St. John has a strong commitment to physical education, healthy nutrition, and participation in team sports. St. John’s full-time Athletic Director provides physical education and nutrition instruction at each grade level. St. John offers team sports for girls and boys of all ages. Go Eagles!
St. John Physical Education
Physical education plays a critical role in developing the whole student. Physical activity affects healthy emotional and brain development, helps students learn to work together, and provides a foundation for lifelong health. St. John School works with San Francisco’s Benchmark Athletics to provide a quality physical education program that deeply values and respects our students’ physical, social, and emotional growth. Our partnered PE program increases physical movement, supports social-emotional growth, introduces a variety of sports to learn and love, supports safe and successful recess, and emphasizes healthy nutrition.
Movement and Physical Skills Development
St. John’s high-quality Physical Education program serves an important role in building motor skills, encouraging physical fitness, and developing a love for moving and playing; all foundations for lifelong health. In order to experience feelings of success and achievement in physical activity, children benefit from being exposed to a variety of movement forms. Through the course of each year, St. John students practice a multitude of basic physical skills, including throwing, catching, stretching, jumping over objects, changing directions, being able to pace oneself, and learning proper sit-ups and proper pushups. At each grade level, practicing several different types of movement forms benefits our students’ brain development and motor learning.
Social-Emotional Education in PE
St. John’s PE program also teaches non-physical skills that are essential for succeeding in sports. Our program emphasizes valuing and demonstrating respect, expressing a positive attitude, being a team player, being a good winner and a good loser, and demonstrating good sportsmanship, humility, and leadership. We understand that sometimes it takes courage to try a new activity. While students’ skills and emotional maturity improve year over year, effort and participation are praised more than mastery. At St. John, we encourage students to have fun and get in the game!
Sports Education: learning the game
St. John students are introduced to new organized sports throughout the year, learning the basic concepts, skills, and rules for each. Through this instruction and practice, students can discover athletic activities they enjoy, aiding in the development of a lifelong active lifestyle. They are also well prepared to participate in many sports they encounter as they grow. Sports instruction includes introduction and skill development in:
- long-distance running
- ultimate frisbee
- yoga, and many more
Recess provides daily opportunities for St. John students to play games together, practicing many of the physical and social-emotional skills they are learning in PE. St. John’s Athletic Director teaches TK, kindergarten, and elementary students a variety of recess games early in the school year to help support student success in physically active recess, sharing a set of rules and expectations, and playing well together. Recess games vary by year, but often include:
- Freeze dance.
- Sharks, alligators, rabbits (aka sharks and minnows)
- Flag Tag (our most popular PE activity)
- Line Tag
- Time Tag
In addition to instilling a love for physical movement and providing skills to play a variety of games, St. John’s physical education program builds a foundation for a healthy lifestyle through nutrition education. Our PE nutrition instruction helps students gain an appreciation for healthy foods and how they benefit their bodies. Students are introduced to basic food groups, healthy portions, and which foods are healthy choices, and learn how to make healthy snacks. Students also learn to identify unhealthy food and begin to understand the impact these foods have on the body.
2nd Grade Guacamole Party
A highlight of our physical and nutrition education occurs in second grade. St. John second graders eagerly anticipate the annual Guacamole Party, a lesson in learning to appreciate the process of growing food. The Guacamole Party helps our students understand that most food sources come from a seed and, if treated properly, that seed can grow into something much bigger that provides for generations. Students use avocado seeds to start their own small plants, and then make and eat their own guacamole. Through the semester the students care for their plants and watch the seed crack open and root. The lesson includes valuable metaphors for their growing selves. Like our second-grade students, each seed is unique, with variations in size and shape. Each grows at a different rate, and each requires a certain amount of space, time, water, nutrition, and care to thrive.
St. John Team Sports
St. John School fields team sports through Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) and San Francisco Parks and Recreation. We focus on having fun while learning the skills of each sport, not necessarily on “winning”. Good sportsmanship is imperative for competitors, coaches, and parents. We embrace CYO’s motto: Remember: the game is for the kids. Nonetheless, our kids are often competitive in the leagues and we have been blessed with several championship teams over the years.
St. John School participates in a variety of team sports, following the interests of girls and boys in each grade. St. John partners with San Francisco Youth Baseball League (SFYBL) and the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) Athletics Program to offer St. John students the following team sports:
Co-Ed T-Ball & Baseball
Kindergarten Co-ed T-Ball (SFYBL)
Grade 1–2 Co-ed Coach-Pitch Baseball (SFYBL)
Grade 3-8 Co-ed Baseball (CYO)
Grade 3–8 Girls and Boys Basketball (CYO)
Co-Ed Cross Country
Grade 3–8 Co-ed Cross Country (CYO)
Grade 3–8 Girls and Boys Soccer (CYO)
Co-Ed Track and Field
Grade 3-8 Co-ed Track and Field
Grade 3-8 Girls and Boys Volleyball (CYO)
Benchmark Athletics – a St. John School Physical Education Partner
Benchmark Athletics has been serving Bay Area schools since 2014, providing athletic department management, physical education instructions, sports camps, and distance learning support. Benchmark Athletics offers a quality physical education program that develops increased self-esteem and an appreciation of health for K-8th Bay Area students. Learn more about Benchmark Athletics, St. John’s trusted Athletic Department partner .