Far too many children reach adolescence or even adulthood without having had solid introductions to a wide variety of sports, and without having experienced the exhilaration of playing on a team across a season, or engaging in individual-level sports. Our evidence-based beliefs about optimizing children’s willingness to take risks in a cognitively and emotionally scaffolded context are integral to our plan for the Wychwood School athletics program. At Wychwood, we consider athletic participation a core component of an excellent liberal arts curriculum, and therefore expect, encourage and support every student’s participation in athletics. Students are not expected to excel in every sport, of course, but to give each new experience their best try.
The structure of our athletics program thus interlocks with what children are learning in their Physical Education course.
In this way, our students can take forward the “growth mindset” that they are developing, with their classmates in sport practice and in their academics, into an appropriately competitive context and discover their own physical and mental strengths in the context of extra-mural tournaments.
This year, Wychwood students participated in a number of athletic meets through the Small School Athletic Federation of which Wychwood School is a member: Cross-Country at Withrow Park and at Sunnybrook Park; Table Tennis, Bowling, Badminton tournaments, and two Track & Field meets (including ball throwing, shotput, javelin throw, running long jump, standing long jump, high jump, 100m, 400m, 800m, and hurdles). In physical education classes, we work on the skills necessary for developing children’s feelings of success in each sport so that students can attend athletic events feeling relaxed and confident.