse Gymnastics Studio in the Sky for P.E. with Mr Kinsey and Miss Cox. (For gymnastics lesson here, the lesson is with 92 Y staff and is overseen by Miss Wood).
Grade 2 – Lane Gymnasium for P.E. with Mr Kinsey and Ms Esteva (Nursery Assistant Teacher).
In the new year, the children will be focusing on basketball at the 92 Y during this lesson. They will also be doing some Dance in preparation for a Spring performance.
After the Spring break, they will focus on soccer / football and cricket.
Swimming and Gymnastics or P.E. Lessons
Each Thursday morning, Kindergarten and Grades 1 and 2 take a coach to the 92 Y. Grade 2 go to the pool first and are taught by the 92 Y swimming instructors. During this time, in winter months, Grade 1 and Kindergarten go to the Penthouse Gym with Mr Kinsey and Miss Cox for P.E., rather than gymnastics. When the warmer weather returns, they will resume a schedule of their gymnastics lesson on Thursdays and their P.E. lesson outside on Tuesdays.
Once Grade 2 finish in the pool, Grade 1 and Kindergarten go to the pool and Grade 2 have their gymnastics lesson. They then all return to school for lunch.
Nursery and Pre-K have lunch during an earlier than usual first sitting on Thursdays so that the Pre-K children are ready to board the coach when the older children return. Pre-K then go to the 92 Y for swimming and gymnastics.
Within each swimming class, the children are divided into groups according to their proficiency in the water. They are coached by qualified instructors from the 92 Y and there are always WPNY members of staff present to oversee activities.
The following is covered:
• Water safety and water confidence.
• Pool entry and exit.
• Skills and strokes: developing the techniques of front crawl, back crawl, breaststroke, treading water and swimming underwater, for example.
Back to the Vision: Performance, Participation and Passion
PERFORMANCE: When considering the WPNY Physical Education vision, part of the Performance concept is fulfilled by giving the children access to all the aforementioned sports and more. They are receiving high quality instruction from Mr Kinsey and the carefully selected external partners.
The vision of Performance includes providing the opportunity to compete. So, how are the children given the opportunity to experience competition at WPNY?
- Inter-House Competition: At WPNY, the children are divided into three houses – Braeburn, McIntosh and Russet. At the end of this term / semester, there will be a house-based competition which will allow the children to use the fundamental sports skills they have been developing this term to compete against other houses in order to win house points. Sports Day is also based upon inter-house competition.
- Fixtures with Local School Teams: Mr Kinsey is successfully developing relationships with local schools in order to organize sporting fixtures. After the Spring break, there will be two to three soccer / football fixtures for the girls and boys in Grades 1 and 2 with teams from local schools.
- Self-Competition: Continually persevering to improve one’s own timings and personal bests is something that is crucial to learn early and continue through life. Mr Kinsey has been emphasizing and teaching them the importance of this during circuit training, especially.
PARTICIPATION: Both extrinsic and intrinsic competition, as outlined above, are integral to us and are a natural part of life. We want to win. We all want to succeed. However, the performance part and the winning alone isn’t everything. What about those times when we do not win? The concept of participation within the vision is about teaching the children about what it means to successfully take part and learn how best to do this, both for ourselves and for others. The learning objectives are:
- To celebrate winning and also learn how to graciously accept defeat and deal successfully with disappointment.
- To learn how to work as part of a team.
- To develop, and successfully communicate, strategies to ensure the team improves performance. To learn the value and skill of collaboration.
- To learn, practise and champion other key values such as respect, fair-play, sportsmanship.
These skills, of course, extend way beyond sport and can be used in many parts of our lives. How fantastic that our children are learning these crucial behavioural attributes that will help them operate and thrive in all situations.
PASSION: At WPNY, all sports are viewed to be of equal importance. Whether it is a sport that is widely played and popular, such as soccer / football or basketball or a sport that may be less widespread, such as rock-climbing or archery, all are viewed with the same level of importance and
respect. It is not only about being good at a particular, widely played sport. There is a sport out there for everyone and it is WPNY’s belief that being exposed to, and taught about, a wide variety of sporting opportunities will help children become engaged with leading an active lifestyle through finding one that ignites their passion. Therefore, it is WPNY’s objective to convey this and bring information and experiences to the children that educate them about what is on offer both at school and as extracurricular activities. It is hoped that in doing so, each individual child will discover an activity that they feel passionate about and therefore, become inspired to always be engaged in an activity which makes them feel good.
Performance, Participation and Passion Awards
In order to bring these three integral concepts alive for the children, Mr Kinsey has started the initiative of presenting Performance, Participation and Passion Awards at each Family Assembly. The aim is to help the children understand what they are continuously striving to achieve and being recognized and rewarded when they successfully demonstrate the attitude and behaviour which reflect one of more of these three key concepts.
What is Mr Kinsey’s Background, Experience and Qualifications?
Mr Kinsey’s interest in sport primarily stems from his family and his upbringing. As a young boy, he spent many hours happily watching his dad playing cricket and hockey, cheering on Aston Villa with his grandfather, and supporting his mother at various equestrian events.
He was then fortunate enough to receive a Sport Scholarship to attend Clifton College in Bristol. Here, he captained the Rugby 1st XV, the Hockey 1st XI and the Cricket 1st XI, while also playing these sports to a regionally and nationally representative standard.
Mr Kinsey is still a very keen cricketer today. He plays for Bristol CC in the West of England Premier League whenever he is back in the UK and he has made a handful of appearances for the Mad-Dogs CC in the New York Cricket League. He is also an avid fan of Bristol City Football Club, as demonstrated by the flag and scarf that proudly adorn his classroom walls!
However, his real sporting passion now lies in Physical Education and Coaching. This was ignited during his time as a voluntary community sports leader in inner-city Bristol. Here, he began to recognize the powerful role that sport can play in: promoting children’s holistic wellbeing; demonstrating the importance of respect, resilience and fair-play; and developing children’s skills of teamwork, collaboration and leadership. This experience was what really inspired him to become a teacher after he graduated from the University of Exeter.
Mr Kinsey moved to Long Island in September 2018 to be with his American wife, Lauren, who is also a P.E. teacher. Prior to this, he completed his PGCE at the University of Buckingham while working at Daneshill Preparatory School in rural Hampshire. During his time there, he taught P.E. and Sport to children between the ages of 4 and 13; he was a Year 5/Grade 4 Form Teacher; and he oversaw the school’s provision of Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education.
Master of Arts in Education, University of Buckingham
Mr Kinsey is about to submit the final draft of his post-graduate thesis entitled What are the main multi-level barriers and facilitators of effective whole-school implementations of Positive Education? The research’s main aim is to discover what can help or hinder a school’s implementation of the core tenets of Positive Education.
With his background and evident all-round exceptional aptitude in both academic and physical pursuits, it is resoundingly clear how Mr Kinsey has been able to create, and now is so successfully executing, WPNY’s wide ranging, holistic vision for Physical Education.
The Motor Movers program is from the UK where it is widely utilized by many schools. It was developed a few years ago by leading education expert Professor Pat Preedy. It focuses on physical movement and is designed to help develop the fine and gross motor skills of children from age 6 months to 8 years old. It also helps with concentration, coordination and balance. The levels are not set by age but rather, by what the children are able to do and how well and they will move through levels accordingly. Professor Preedy visits WPNY intermittently and so trained the teachers about the Motor Movers program herself!
Miss Cox (Grade 1 Lead Teacher) manages and directs the Motor Movers program at WPNY and the teachers administer it as follows:
- Nursery and Pre-K: Mrs Friend and Mrs Wright- children are shown certain movements which go with particular nursery rhymes which they then try to master. This is incorporated into their daily schedule.
- Kindergarten and Grade 1: Miss Cox – 6 particular movements are focused on during each 6 week period. Then, new movements are introduced to ensure the children are constantly challenged. They do this 2 to 3 times a week at the beginning of the day. The teachers find this provides a great start for the children and sets them up well for the rest of the day!
- Grade 2: Mr Kinsey and Miss Wood – they follow the same 6 week timeframe as Kindergarten and Grade 1 but focus on different movements. Grade 2 have sessions 2 to 3 times a week as well, usually preceding a break time.
Here are a few examples of moves the Kindergarten and Grade 1 children have been focusing on during recent weeks:
Stretch out your fingers and toes like a starfish. Make a fist with your thumb on top of your fingers and curl your toes over. Squeeze and hold for a count of 3. Repeat 5 times.
Hold your arm to one side, elbow bent and look at your fingers. Other arm by your side. Touch the tip of each finger with your thumb 5 times. Repeat on the other side. Then repeat on each side, starting with your little finger to the index finger touching your thumb.
Motor Mover Marvel: Each session, a child who has stood out as having demonstrated they have, for example, listened well, made the most progress from their last session, concentrated as best they can, etc., will be named the Motor Mover Marvel. This provides them with the privilege of leading the next session! The children love doing this and all children will get the chance to do this at least once or twice a year. They strive to be the Motor Mover Marvel so that they get the opportunity to lead the class for a period of time. What great experience for them!
New York Road Runners
The mission of New York Road Runners is very much aligned with WPNY’s vision. It aims to ‘help and inspire people through running’ and the program for children, the Rising New York Road Runners, focuses on developing physical literacy (‘the ability, confidence and desire to be physically active for life’) in children.
The Rising New York Road Runners is led by Miss Wood (Grade 2 Lead Teacher). The program has been met with huge enthusiasm from students! Any child who is in Kindergarten upwards is given the opportunity to take part in fun running activities once a week during lunchtime play. A range of games are played such as Flamingo Tag, Capture the Flag and Sharks and Minnows that get the children moving to increase their physical fitness as well as improving their teambuilding skills and tactical thinking.
Throughout the year, the sessions children take part in are logged and children can earn certificates and prizes! All children who complete five sessions will be awarded with a Rising New York Road Runners wrist band. Miss Wood is really excited to see where the program can go as the school continues to grow. There are already Grade 2 children helping out (mentoring) at the Kindergarten sessions and there are opportunities for children to get involved in Fun Runs around the city.
Yoga and Mindfulness After-School Club
Yoga and Mindfulness will be offered to children from Kindergarten upwards by Mrs Wright (Pre-K Lead Teacher) in the form of an After-School Club. The vision of WPNY recognizes that participating in yoga and mindfulness is helpful to children and will have a positive impact on their overall health and well-being.
Having spent time with the staff discussing how Sport and Well-Being is approached and facilitated at WPNY, it really comes across how much thought and intention is behind it. From the day-to-day curriculum, the extra-curricular offerings, the additional programs that are encompassed within the daily lives of our children, namely Motor Movers and the Road Runners…it is so incredibly impressive!
Thank you Mr Kinsey for being such an inspiring and thoughtful Head of Sport! And thank you to Miss Wood, Miss Cox, Mrs Wright and all the staff at WPNY who are committed to delivering the Physical Education vision in the best way possible! THANK YOU!