The Physical Education at ECFS encompasses Physical Education and Movement at the Ethical Culture and Fieldston Lower divisional levels, and a full interschool Athletics program at the Fieldston Middle and Fieldston Upper levels.
The physical education/movement programming for Pre-K through second grade at Ethical Culture and at Fieldston Lower is founded on movement education and exploration. Students are taught about spatial awareness and interacting with peers with an emphasis on games, rhythms, and locomotor/movement concepts. In third through fifth grade, the curriculum explores personal fitness, sports, and games. In each unit, game rules are introduced with a focus on sportsmanship, teamwork, skill development, and strategy. Non-traditional physical education units such as yoga, juggling, cup-stacking, and circus art keep young minds and bodies active and engaged and demonstrate to students that they can experience movement and stay fit in a variety of ways.
All sixth grade students have regular physical education with an emphasis on skill building in a variety of team sports, fitness, and recreational activities. Sports activities include basketball, cross country, flag football, Frisbee, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, track, volleyball, and weight training. Recreational activities may include floor hockey, pickle ball, badminton, speedball, and team-building games.
All sixth grade students must pass the swim unit. In addition to our regular PE program, our seventh and eighth grade students are eligible to participate in a team sport. Teams are formed seasonally with tryouts and practices being held during normal PE classes. Middle school sports include football, soccer, field hockey, cross country, basketball, lacrosse, swimming, baseball, softball and track and field. All seventh and eighth grade students must pass the swim unit.
In the first year of upper school physical education (PE), our students focus on developing personal fitness, personal safety, and community responsibility. In PE they must participate in swimming, CPR training, a nutrition and exercise unit and a course in health. As students enter tenth grade, they are allowed to fulfill their PE requirement in an elective program that includes seasonal intramurals, fitness room activities, yoga, T’ai Chi and aerobics. Students may also fulfill their graduation requirement by taking dance classes or Alternative Gym Credit. In order to receive credit for dance and/or Alternate Gym Credit, the activities must be of such vigor they surpass the regular two day per week requirement. Ballet Hispanico, rowing, squash, and Alvin Ailey Dance are examples of programs for which students have received credit.
Athletics are a key aspect of student life at Fieldston Upper and more than 65% of the student body participates in at least one sport. Our teams have enjoyed considerable success winning league and state championships in basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, softball, and volleyball. The athletic complex features a double gym that allows for two simultaneous full-court basketball games, a fitness center and training rooms, and a multi-purpose room for team meetings, yoga, CPR, and aerobics. There is also a six-lane competition length pool.