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Educational Insights丨Exercise is Good for the Mind and Body

07 April 2020
From Head of PE and Sports Richard Gater
People the world over are spending much, or even all, of their time in the safety of their homes due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Where space and resources are limited, staying physically fit and healthy is not an easy task; at a time when boosting your immune system and keeping your body healthy has never been more important, even the most basic of exercises can be trying. Moreover, if I had paused for some meditative yoga every time the phrases ‘quarantine’ or ‘self-isolation’ had crossed my path, I’m sure I’d be an expert by now, not to mention the positive effect this could have had on my mental well-being.  


 Learning New Ways to Adapt 

This has been a difficult time for pupils in general, even though Wellington pupils and staff have all shown their amazing ability to adopt new ways of teaching and learning. Perhaps the most adaptable of these experiences has been what I have observed in our pupil’s PE lessons. I take nothing away from my colleagues who ply their trade in the classroom here; it is merely a comment on the stark contrast of teaching that I have become so accustomed to.

Exercising at home

Where our youngest pupils are used to running around a sports hall and picking up new skills, they have adapted to developing their coordination in their living room with a family member. Where our older pupils are much more comfortable honing their technique and skill on the school football pitch, their adaptability to transfer these skills into a skill-related fitness workout in their own home has been enlightening.

Nest Pupils Standing broad jump


 Health is Wealth 

Throughout this period of e-learning, our youngest pupils have continued to develop their fundamental motor skills through fun and instructional videos, including skipping, throwing, catching and movement skills. It has been wonderful to see so many parents taking this opportunity to share these experiences with their children, too. In the junior school, lessons have included yoga, aerobics, high intensity interval training (known as HIIT) workouts and even turned their hands to juggling! Key Stage 3 pupils have been completing a project titled ‘Health is Wealth’, a reflective piece of work designed to make pupils more aware of the choices they make every day that can impact their health and wellbeing.

Aerobics & HIIT

At a time when pupil independence is a real focus, we hope this project has allowed pupils to become more responsible and resilient, taking ownership of their lifelong learning.  


 Enhancing Provision 

To further enhance the provision of physical activity the PE department will be arranging the broadcast of a daily workout that the whole Wellington community can get involved with. More information will follow soon and we do hope you and your family will be able to join us. If not, our advice remains the same; try to find at least 20 minutes each day for exercise.

Senior Pupils at least 20 minutes each day for exercise

For some, this will be taking a walk and for others it will involve something with a slightly higher intensity – either is fine. If there is anything positive to be taken from this whole experience, it is that we hope that our young people have a deeper understanding of the need to develop positive habits early, and maintain a balanced, healthy and active lifestyle throughout their time at Wellington and long after they leave.

Junior Pupils

PE Plan of Vivien