The Pelham Physical Education Curriculum centers on three main approaches:

Grades K-2 Movement-education

Grade 3 Movement-education/skill themes

Grade 4 Skill-themes

Grade 5 Sport-education

Movement Education

Movement-education is a child-centered approach that helps students understand how the body moves. The main categories of the movement vocabulary are body awareness, 
spatial awareness, effort awareness, and the relationships between movements. The theme of each lesson is generated from this vocabulary and offers the students the 
opportunity to explore in a safe environment. The philosophy of the program encourages individualized creativity within the parameters of the theme of the day’s lesson. 
Problems are presented in a logical progression to encourage experimentation. Movement education is noncompetitive with the hope of raising a student’s confidence in different 
physical endeavors. This individualized approach leads to very high activity time and helps to raise students’ fitness levels. Students who complete movement education are 
confident attempting many physical challenges in the upper grades. 

Skill Themes

A skill-theme lesson uses the philosophy of movement education but applies it to a real sport-skilled situation. Activities are chosen to highlight one skill or theme rather 
then a full competitive game. As an example, students might be challenged to dribble a basketball at different levels before concluding on the level that gives them the best 
opportunity for control. A game might follow that only uses the basketball dribbling skill, saving shooting and passing for another day. Competition is introduced at this level. It 
can be self-competition, such as trying to better one’s individual score, or a team effort that involves trying to reach a goal, rather than outscoring their opponent. 

Sport Education

In a sport-education curriculum, students experience all of the components of a sports season and what it means to be a member of a team. The season (unit) starts with a 
preseason, in which students name their team and assign different responsibilities to team members, for example, scorekeepers, statisticians, and equipment managers. During 
the preseason, captains run practices that prepare the team to use the skills needed for that particular sport. During the season, teams play games and practice, leading up to 
a postseason. During the postseason, a class champion is crowned. Sport seasons are chosen based on class size and the facilities available.

Fitness Education

In the primary grades, the main focus on fitness is based on high-activity time in the movement education curriculum. Pelham movement education classes have activity 
levels from 60% to 90% of the class time. The structure of the class allows the students to challenge themselves at their own pace. Starting at the end of third grade, through 
fifth grade, the focus on fitness is much more knowledge-based. Students learn about the concepts of health-related fitness. By fifth grade, they are asked to create their own 
personal fitness program. At the end of fourth grade, students take a fitness test gives them information about their bodies. At the start of fifth grade, they use this information 
to help create their personal fitness program. They take the same fitness test at the end of fifth grade, with the emphasis on improving their fitness level from the previous year.
The goal of every elementary physical education class in Pelham is to meet the standards of a quality physical education program as defined by the National Association for Sport 
and Physical Education, an opportunity to learn, meaningful content and appropriate instruction.