Learning to work hard and play fair, both in and out of the classroom, is a lesson we teach at every GIIS campus. We offer sports participation to students of all abilities across a large range of activities from basketball, tennis, soccer, athletics and yoga to Taekwondo and badminton, plus our Gold Squad Training programme for promising and competitive players in five ‘Merit Games.' Why do we include such a strong focus on athletics? Recent research suggests that this approach will not only improve students' physical health and stamina, but provides some major brain boosts as well!
The brain-body connection
It’s widely accepted that physical activity is essential to comprehensive health and wellness. From preventing disease and promoting flexibility to building stamina and increasing strength, the list of reasons why exercise should be integrated into kids’ daily routines goes on and on. Exercise is even a proven stress reducer, mood booster and sleep enhancer, and ensuring children get consistent exercise during their early years only serves to maximize these benefits by establishing a consistent pattern of healthy habits.So, what can be done to get kids up and moving? At GIIS, we incorporate regular PE sessions, plus extracurricular activities (ECA) and an exciting annual sports day at all of our campuses.
Doing fun things supports happiness, and happiness has been linked to learning -- hence, the GIIS Happiness Index -- we can think of no better way to get our students to move their bodies than through the joy of sports. According to research published in the academic journal, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, “Children have been found to be receptive to additional daily physical activity, especially when it offers high time-on-task, is fun, and reflects their interests.” In other words, sports earn the unique and rare distinction of being an activity that kids want to do and is actually good for them.
But the benefits of sports aren’t limited merely to the physical. Consider “Brain Boost: How Sport and Physical Activity Enhance Children’s Learning,” a report from Australia’s Department of Sport and Recreation, which highlights the positive link between playing sports and school success. Specifically, the report concludes, participating in sports “enhances cognitive functioning (information processing), memory, concentration, behaviour and academic achievement.” For children ready to take their sports to the next level, the Gold Squad Training programme at GIIS aims to hone sporting talent through specialised coach training, imparted free of charge, and prepares students for participation in national and international-level competitions.
The research is clear: holistic excellence and well being is possible through practice and discipline, and students will find ample opportunities for physical and mental growth while enrolled at GIIS.
Download the latest Global Learning Magazine to learn more about our dynamic instructional model, 9GEMS ™ which offers holistic education to help foster well-being and excellence, including sports programming.