Gym class is a regular part of a students life and for Japanese students, there is a little bit more going on than usual. For one, all students are required to wear uniforms. One for summer comprised of a T-shirt and shorts, one for winter, with sweat pants and long sleeve sweaters or tracksuits, and another for swimming during the summer break. For another, gym class also have textbooks much like other classes. These books include illustrations and photos of activities with suggestions, games you can play, and a self-grading chart that each student can fill in.
Activities in these textbooks include gymnastics, swimming, field events, racing and relay racing, basketball, soccer, softball, and dancing to name a few. Puberty is also covered within the textbook and is generally reserved for older students beginning with 5th grade students. Their textbook details social and physical changes, the varying timing of these changes, and blooming interest of the opposite gender.
As usual, physical education is held outdoors except when it rains. As with other classes, gym class has specific guides for teachers with set times and hours that must be met by the end of the school year. Teachers also have to wear their own track suit uniform when holding this class.
Going back to swimming classes, it is oddly enough held during summer break. Each student have to have a required school swim suit and matching cap with their name stitched on both. Surprisingly enough, students are also required to keep tabs on their health in their aptly named health check card. Parents are expected to check their child’s temperature in the morning, record it, and later have the teacher check the card and stamp it.