Physical Education

In the Physical Education program, Upper School students have a variety of options to promote lifelong health and fitness. Each student has the opportunity to be successful and explore their individual preferences in fitness. Students can pursue a passion in specialized courses, such as Yoga, or widen their perspectives in broader courses, such as Lifetime Activities.

One semester of Health and three semesters of P.E. are required for graduation. Students can take the same course multiple times but are encouraged to try at least two different P.E. electives throughout their high school career.

P.E. courses are open to grades nine through twelve unless otherwise noted.

Semester Courses

Dance

Second semester

This class gives students a language in movement and increases their knowledge of the basic elements of dance. Styles may include modern dance, basic ballet, break dancing, hip-hop and improvisation. Class assignments involve concepts for creative expression, movement ideas, choreography, and development of a personal aesthetic. Watching videos and attending professional performances help students develop observational skills and expose students to the broad spectrum of dance as a cultural medium. Dance can be taken for either Fine Arts or P.E. credit. Students notify the registrar of what type of credit they choose before class begins. Credit selection cannot be changed after the add/ drop period ends.

Golf

Second semester

Golf class emphasizes the workings of the golf swing as well as learning about course management and etiquette. Students learn proper technique of the golf swing including: grip, stance, posture, and club selection. Practice takes place at the UW driving range and Jackson Park’s short nine course. This class is open to all ability levels.

Health

Required, ninth grade
First or second semester

Health is designed to give students a better understanding of how their decisions can impact their lives. Topics covered include: the five components of health (mental, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual), drugs and alcohol, human relationships/sexuality, nutrition, fitness, infectious diseases, self-esteem, and stress. Health is a graduation requirement usually taken in ninth grade. Students transferring to University Prep in tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades without previous high school health are required to take the course as an independent study.

Individualized P.E.

First or second semester

This course is an alternative to registration in other P.E. classes for students who participate in sports at a high level. Eligibility for IPE is based on three requirements: the student must be actively engaged in the sport for the full semester, participate in the sport approximately ten hours a week, and demonstrate a need for flexibility in their course schedule. The course largely takes place online with assignments on goal setting, sports nutrition, cross training and others.

Prerequisite: Written proposal application with a semester-long activity plan that details the activity, personal/team supervisor, and the reason for requesting IPE. Students may not take IPE twice in one year and can take the course a maximum of twice overall. The course is not open to ninth grade students.

Lifetime Activities

First or second semester

This course gives students the knowledge and experience in a number of activities that they can perform throughout their lifetime in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This course also exposes students to the outside world and gives them the knowledge and power to participate in activities outside of a school setting. The activities in this course are currently popular all over the country and include those unique to Seattle. They may include biking, running and hiking, softball, rock climbing, volleyball, Frisbee, bowling, nordic skiing, snowshoeing, kayaking, and more. Students are introduced to basic nutrition concepts and the role nutrition plays in achieving a lifestyle of wellness. Students also assess their level of physical fitness and work throughout the semester to maintain or improve that level.

Racket Sports

First or second semester

Students work on skills specific to a variety of racket sports. Activities progress from basic skills and drills to game strategy. Units may include tennis, badminton, soft tennis, pickleball, speedminton, and table tennis. Students also have the opportunity to explore their creative side through group projects and presentations. The class is open to students of all skill levels.

Weight Training

First or second semester

This course helps students improve foundational and functional muscle strength, endurance, and general conditioning. Activities include individualized and group workouts and projects. Topics covered include safety, training theory and methods, bones and muscles, history and current trends in fitness, and the application of the FITT principle (Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type) with the goal of designing a personalized full-body weights program by the end of the semester. The course is open to beginning weight lifters as well as students with prior experience.

Yoga

First or second semester

This course cultivates breath control, strength, balance, flexibility, and coordination while developing concentration and awareness. Students learn the basic postures and how to link the yoga poses together with the breath to create a dynamic moving meditation. The class intends to develop an inward attention and awareness of the present moment that assists in the synthesis of body and mind. The class includes an introduction to meditation and the theory of yoga, and considers how to refine the mechanics and alignment principles of the physical practice. This class starts at the beginner level and advances appropriately as the student's abilities increase.

Intensive Courses

Golf

Second intensive

This course emphasizes the complexities of the golf swing as well as course management and etiquette. Students learn proper technique of the golf swing and analyze their grip, stance, posture, and club selection. Students can expect to be physically active at the driving range and the golf course. Students need to be able to walk a full course while carrying their golf bag.

Students also independently research with a critical eye and present other aspects of golf, such as the history of golf, famous golf courses, physics of a spinning golf ball, golf course construction, golf course maintenance, and/or socioeconomics of golf. Class takes place at various locations during the intensive: the UW driving range, local par 3’s such as Greenlake and Jackson Park, and a variety of full 18-hole courses around Seattle. This class is open to all ability levels.

Health

This course is an alternative to semester Health, specifically for ninth grade students who are enrolled in the full year of an instrumental music class.

This class helps students develop their health education knowledge and skills, by focusing on decision making, goal setting, self-management, interpersonal communication, assessing information, analyzing influences, and advocacy. All of these skills are necessary for each student to reach their potential as an intellectually courageous, socially responsible citizen of the world. These skills are paired with functional health information and current events to create a dynamic and meaningful experience for students. Students explore this health intensive through a variety of ways, including community engagement, guest speakers, and in-class projects.


Lifetime Activities

First or second intensive

This course provides students with the knowledge and experience in a variety of lifetime activities in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This course also exposes students to the outside world and gives them the knowledge and power to participate in activities outside of a school setting. The activities in this class are currently popular all over the country and include those unique to Seattle. Activities are based on the weather. The January intensive is more focused on indoor and winter activities, and the May/June intensive is more focused on outdoor and spring/summer activities. Units may include biking, running and hiking, softball, rock climbing, volleyball, ultimate, bowling, nordic skiing, snowshoeing, kayaking, and more. Students are also introduced to basic nutrition concepts and the role nutrition plays in achieving a lifestyle of wellness.

Yoga

Second intensive

In this deep dive, students develop internal awareness and physical expression through the practice of asana and pranayama, the exploration of yogic philosophy, and connections between body and mind. Students create meaningful projects associated with the eight limbs of yoga and the chakra system. Students study the history of yoga and perform simple, yet profound, exercises in mindfulness, compassion, and gratitude to deepen their understanding of the yoga system. Students explore integrating their personal selves to their inner communities and finally to the greater world throughout our studies. Field trips deepen the students’ experiences and connect with experts in the field. Students will leave with a toolbox of strategies to improve wellness, de-stress, and continue practicing yoga both on and off the mat in their lives after the immersion.