Health and Physical Education


Health at Friends’ Central is incorporated into the curriculum in all three divisions.  At Friends' Central our health curriculum is robust and multifaceted. The students are part of a supportive environment which leads to frank and open discussions

Mission Statement

Our health and physical education program educates students to incorporate health and physical activity in their daily living. We teach the whole child while respecting individuality to help empower students to make good decisions and lead active and productive lives.

Lower School 

All children, regardless of skill level, have an equal opportunity to participate in a fun and safe environment in order to develop an enjoyment of physical activity, movement exploration, and cooperative play.  Our curriculum also strives to promote a healthy lifestyle through wellness education.  

Development of gross and fine motor skills, balance, hand-eye/foot-eye coordination, sense of personal space, spacial awareness, body awareness and positive conflict resolution are of primary importance. Also important to teach at this age are inclusion, creativity, listening skills, social skills, self-esteem, and taking on new challenges.

As students get older, individual and team sport skills and strategies are introduced. Students are encouraged to develop good sportsmanship, cooperation, and teamwork. They are exposed to an increasing  wide variety of sports and activities and taught the importance of hydration, warm-up, stretching, and cool down. Yoga is incorporated to teach mindfulness, breathing and body awareness. Critical thinking and problem solving strategies are introduced. Emphasis is on fun, learning, and fitness rather than competition.

In grades 4 and 5, lessons on health are introduced which include wellness, nutrition, decision making, hygiene, puberty, sexuality, anatomy and body systems.  

Middle School

Interscholastic athletics begin in grade 6. We also offer non-competitive activities to round out our Middle School athletic program. Athletics are part of the school day in the Middle School at Friends' Central and offer a good opportunity to learn about sportsmanship, team building, and commitment. In grade 7, the contents of the health course include a disease/disorder project, where students research a topic, design a written medium, and present that information to their peers. The human sexuality unit focuses on healthy relationships, communication skills, HIV/AIDS education, and good decision making. Our third unit, healthy lifestyles, discusses the importance of proper nutrition, exercise, sleep, body image, and a drug-free existence.

Upper School

In the Upper School, students must participate in a minimum of four of their twelve trimesters. Two of these seasons must be completed before the end of the sophomore year. During all other trimesters, the students may decide between interscholastic sports or physical education.

In grade 10, CPR/AED is taught by a certified American Red Cross instructor. In the human sexuality unit, students discuss qualities in a partner, intimacy, teenage pregnancy, and sexual harassment. The course integrates peer teaching skills, where students learn how to share knowledge with younger students on topics like drugs and their effects on the human body and how to help someone with an addiction. Students also discuss different stressors in their lives in the healthy lifestyle unit, and they learn positive coping mechanisms such as meditation, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization.

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