Gymnastics (General Procedures)

Secondary - Curricular 2019

  • Consult Risk Management.
  • This activity page must be presented to the activity provider prior to the activity taking place. The activity provider must meet the minimum requirements listed on this page. For more information on planning trips using outside providers, consult Outside Activity Providers.

Equipment

  • Determine that all equipment is safe for use (for example, no sharp corners, cracks, or splinters). Students must be encouraged to report equipment problems to the teacher.
  • Mats must be placed on all designated landing areas under and around equipment without overlaps or gaps.
  • Regularly check mats for wear and tears.
  • General utility mats to use for floor work, tumbling and landing on feet from a controlled height (student’s height at shoulder is maximum jumping height):
    • cross-link foam 5 cm (2’’)
    • open cell foam 5 cm (2”)
    • polyurethane 5 cm (2”)
    • dual density 5 cm (2”)
    • mats of equivalent compaction rating as determined by manufacturer
  • Landing surfaces to be used for elevated inverted skills (for example, Parallel Bars, Still Rings, Balance Beam, Uneven Parallel Bars, Vault Table, Flatback):
    • 30cm – 60cm (12”–24”) landing mats of solid or cross-linked foam or equivalent. These must not be used as a landing surface for controlled landing (for example, landing on feet) off any piece of equipment.
  • Landing surfaces for controlled feet first landing (for example, vaulting (no inversions), dismounts from a height):
    • Hardside / softside landing mat minimum 12cm (5”) with hard-side up must be in place for each apparatus.
    • Mats must be situated around/under apparatus as a landing area such that there is no overlap or open spaces.
  • Landing surfaces for handspring to flatback vaulting (with inversion):
    • Mats must be stacked, roped together to a minimum height of 105cm (42”) and a maximum of 125cm (50”) using 5 cm increments. The top mat must be hard- side up.

Refer to the First Aid section for first aid equipment requirements.

Clothing/Footwear/Jewellery

  • Appropriate clothing and footwear must be worn.
  • Bare feet, running shoes or gymnastic slippers.
  • No sock feet permitted.
  • Secure or remove eyeglasses.
  • No jewellery permitted.
  • Tie back long hair and remove hair clips.

Facilities

  • Determine that all facilities are safe for use. Students must be encouraged to report facility problems to the teacher.
  • Floor plan must allow enough space around each piece of apparatus for safe movement.
  • Allow for landings at safe distances away from walls and other equipment.
  • Perimeter of gym must be free from excess equipment, (for example, tables and chairs).
  • Turning points, finish lines, end zones, and boundaries must be a safe distance away from walls, stages, equipment, trees, posts, natural hazards, and holes. Walls, stages, equipment, trees, and posts must not be used as turning points, finish lines, end zones, or boundaries. A marker (for example, line or pylon) must be designated and be properly identified.
  • When running takes place off school site for a warm up:
    • Teachers must do a safety check ‘walk through’ in order to identify potential problems prior to initial use of route or course.
    • Teachers must outline to the students the route or course (for example, notice of areas to approach with caution) before the start of the run.
    • Teachers must determine that students are not crossing busy intersections unless directly supervised.

Special Rules/Instructions

  • Be aware of students whose medical condition (for example, asthma, anaphylaxis, casts, previous concussion, orthopaedic device) may affect participation. Consult Medical Conditions.
  • Be aware of students whose medical condition (for example, asthma, anaphylaxis, casts, previous concussion, orthopaedic device) may affect participation. Consult Medical Conditions.
  • Refer to the school board’s transportation procedures related to communicating with parents/guardians the location of an off-site activity and the means of transportation used as well as to the need for obtaining parent/guardian permission.
  • Activities must be modified according to the age, ability level, language, and experience of students and the facility available.
  • A proper warm-up and cool-down must be included.
  • Activities must be based on skills that are taught.
  • Skills must be taught in proper progression.
  • A proper warm-up and cool-down must be included.
  • While moving, students must not be required to close their eyes or be blind-folded.
  • Emphasize controlled movement when requiring students to walk or run backwards. Backward-running races are not permitted.
  • Teachers must create an atmosphere of discipline and control.
  • Observe that students demonstrate control of basic movement before moving to more complicated skills (for example, rotations on mats before performing on apparatus, and perform landings before working on elevated equipment).
  • Mat work must precede apparatus. Apparatus must be introduced one piece at a time, working towards the development of a circuit.
  • Landing mat must be properly placed for landings and precautions must be taken to minimize movement of mat on impact.
  • When a student displays hesitation (verbally or non-verbally) with participating, the teacher must determine the reason(s) for doubt. If the teacher believes that a potential hesitancy during the skill could put the student at risk, the student must be directed toward a more basic skill, or be permitted to select a challenge at their comfort level, including the choice to not participate.
  • Students with Special Needs: Prior to participation the teacher must address student's safety concerns and make appropriate accommodations/modifications to provide a safe learning environment.
  • Adequate liquid replacement (personal water bottles, water fountains) must be accessible for students before, during, and after physical activity to prevent dehydration.

Supervision

  • All activities must be supervised.
  • All elevated inversions require constant visual supervision.
  • The level of supervision must be commensurate with the inherent risk of the activity. The level of risk increases with the number of participants, the skill level of the participants, and the type of equipment used.
  • A volunteer could assist in the supervision of physical education activities. Examples of volunteers are educational assistants, retired teachers, co-op students, parents/guardians, early childhood educators, and teacher candidates. Refer to your school board’s policy regarding volunteers. These volunteers must be accompanied by a supervisor.
  • A teacher who is providing instruction and is unfamiliar with the activity (for example, no recent experience) must refrain from teaching the activity until assistance is provided by an appropriately trained staff or training is received.
  • Students must be informed that the use of equipment and the gymnasium are prohibited without supervision. In addition to verbal communication, the doors must be locked or signs must be posted indicating that students are not allowed to use the gym unless appropriately supervised.

Spotting

  • Spotting is initially the role of the teacher, and then may progress to students who have been trained by the teacher.
  • Responsibilities vary with the age, strength and experience of the student.

First Aid

  • A working communication device (for example, cell phone) must be accessible.
  • Follow the school's first aid emergency response (consult First Aid Plan and First Aid Emergency Response) and the school board’s concussion protocol (consult Concussions).
  • An emergency action plan and response to deal with evacuations and lock downs must be followed and communicated to students.

Definitions

  • Constant Visual Supervision:
    • Constant visual supervision means that the teacher is physically present, watching the activity in question. Only one activity requiring “Constant visual” supervision may take place while other activities are going on.
    • Curricular example: During a track and field session, some students are involved in high jump, some are practising relay passing on the track while a third group is distance running around the school. For high jump, the teacher is at the high jump area and is observing the activity.
    • Intramural example: During a school outdoor special events day, some students are involved in parachute games, some in relay games, and others in a team scavenger hunt around the school. For parachute, the intramural supervisor is at the event and is observing activity.
  • In-charge Person:
    • Some activities refer to an “In-Charge” person. While the teacher is in-charge and responsible for the overall safety and well-being of students under their care, sometimes there are other personnel who must be identified as “In-Charge” related to specific situations (for example, a pool lifeguard). In activities where an “In-Charge” person is designated, that person, in consultation with the teacher, must make final decisions regarding safety of the students
  • In-the-area Supervision:
    • In-the-area supervision means that the teacher could be in the gymnasium while another activity is taking place in an area adjacent to the gymnasium. In-the-area supervision requires the teacher to be readily accessible.
    • In-the-area supervision occurs:
      • in activities in which students may be out of sight for periods of time and the location of the teacher is not nearby (for example, alpine skiing, cross-country running). At least one of the following criteria must be in place:
        • The teacher is circulating
        • The location of teacher has been communicated to students and volunteers
      • in single activities and those that may be combined (for example, other in- the- area activities such as badminton, table tennis, handball – wall) with the following criteria in place:
        • The teacher must be circulating between the activities and readily accessible
        • The teacher informs students of the location of the activities
    • Curricular example: During a track and field session, some students are involved in high jump, some are practising relay passing on the track while a third group is distance running around the school. For distance running, the students are running around the school and at times may be out of sight.
    • Intramural example: During a school outdoor special events day, some students are involved in parachute games, some in relay games, and others in a team scavenger hunt around the school. For a scavenger hunt, the students are running around the school grounds and at times may be out of sight.
  • On-site Supervision:
    • On-site supervision entails teacher presence but not necessarily constantly viewing one specific activity. Momentary presence in adjoining rooms (for example, equipment room) to the gym is considered part of “on-site supervision”.
    • Curricular example: During a track and field session, some students are involved in high jump, some are practising relay passing on the track while a third group is distance running around the school. For a relay, the students are practising on the track and can be seen by the teacher who is with the high jumpers.
    • Intramural example: During a school outdoor special events day, some students are involved in parachute games, some in relay games, and others in a team scavenger hunt around the school. For relay games, the students are participating on the playground and can be seen by the intramural supervisor.
  • Supervision:
    • The vigilant overseeing of an activity for regulation or direction. Activities, facilities, and equipment have inherent risks, but the more effectively they are supervised, the safer they become.
    • The Ontario Physical Activity Safety Standards in Education designate three categories of supervision, Constant visual supervision, On-site supervision, and In-the-area supervision. The categories take into consideration the risk level of the activity, the participants’ skill level and the participants’ maturity. The three levels of supervision described are not hierarchical but represent the type of supervision that an activity requires and the type of supervision that is inherently possible.
  • Supervisor:
    • A supervisor is defined as a teacher, vice-principal or principal with a current certification from the Ontario College of Teachers and under contract by the school/school board. The supervisor is legally responsible for the students.

Fri, 08/23/19 11:09 am

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