What is IB PHE?

by Eva Brindzova, EISB PHE Teacher

This article is mostly addressed to parents and students who are new to International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) and the Physical and Health Education (PHE) subject. The key component of PHE is the holistic focus on health through theory and practice sessions which provide experience in a variety of contexts and is not just about playing games or sports. The goals of the  IB PHE subject are for students to understand and appreciate the value of being physically active and to be able to make smart and healthy life choices. The transition from Primary PE to Academy PHE can be rather difficult, however, but with consistent guidance and effort, all learners can succeed and understand the IB PHE program.

The structure of the MYP PHE programme is 75% theory (written work) and 25% practical (performance/physical engagement). Therefore, we need to ensure that we develop students who can engage with the knowledge and understanding within a unit of work, planning and applying this knowledge to enhance their performance and who are able to reflect and improve their performance.

“So are students sitting down for 75% of the time?”No, we try and engage students through practical activity at least 75% of the time which means that students have to be very efficient at performing in the written criteria, and constantly thinking and reflecting during physical engagement.

Assessment in PHE: Students are assessed across four distinct areas:

Criterion A – Knowing and understanding

Criterion B – Planning for Performance

Criterion C – Performance

Criterion D – Reflection

As you can see, the journey that students make is not quite as simple as going to the sports hall and having fun! We use a mixture of formative and summative assessment to track students progress.

Teaching methods and pedagogy

A normal PHE lesson starts with a warm-up, the main content, and tasks to engage students to enable them to fulfil their potential by meeting all the assessment criteria, whilst being mindful we are aiming to create decent, functioning human beings who will contribute to society in a positive manner. Tasks are a mixture of teacher-led, student-led and guided-discovery and some lessons are flipped where homework is to prepare for the next lesson.

Units and Learning outcomes – 1st Semester 2019 

Our Academy Year 7 and Year 8 were introduced to the concepts of healthy lifestyles and engaged with a unit of work based on fitness. Here students learnt how to design their own song workout using full-body exercises.  Our older Year 10-11 students were exposed to a Harm Minimisation unit and a Yoga unit. In the Harm Minimisation unit, they gained knowledge on how to minimise risks to their body and brain by being conscious of the negative effects of smoking, alcohol, drugs, anorexia etc. During the Yoga unit, they experienced different asanas and created their own yoga routine. The final outcome was to present their yoga routine to their classmates. Our students now know how to manage stress, morning tiredness or get rid of back pain through practising yoga. 

I truly hope that for next semester with a proper multi-purpose gym, our learners will also develop themselves through play football, basketball, volleyball, ultimate frisbee,  game creation, athletics, and rounders.

I wish all parents, students and their friends a very Merry Christmas!

Ms Eva Brindzova

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