Physical Education

Girl bouncing a ball on racquet

At Mount Tamalpais School, we believe that a successful student is a healthy student and that building fitness habits start as early as kindergarten. We believe a strong body is connected to a strong mind in the classroom. That’s one of the many reasons why we choose to build Physical Education into every single day of our Lower School student’s life.

Built on the California State Framework, our MTS physical education program is – in a word – fun. It’s also an intentionally developmental program that builds physical fitness and teaches athletic skills from Kindergarten through 8th grade. Starting with P.E. five times a week in the lower school, every student develops the skills and aptitude for lifelong fitness. Team sports complement the P.E. program beginning in the 3rd grade, and offer students the experience of healthy competition in a safe, nurturing environment. Stretching and endurance exercises are part of daily P.E. classes at every grade level. Skills are taught progressively, and each year students are introduced to new activities and equipment to enhance learning.

Curriculum for Lower School: Grades K-5

Lessons are designed a promote self image, while reinforcing the concepts of sportsmanship and fair play. The Kindergarten thru 3rd Grade curriculum emphasizes daily warm-up exercises, endurances activities, progressive motor skill work, and cooperative play. In Grades 3-5, the students learn the basic rules of sports, participate lead-up games, and game play.

Curriculum for the Middle School: Grades 6-8

Middle School students have Physical Education 3 times a week. The program is designed to focus on individual, partner, and team sports. Lessons are build-on skills, lead-up games, game play, and tournament play.

Program Components

Lower School kids in gym class

Our Facilities

The athletic facilities include a large gymnasium with six indoor basketball hoops (including 4 adjustable height side hoops), a volleyball court, and a premier climbing wall.

The outdoor space features a large multi-use field with a regulation running long jump pit, a blacktop area with a 4 permanent basketball hoops, and a state-of-the-art play structure.

Middle Schoolers playing field hockey

Intentional Lesson Plans

At MTS, our P.E. program has been specifically formulated over many years to teach targeted sports skills to specific age groups. We begin with basic motor skills in Kindergarten (jumping rope, throwing, catching, skipping, running, etc), and build on these through 3rd Grade.

Beginning in 4th grade we teach individual and team sports. Each sport unit begins with a breakdown of the various associated skills, lead-up games, and competition or tournament play.

Field Day

Field Day is an annual tradition in the spring organized by the P.E. teachers full of fun physical activities. Buddy Bears spend the entire day together and move from station to station. Stations include field games like sack races, tug-o'-war, 50 meter dash, and hula hoop, as well as indoor stations include golf putting, juggling, and musical chairs.

The day concludes with the much anticipated volleyball match between the 8th grade and faculty. Rumor has it that the faculty has lost before, but nobody can remember when it happened-- or is willing to admit defeat!

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Field Day
Field Day
Girl jumping in PE class
Kindergarten PE class with parachute

P.E. Faculty

Jennifer Bennett

Jennifer Bennett

Physical Education Teacher, Basketball, Volleyball, Track & Field Coach
Cathal Murray

Cathal Murray

Physical Education Teacher, Cross Country, Basketball, Track & Field Coach