At Concordia, we aim to provide the best education for our students in order to prepare them to respond to the 21st-century requirements through an internationally-minded approach. We aim to reflect this philosophy in every subject and activity that we teach.
When we introduced parkour at Concordia as a subject and when we purchased the parkour equipment, we hoped that this subject would foster trans-disciplinary, cross-division partnerships more naturally, and, hence, that we would be able to provide even richer opportunities and experiences for our students. It is wonderful now to see that our hopes are beginning to take shape.
In Elementary, we implemented parkour at all grade levels. Students enjoyed parkour and challenged themselves to learn new ways in which they can use specific skills while making decisions in a very short time. Our students have grown to think more critically while having fun and taking very personalized risks. After six weeks of exploring parkour daily, students can perform stunning moves on the equipment by going under, over, jumping, and landing at a very high-speed level, while being safe and having fun.
Here are some of the benefits that students may gain from participating in proper parkour classes at any age level. Parkour lessons get students moving and the courses require extreme focus and open-mindedness. This type of parkour opportunity promotes personal goal setting based on a student’s individual abilities rather than competing alongside another person. The types of moves that are utilized in parkour and free-running range from very basic to very complex skills, such as balancing, walking, jumping, running, rolling, swinging, climbing, and twisting. It’s a fun, engaging, and motivating type of exercise, which targets a holistic approach to learning, rather than isolated types of physical activity. This year, we started to use parkour in Grade One, and the students have tackled this new challenges enthusiastically.
As a teacher, listening to the student comments during the parkour sessions, I could only rejoice and marvel at how their minds naturally embraced new knowledge and understanding. While interacting with one another, students were able to make connections between sports and other disciplines, ultimately developing their cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills.
Andrei Ghicu is a certified parkour instructor and physical education teacher in Concordia's Elementary School.