The NEW Standard 4: Building a Positive Relationship with Physical Activity

For people who have not yet had a chance to look at the new SHAPE America Standards and Grade-Span Learning Indicators, they present a clear outline of what a student should know and be able to do at key points of their education as a result of an effective and high quality PE program.


Each of the 4 standards correlate to each of 4 domains that make up a holistic approach to PE; physical, cognitive, social and affective. The standards draw heavily from the features of Meaningful PE framework developed by Tim Fletcher, Déirdre Ní Chróinín, Steph Beni and others*. 

Of the 4 standards, it’s probably fair to say that the new Standard 4 presents the most opportunity and some challenges for teachers. This was evident in the conversations that took place at the launch at last month’s SHAPE America conference in Cleveland. These conversations will no doubt be echoed up and down the country as the standards are rolled out.

Key Components of Standard 4:

Standard 4 states that students should develop personal skills, identify personal benefits of movement, and choose to engage in physical activity that is personally meaningful.

It highlights goal setting, identifying strengths, and reflection as key skills required to support this outcome.

Evidence of Meeting the Standard

Evidence of meeting the standard involves, first and foremost participating in physical activities. Students should be seen to set movement goals and display an understanding of their motivation, preferences and emotional responses to physical activity which support the ability to reflect on their participation. 

Helpful progressive statements are included to guide teachers from K through 12. 

This presents teachers with an opportunity to stay very true to the universal core values of physical education. Indeed, the intention of supporting every student to connect positively to physical activity is probably what attracted the vast majority of us to the profession in the first place.

Importance of Standard 4

If the four standards are seen as a jigsaw with each piece representing an essential tool that is required for a young person to become physically educated, there is a strong argument that Standard 4 is the central component. That’s not to say that Standards 1,2 and 3 are not important, but if the student does not feel a sense of belonging, develop an identity as an active person leading to a lack of motivation to be active, then skill development and knowledge of movement and fitness are irrelevant. Social connections through movement will not be fostered if someone does not move.

In fact, a person who does not form a positive relationship with physical activity will not reap any of the benefits that the PE community advocates for. We need our young people to meet Standard 4!

Challenges and Solutions:

The challenge for teachers is how to teach towards this and how to know if students are meeting it. The good news is that there’s a tool that does it for you.

Introducing miMove


miMove is a platform that allows students to record what activities they do, for how long, with whom, both in and out of school. What’s more, it is also built to support reflection and allow for target setting. And all this data is then delivered to the teacher’s computer screen. miMove is easy for students to access and does not require them to wear expensive devices like smart watches. It is built for the educational journey of young people described in the new Standard 4. It is cost effective and guaranteed to save you time. 

To find out more about miMove go to or book a demo directly from here. You can also purchase directly from Gopher. In the meantime, good luck with the implementation of the new standards and thanks for doing what you do for young people. 

*Check out the Meaningful PE website to find out more.

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