Smart & Caring Communities Update – PISE

Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence provided the following update on the physical literacy programs at The Cridge Centre for the Family and Craigflower Elementary School. The report also shows the impact of physical literacy programming in local First Nations communities across the region. PISE has established some great partnerships, and their instructors have provided mentoring to teachers and gone above and beyond when working with the children.



The Cridge Centre for the Family

Children Impacted

  • Preschool – 75 children
  • School Age – 70 children (K-Gr. 1, Gr. 1-2, Gr. 3-4, Gr. 5-7)

Program Benefits

In the pilot year, PISE and the Cridge developed a strong partnership that has carried on to present day. After the pilot year leaders at the Cridge saw noticeable improvements in running, jumping, throwing, catching, balance, spatial awareness and coordination skills in the children. Life skills were also a byproduct of the program. Physical literacy has rendered opportunities in which children are able to develop social skills, take control of their emotions, and develop their imaginations.

An unanticipated benefit of the program was the opportunity to host the Governor General at PISE in July 2012. PISE was able to showcase the programs that were offered at the Cridge, as well as exposing PISE to members of the community. PISE was honoured to host such an event and be displayed on the national stage. Watch the CHEK news story on this event.

Smart & Caring Communities - Physicla LIteracy    



The Cridge Centre for the Family & Craigflower Elementary School

Children Impacted

  • The Cridge Preschool – 70 children
  • The Cridge School Age – 30 children
  • Craigflower Elementary School – 160 children (Kindergarten – Grade 5)

New Partnerships

The support from the Victoria Foundation has built the core of PISE physical literacy programs. From there PISE has sought out other funders to expand our reach in the community. In 2012, Island Savings established a partnership with PISE to provide support for programs and events. Part of this support is a SportStart Grant fund that allows PISE to provide children who would not have access to physical literacy full or subsidized enrollment in programs and camps. Also in 2012, Saanich Parks and Recreation began supporting after school programs at two elementary schools in Victoria with high populations of low income families and at risk youth. PISE also began working with recreation centres in Victoria through a revenue share relationship to deliver physical literacy programs.

Program Benefits

In the 2011-2012 year at the Cridge Centre, PISE staff realized the importance of life skill development in physical literacy programs. Since then, PISE has made a conscious effort to gain more expertise in social skill development and behaviour management strategies. This has given PISE staff a stronger skill base to teach at the Cridge and Craigflower in 2012-2013.

Craigflower Elementary was the new program for 2012-2013. PISE worked with every class in the school once per week to deliver P.E. classes. This format allows us to impact every child in the school and also mentor all 8 teachers at Craigflower. This program has had a powerful impact on both teachers and the students.

Teachers have been incredibly grateful for the professional development opportunity. They are eager to learn new games and ways of teaching fundamental movement skills. As generalist teachers, many of them did not have the confidence or competence to be teaching P.E. and as a result children were behind in their skill development. This program has helped them to incorporate physical literacy games and activities into their daily practice.

Students have gained access to a program that would be out of reach for many families. By taking a relationship approach to programming, PISE instructors have created a program where kids feel welcome and safe. Therefore they are able to come and learn new skills and have fun.

The kids from Craigflower did a craft where they drew a picture and answered two questions:

I like PISE because…
PISE makes me feel…

Below are a few of the responses:

Physical Literacy participant testimonials

I like PISE because…

  • “it makes me feel fast!” (Gr. 1)
  • “it is fun and we play fun games” (Gr. 2)
  • “I like to meet the coaches. They teach me how to play games.” (Gr. 2)
  • “you make me happy. I like Tag and the treasure game” (Gr. 2)
  • “I like playing in the gym with my class and we have fun” (Gr. 3)
  • “it is a lot of fun games” (gr. 3)
  • “I like playing 4 corner soccer” (gr. 3)
  • “I like playing all the games. There are lots of sports. I like playing sports because it makes me happy” (Gr. 3)
  •  “it’s fun. They teach me new games that I never knew of.” (gr. 4)
  • “they are fun and they teach us more skills and more games” (Gr. 5)
  • “it’s fun and we get to learn new games. It makes my brain get better” (gr. 4)
  • “it’s fun. I like the people who run PISE. PISE helps me feel good and I like the games.” (gr. 5)
  • “it’s fun to learn new games and skills” (gr. 5)

PISE makes me feel…

  • “happy and fast!” (gr. 1)
  • “happy and excited!” (gr. 1)
  • “good and makes me feel better” (gr. 1)
  • “happy and I love  PISE” (Gr. 2)
  • “happy because it is fun! (Gr. 4)
  • “fantastic!!”
  • “happy, safe, and they turn my frown upside down. I like PISE a lot!” (Gr. 4)
  • “healthy” (gr. 5)
  • “it makes me feel safe” (gr. 4)
  • “they make the gym feel safe” (gr. 4)
  • “better than before because I feel healthier” (gr 5)
  • “HAPPY! All the time!”
  • “like I’m good at the games we play. I like learning about new games they teach us.” (gr. 5)
  • “safe. They show respect to the students” (gr. 5)
  • “safe” (gr 5)
  • “safe in the gym. The people are fair to the students” (gr. 4)

By running a program where children feel happy, healthy and safe one unanticipated benefit to working at Craigflower has been the acceptance of PISE by the aboriginal community. By working with kids and families at Craigflower, PISE has developed a rapport with families and PISE is seen as a positive force in the community. This opened the door for future partnerships in the aboriginal community.

PISE also had the opportunity to use SportStart Grant funds to bring 10 children from Craigflower Elementary to PISE summer camps in August 2013. These children had not had the opportunity to participate in an organized camp before. As many of these families do not have reliable modes of transportation, two PISE staff members picked the children up and dropped them off at Craigflower Elementary every day to ensure the children were able to attend camp. The kids had an amazing time at camp and had an opportunity to show off some of the skills they had learned during the year in P.E.

PISE Physical Literacy     PISE Physical Literacy



The Cridge Centre for the Family & Craigflower Elementary School

Children Impacted

  • The Cridge Preschool – 70 children
  • The Cridge School Age – 30 children
  • Craigflower Elementary School – 160 children (Kindergarten – Grade 5)

New Partnerships

This school year PISE has created new partnerships with 7 StrongStart locations, Community Living Victoria, and the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health. New funding partners include KidSport and the McConnell Foundation.

PISE has been able to create two new programs as a direct result of our program at Craigflower Elementary, a P.E. program at Lau Welnew Tribal School and an after school program at Songhees Wellness Centre. Through our SportStart Grant Community Outreach Fund, PISE was able to offer free physical literacy sessions to the Tsartlip First Nations. These sessions were so successful that PISE was able to speak to the principal at Lau Welnew Tribal School who was thrilled to have PISE come mentor P.E. teachers once per week. This program follows the Craigflower P.E. format and is having great success in terms of skill development in children and professional development for teachers.

As PISE had built a strong connection to the Esquimalt and Songhees first nations at Craigflower it was a natural fit to expand programs to the Songhees Wellness Centre which opened in January 2014. PISE now offers a free after school program twice per week. The program partners with the Songhees youth worker and many of the children go to homework club after school providing a perfect environment for whole child growth and development.

Program Benefits

This year’s programs at the Cridge and Craigflower have seen a deepening of the trust and relationship with PISE. Staff members at PISE have become invested in the well-being of the children and go above and beyond to help where is needed. Many children at the Cridge and Craigflower do not have adequate shoes and participate in programs in boots, or sandals. Upon seeing this, Sarah Russell (a PISE Physical Literacy Leader) created a ‘Kicks for Kids’ campaign. Sarah has gathered 162 pairs of shoes to distribute to children in PISE programs across Victoria.

Sarah Russell PISE

This year PISE also had the opportunity to work with Equitas and the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Society as a part of our partnership with KidSport. PISE attended the Equitas ‘Play It Fair’ training which helps leaders to facilitate values based games in a physical activity setting.

Lynne Moorehouse, the Principal at Craigflower has become one of PISE’s champions and has provided us with testimonials such as:

“Craigflower School has been honoured to have the quality of programming and staff provide such an integral child development program for our students – 96% of whom are aboriginal. Brain development, body awareness, physical health are not a luxury but a grave necessity for our children many of whom come from the two reserves and who experience hunger, mal-nutrition, emotional traumas and prejudice. It is VERY hard for our families to get their children into organized sports programs. PISE came to us! Thank you Victoria Foundation! This is what is meant by ‘Idle No More’.” – Lynne Moorehouse, Craigflower Principal

Physical Literacy at Craigflower Elementary     Physical Literacy at Craigflower Elementary    


In December 2013, the Victoria Foundation committed to funding The Cridge Centre for the Family and Craigflower Elementary School for 2.5 more years which guarantees these programs will continue until June 2016. The importance of this is immense.

The Smart & Caring Community Fund has allowed PISE to become a part of these communities in a way that is not possible in only a year. The communities, families and children know that PISE is not going anywhere and that consistency and sustainability has led to powerful relationships and happier, healthier children.

Other PISE Videos:

Active Start at SCP –

Epic High Five –

PISE Physical Literacy thank you