Academic Insights: TCS Health & Physical Education Department

The Health and Physical Education Department (HPE) continues to be a hub of activity, literally, at Trinity College School. This is the second year in our new home in the Arnold Massey ’55 Athletic Centre. The staff and students are starting to get quite comfortable with the classroom, fitness centre, gyms and HPE office. Some decorating was in order for the walls in the HPE office, where archival athletic and HPE class photos have been placed to pay homage to the history of TCS. The old gymnasiums and former departmental faculty are part of the display. The hallway outside the office has also received a new noticeboard, which serves as a means to communicate the happenings in the department as well as a welcome sign to the HPE area.

Academically, the gyms and classrooms have been busy places. The Grade 9 students are actively engaged through the Teaching Games for Understanding (TGFU) model of teaching sport. Classes just finished the target games unit, where they were able to test their aim with various games such as cornhole, kan-jam, tchoukball and dodgeball. Earlier in the year, a few of the classes were treated to a special guest during the lacrosse unit (NLL Buffalo Bandits captain Steve Priolo), who helped to bring knowledge and skill to the class. In health classes, students have been learning about substance use and misuse, health dimensions and nutrition. The nutrition unit culminated with a fun class of smoothie making using fresh ingredients such as spinach, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, pomegranate juice, bananas and avocado.

The Grade 11 Outdoor Education (PAD3O) classes have been outside when the weather permits for their winter activities unit. Some highlights have been winter shelter building, snowshoeing and Nordic skiing around campus. To culminate the unit, the classes recently attended Brimacombe for a downhill ski/snowboard trip. After the March Break, the Outdoor Education students will start gearing up for their summative camping trip on May 12th to 14th. The students will be learning vital camping skills such as fire building, camp set-up, the art of tarp set-up, knots and canoeing. Students will then be assessed during the camping trip on their proficiency and knowledge of these skills.

The HPE department continues to consist of a dedicated group of teachers including Angie Collins, Jacqui Priolo, Erin McGee, Luke O’Connell, Matt Murray and Jen Powles. Additionally, it has been excellent to have residential assistants Richard Abbott and Jane Morton helping out with coverages and honing their teaching craft. It has also been great having Taylor Herrington ’13 back in the department in her second year as a residential assistant, helping with the Grade 10 PAL2O (Healthy Living and Large-Group Activities) and Outdoor Education courses.

- By Tom Tansley, head of health & physical education