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Outdoor Space/Time and Physical Education for Students

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What type of outdoor space is it offered to students at Westmont?

Westmont’s sprawling 8-acre campus is rich with opportunities for students to enjoy their recess or participate in various outdoor learning, and the direct access to the seashore park, Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park, makes hiking and beach trips regular weekly activities for our students. The playground, the basketball court, the extensive grass field, the wooden area, the Learning Garden – we have a happy outdoor space for everyone.

Are any classes held outdoors?

Westmont students have many opportunities to learn outside the regular classroom. Maria Montessori believed that the outdoor environment is a natural extension of the classroom. The Learning Garden is a great space for teaching opportunities, and so are the few shelters we have on campus for learning outside the classroom. Given our backyard is a forest and beach access is a 15 minute hike through the forest, our classes make extensive use of both during the day.

How much time do the students spend outside?

Students from all our programs are spending outside their 30-minute recess and their Physical Education classes outdoor. Early Years classes spend approximatelty half of their day outside. Other programs, Upper Elementary and Middle School have one day a week where they spend the majority of their day outside.

How is physical education incorporated in the Montessori curriculum?

Movement is an important component of the Montessori curriculum. In her book “The secret of childhood”, Maria Montessori wrote: “ Through movement we come in contact with external reality and it’s through these contacts that we eventually acquire even abstract ideas.”

Our goal is that each student develops a life-long appreciation of the importance and benefits of physical exercise and activity and discovers their own natural athletic ability. In the Early Primary/Kindergarten program, the students are going on daily walks and hikes, are introduced to yoga and a variety of other physical exercises (such as throwing/catching/kicking a ball) are incorporated into their every day, through play. Starting in the Lower Elementary program, in addition to  hiking and yoga, the students are engaged daily in a formal Physical Education class where they learn skills and games in a supportive atmosphere. Development of gross motor skills, self-confidence, coordination, team building, cooperation, and good sportsmanship are just some skills emphasized as part of this class.

What type of sports do students learn and are practicing at Westmont as part of the Physical Education class?

There is a variety of physical activities that our students are involved in, and activities can vary from program to program. Types of activities include: badminton, cricket, basketball, track and field, soccer, football, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, spike ball, boot camps, yoga, and dance.

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