AN INNOVATIVE workout program at Bulahdelah Central School is helping to improve academic outcomes for a group of high school boys.
Under the direction of Physical Education teachers Brian Belic and Bob McCann, the program, known as the BAR Group, allows the students to release excess energy, resulting in improved classroom performance.
“It’s about giving the kids an opportunity to burn up a bit of energy so when they go back to class afterwards they are calmer and quieter,” Mr Belic said.
“Since the program began, there have been many noticeable improvements in the boys’ behaviour and concentration in class, and they now have a greater connection with the school.”
The BAR Group is run during recess each morning and includes a guided fitness program where the boys burn their energy through weight training, and using other gym equipment including treadmills, exercise bikes and rowing machines.
Year 8 student Ben Saunders said he always looks forward to the workout.
“After sitting in class for two lessons, I really feel like I need to use up some energy,” he said.
“The physical challenges are really good and wear me out, so I feel a lot more relaxed and it gets me through the next lot of lessons.”
Ben told News Of The Area since joining the group, he is completing his class work more efficiently and his negative behaviour incidents have diminished.
In addition to improved classroom performance, Mr Belic said the BAR Group has had other positive outcomes.
“Socially, the boys from different year groups have formed friendships and now have the ability to mix with kids they probably wouldn’t have been able to mix with before,” he said.
“It’s also given them a sense of ownership, there’s a place within the school they feel responsible for, and are now willing to speak up if they see people not doing the right thing.”
The BAR Group includes boys from Years 8 to 11 and takes place in the school’s fitness centre.
By Daniel SAHYOUN