ACS International School

Fit For Life

Published Friday 12th of September 2014 02:12:41 PM

Kent College Pembury has recently seen a strong focus on physical exercise as part of the school�s � Fit for Life� campaign, which is linked to the development of their sport facilities.

Regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age. Physical activity stimulates chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. In addition you may also feel better about yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and self-esteem.
But as well as being physically fit, what other characteristics make us fit for life in terms of the qualities needed to help us deal with life�s ups and downs.

What characteristics will help your child succeed in life? High intelligence, good school, well organised lessons, skilled teachers and high expectations? Although these certainly help, what children bring in terms of their attitude matters even more. Children with the attitude and disposition that encourage good learning will thrive.
When pupils are encouraged to develop good attitudes, their academic performance improves. Increasing evidence suggests that character traits such as resilience, persistence, optimism and courage actively contribute to improved academic standards.

Here are some qualities we should all try to nurture within ourselves:

Joie de Vivre is a quality that that gives someone the ability to love life to its fullest. Unfortunately, for many of us the demands of everyday life can wear us down so that all we see is the less optimistic side of things. We get used to things and people being the way they are, take things for granted and lose sight of the wonders in our life: our health, our strengths, our family, our achievements, our hobbies, and the world around us. We need to make time to appreciate the positive aspects of our lives.

Resilience is essential for successful learning. Resilient children give things a try. They understand that learning has plenty of setbacks but avoid turning mistakes into a major catastrophes.As people grow up and gain knowledge so resilience develops. It can also come from supportive relationships, as well as cultural beliefs and traditions that help people cope with the inevitable setbacks in life.

Being resilient, means that your child will bend but won�t break when faced with the stresses of life. It will give your child the ability to bounce back and adopt a positive perspective on a difficult situation.

Courage in this case is about courageous actions that seem small to us as adults, but are big in children's lives. Learning is about approaching the unknown and stepping up to new challenges. Successful learners overcome their fear and find focus. Having courage can arm children with the skills needed to make decisions that can greatly improve their lives.

Kindness includes the quality of being friendly, considerate and generous to other people and the environment. A kind disposition is a positive character trait that draws other people to you and bolsters learning through the help and support of others, as well as allowing you to work productively in teams and groups. It also encourages listening and empathy, which in turn foster deeper, more complex learning.

Honesty allows children to build good links with teachers and others. It increases confidence and gives children a clear focus with which to direct their learning. Living your life honestly and with a moral conscience means that you can be relied upon to be genuine. This produces trust � trust in ourselves and in all those around us. Trust in turn produces confidence and also encourages us to take risks in order to fulfil our goals.

All these traits are important. Research shows that they help people build confidence, face challenges, have more satisfying careers and build stronger relationships. Unfortunately, recent evidence suggests that increasing numbers of children are growing up with less control over their moods and actions. Children need to develop qualities that contribute to a strong inner core. Just as muscles grow stronger with regular exercise, which improves our physical wellbeing , the above traits are strengthened by thoughtful encouragement and reinforcement, helping to develop characters that are truly �Fit for Life�.

Kent College Preparatory School, Pembury

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