Hewitt News

Health, Wellness, and a Lifelong Passion for Physical Activity
Chris Leaver and James Oates, Physical Education Teachers

Hewitt’s physical education program provides students with the tools they need to live a healthy and active lifestyle while instilling a passion for physical activity and movement that goes beyond school hours and lasts a lifetime. Our P.E. offerings include classes that center around movement and fitness, sports technique and strategy, and yoga and dance instruction, creating a holistic approach to the mental and physical wellness of our students. Hewitt girls learn early on that they all have something to offer and gain from their physical education classes. By ensuring that a healthy competitive spirit is accompanied by supportive inclusivity for all students regardless of their athletic ability, Hewitt’s P.E. program succeeds in teaching girls to find their own passion for physical activity. 

In lower school, Hewitt’s physical education program focuses on establishing and developing fundamental locomotor movements such as running, jumping, throwing, catching, and kicking. Through their introduction to gymnastics, lower school students begin building upper and lower body strength, and as they move from kindergarten through fourth grade they are steadily introduced to the foundations of sports and fitness. Lower school P.E. classes place a strong emphasis on teamwork, empathy, and sportswomanship. During a game of pinball, for example, third graders learn to lead a small team and collaborate on strategy to see who can knock over the most bowling pins using a variety of throwing techniques. Meanwhile, kindergarteners follow a gymnastics circuit of jumping, climbing, and balancing activities, practicing the art of coordination and agility, learning to patiently wait for their turn, and cheering on classmates who might need a bit of extra support to master a particular challenge.  

By fifth grade, Hewitt students are ready to use the foundational knowledge and understanding of movement and technique they developed in lower school to start exploring specific sports in more depth. Designed to align with and support the athletic calendar, middle school P.E. classes cover units on soccer, volleyball, basketball, and badminton, providing student athletes with additional training while encouraging girls who might not consider competitive sports to try joining an athletic team. In middle school, students are also introduced to yoga and dance instruction, offering them a well-rounded approach to traditional sports as well as overall movement and stretching. As seventh and eighth graders prepare for upper school and varsity athletics, their P.E. curriculum introduces an ever stronger emphasis on the strategic side of sports and physical activity, along with a continued focus on developing individual technique.

After years spent building a foundational understanding of movement, exercise, and teamwork, upper school students are encouraged to focus their physical education experience on an area of fitness that appeals to them, taking ownership of their learning, developing a deep sense of purpose, and gaining valuable lifelong skills in the process. All students in grades nine through twelve have the opportunity to try out for varsity teams, and the majority of our upper school girls join Hewitt Athletics for at least one season each year. Hewitt’s upper school P.E. curriculum also includes classes in yoga, dance, and strength and conditioning, giving students the opportunity to explore and later specialize in one of these disciplines, devote themselves fully to Hewitt Athletics, or participate in both! 

Upon graduation, Hewitt girls leave for the next phase of their academic careers equipped with tools for a healthy and active lifestyle. Whether they choose to pursue college athletics, opt for a serious yoga practice, participate in ongoing dance training, or simply incorporate regular physical activity into their routines, all Hewitt students develop the confidence and knowledge they need to make healthy choices and find pleasure in movement in their everyday lives.