Physical Education Class Safety Tips (Part 4 - Bench Activities)


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This part of the article series on Physical Education class safety will deal with Bench activities. The first three parts tackled the general safety considerations to be observed both by students and teachers. This part will elaborate on specific components of safety measures relating to guidelines, equipment, as well as clothing and footwear.

Specific Components of Safety Measures in PE Classes

(Part 1)


  1. Guidelines for each activity must be outlined according to the following critical components: equipment, clothing and footwear, facilities, special instruction, and supervision.
  2. All statements of a school’s guidelines must be mandatory. No activity must occur without the guidelines being addressed.


  1. When an activity uses an equipment not described under current school guidelines, the teacher must ensure that it is safe (that is: no cracks , sharp edges, and splinters) and appropriate in terms of size, mass, and strength.
  2. All balls used must be properly inflated.

Clothing and Footwear

  1. Students must wear appropriate clothing for physical education classes. Running shoes, shorts or sweat pants and t-shirts are examples of appropriate clothing. Some ill-fitting clothing, scarves, jewellery, and hard-soled shoes inhibits movement and possibly cause injury during active movement. Where cultural dress presents a safety concern, modifications must be made to the activity. Students should not wear socks without shoes for physical education. Bare feet are appropriate for designated activities. Hanging jewellery must not be worn. Other jewellery that cannot be removed and that presents a safety concern (e. g. , medical alert identification, religious/cultural jewellery, body-pierced jewellery) must be taped or the activity must be modified for the student’s safety. Some activities such as floor hockey prohibit all jewellery. In such activities where no jewellery is a requirement, please note that this refers to all jewellery, even if the jewellery is taped, it is still prohibited. Deviations from this minimum are listed on activity sheets. Long hair must be secured so as not to block vision.
  2. Parents/guardians must be made aware of safety precautions with eyeglasses for some activities, including use of an eyeglass strap and/or shatterproof glass or removal of glasses if vision is adequate.

Safety Rules Specific for Bench Activities


  1. Benches must not have cracks, chipped corners or splinters on the top surface.
  2. Bench tops must be secured to all supports.
  3. Mats must be used to designate landing areas.

Clothing and Footwear

  1. Teachers must ensure that students are using suitable clothing and footwear.


1. Enough space must be ensured around benches for safe usage.

2. Landing at safe distances away from walls and other equipment must be allowed.

Special Rules/Instructions

  1. Skills must be taught in logical progression from simple to complex. Observe that students demonstrate control of basic movement before moving to more complicated skills (e. g. , forward jumping and landing before backward jumping and/or jumping with turns).
  2. Jumping and landing skills can effectively be taught from benches before larger equipment. Teach simple forward jumps and bent knee landings first before introducing aerial shapes and rotations.
  3. Instruct children to jump up from bench and land close so that bench does not move.


  1. On site supervision must be strictly followed.

It cannot be over-emphasized that safety is the foremost concern when it comes to school activities that require active physical motion. Physical Education dvds and gymnastics dvds is of great help in showing students the proper movements in sports games. Being knowledgeable about the proper movement as well as its proper execution is a good step towards ensuring safety in PE and gym classes. The safety of sporting equipments must also be checked before being used in any gym class activities.


The video featured in this part of the article series does not necessarily correspond with the topic discussed. The video, however presents information useful for teachers and students alike.


Physical Education Safety Guidelines

Grades Primary–12

© Crown Copyright, Province of Nova Scotia 2002

Prepared by the Department of Education


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