In addition to training students’ physical abilities, the sport curriculum at the Nelson Mandela School also aims to promote their social skills and sense of responsibility. All primary students have three sport lessons a week. In grades 1 to 4, the lessons take place at the primary school Aula (sport and assembly hall), in 5th and 6th grade at the Güntzelstrasse sport hall. The latter can be reached on foot. Sport lessons in Flex grade are mostly taught by the class teachers while specialist teachers take over the sport and swimming lessons from 3rd grade onwards. The teaching language depends on the teacher’s mother tongue. The department aims to address different types of sports across classes and adjust/develop them according to year levels. While Flex students carry out simple exercises, such as forward rolls in gymnastics classes, the requirements become increasingly complex and challenging over the years. The department plans to offer certain forms of sport (e.g. floor exercises and artistic gymnastics) to all year levels over a certain period of time. Basic exercises will be taught to ensure that all students acquire certain fundamental abilities during the Flex years which can be continuously developed in subsequent grades.
During the Flex years, the focus is on the promotion of teamwork, empathy and fairness among students, especially at the beginning of the school year. This is an opportunity for students to get to know each other and grow together as a class. The students learn that trouble-free, enjoyable gameplay requires compliance with rules and that certain simple strategies affect the efficiency of their actions. During these years, the main emphasis is on the students’ enjoyment of games and physical exercise.
In grade 3, students have two weekly swimming lessons and a further sport lesson in the school hall. At the Nelson Mandela school, 3rd grade students learn about ‘water’ on an interdisciplinary level as part of their IPC programme. Swimming lessons help them overcome any fears they may have and increase their confidence in dealing with the element of water. In the first semester, small performance-independent groups of students are familiarised with water to prevent any stigmatising of students who do not have any swimming skills. In the second semester, students are assigned to groups according to their abilities and are individually prepared for the Seepferdchen or Freischwimmer swimming badges. The weekly sport lesson focuses on sport games and gymnastics, building on the methodological skills acquired during the Flex years.
In grade 4, the impact of sport on physical development and wellbeing, hygiene and health is included in sports lessons on an interdisciplinary basis. Students try out strategies in ball and tag games and are given opportunities to optimise their effectiveness in the context of group- and team-based games. Teachers observe and assess the consistency and quality of the students’ physical skills and abilities.
In 5th and 6th grade, students have two sport lessons a week at Güntzelhalle. Exercises and knowledge of techniques and strategies are established in grade 5 and are subsequently consolidated in grade 6. Student involvement is promoted through the students’ independent development of exercises as well as reciprocal evaluation and self-assessment. The extensive range of equipment at Güntzelhalle allows students to learn about the practical set-up of apparati. Working together in small, purpose-based teams, students cooperate on implementing and setting up equipment and exercise sequences. On top of this, teachers aim to encourage students to take a constructive approach to conflict resolution and train their ability to empathize. Internal mixed-grade (5/6) competitions are held with a view to promoting fairness, compliance with acknowledged rules and the judgment/coordination of students’ conduct in the context of both their own and the opposing team.
With grades 5 and 6 taking part in the Bundesjugendspiele (annual sport event at German schools), the emphasis in the summer months is on track and field. Students will exercise as much as possible in the open air and are encouraged to develop and increase their stamina, speed, and techniques in the fields of running, throwing and jumping.
The school also organises internal competitions in various disciplines – primarily international games – for all other grades. Given the Nelson Mandela School’s range of nationalities and cultural diversity, mixed-grade sport festivals are held which present and involve students in sport games from different countries. On top of this, the proceeds from regular sport runs are used to finance school projects (e.g. redesign of the school yard).
Digital media such as whiteboards are predominantly employed in grades 5 and 6 to prepare students for certain subject areas (e.g. parcours). They are also used to introduce new sports or illustrate certain rules and exercise sequences. Principally, digital media are primarily employed when the sport hall or Aula is occupied and the weather conditions prevent lessons outside.