Look Inside

Athletic Program


Movement, Physical Education, and Athletics comprise a sequential program that is a vital component of our students’ physical, cognitive, and affective development. We believe in the primacy of exploration, the mastery of skills, and the development of character. Through innovative approaches, we cultivate joyful active participants who value physical activity and healthy competition.
  • Teaches skills necessary to participate and compete in lifelong athletic activities.
  • Empowers children to make wise choices, demonstrate responsible behavior, and exhibit good sportsmanship.
  • Provides a supportive and safe environment in which every child is challenged to grow, take risks, learn from mistakes, and persevere.
  • Teaches children to develop an appreciation for individual differences and ability levels.
  • Promotes cooperation, fair play, and teamwork.
  • Advances leadership skills and opportunities.
  • Instills confidence, self-discipline, and respect for hard work.
  • Demonstrates the direct correlation between effort and achievement, personal improvement and goal setting, and the importance of commitment and responsibility.


At Shady Hill, our Physical Education program begins with Movement Education in the earliest Lower School grades and continues with appropriate social, conceptual, and physical skill development during the Grade 3, 4, and 5 Lower School Physical Education programs. Our Interscholastic Athletic program is offered each season in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades, which is the final stage of a planned progression. Those sixth, seventh, and eighth-graders wishing to only fulfill their one season competitive requirement, will be provided with a variety of Physical Education electives to choose from during the other two seasons/trimesters.  

In the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade physical education program, Shady Hill will aim to offer electives in yoga, fencing, and intramurals each trimester. The fitness elective will be offered in the winter season only.  Elective offerings are based on students’ preferences. Student minimums will need to be met for certain electives to run. Facilities and appropriate student-to-teacher ratios will determine the maximum number of students allowed per elective class.

In the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade athletic program, Shady Hill has consistently filled one or more Interscholastic Athletic Teams in Boys’ and Girls’ Soccer, Field Hockey, Cross Country, Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball, Ice Hockey, Boys’ and Girls’ Lacrosse, Track and Field, Tennis and Ultimate Frisbee.  
Depending on the sign-ups each year, Shady Hill will break up their teams in the following ability based groupings

One team
Varsity, JV
Varsity, JV (Gold), JV (Blue)
*Note: For all teams with tryouts, priority will be given to the upper-grade student if evaluated evenly with a lower-grade student.

At the non-varsity level, every student will play a reasonable amount in every contest. The exact number of minutes will vary according to the sport, the number of teammates, and the closeness of the contest. Equal playing time is a goal, but it may actually be over the course of a full season that individual team members' playing times get fully balanced. In sports where there is only one team, as with the Varsity teams, the coaches have the discretion to use strategy and skill to accomplish the team goals. Students on these teams will play according to the needs of the team. As with all of our teams, our expectation is that every individual will have meaningful playing time in each game.

On every Shady Hill team, participation, skill development, and teamwork are important. So are attitude and commitment on the part of both the athletes and the coaches. Winning is a goal for each team, and all are encouraged to give their best efforts in both practices and interscholastic contests.  If an athlete shows little team commitment and/or repeatedly displays a minimal effort in practice sessions, there will be consequences in terms of reduced time in interscholastic contests.  It is the process of learning to win, as well as winning, that is emphasized throughout this progression. Developing effective skills, teamwork, enjoyment of the physical and mental challenges of competition, while following the NEPSAC Code of Ethics, are all essential parts of that process.
617.520.5260      178 Coolidge Hill  Cambridge MA 02138           Association of Independent Schools in New England