The purposeful and organized instruction given to pupils thought physical movement must serve to equip them for obedient service to God. Like the other subjects, physical education has to serve a larger goal: Train yourself in godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (I Timothy 4:7&8)
It is an ongoing challenge for the reformed school to maintain the service role of physical education. A consuming passion for sports and its heroes is part of the spirit of our times. As a result, the pressure for world conformity is felt very strongly in the area of physical education. The antithesis which distinguishes believers from unbelievers has to remain visible also in this area of the school curriculum. Our school program, therefore, is not structured to promote aggressive competition or self-glorification through physical achievements. Rather, we strive for a balance of activities that are wholesome and beneficial for children called to lives of obedience.
Maintaining physical fitness through proper exercise, rest, diet, and hygiene is a recognition that we belong to Christ with body and soul (L.D. 1; I Cor. 6:19). A person who is physically fit is better able to carry out his office and calling in life. The physical education program, therefore, must serve to equip children with the knowledge and skills to care for their bodies out of obedience to Christ and for His service.
In physical education classes, children are required to cooperate, to work as a team, and to demonstrate self-discipline and self-sacrifice through fair play and good sportsmanship. These are not merely social skills to be acquired. These are lessons in Christian living which are to be applied in the classroom, on the playground, and on the buses.
Physical activity provides a healthy outlet for children’s energy and free time. The apostle Paul exhorts the believers in Corinth: You were bought with a price. So glorify God n your body (I Cor. 6:19). By teaching children the skills for various games and sports, the school equips them with wholesome and enjoyable ways to occupy leisure time.
John Calvin has adopted and adapted the OPHEA (Ontario Physical and Health Educators Association) program to provide a complete and well-rounded program with an emphasis both on fitness and skill development in a sequential fashion throughout the grades. It has the additional advantage of being in line with the program from the Ministry of Education for elementary schools.
It is the school’s ultimate aim that this training will lead to an appreciation of physical fitness and life-long attention to it and overall physical health. In that way, students will be the better able to fulfill their duty and calling in this life.