You will probably be aware of recent concerns around physical inactivity and childhood obesity. As they go through primary school, many children put on weight and, across the UK, around 35% of pupils in Year 6 are categorised as overweight or obese. In addition, many 10-year olds lack basic fitness.
The Daily Mile is an initiative which was started in February 2012 by Elaine Wyllie, who was then headteacher of a large Scottish primary school. She was concerned by the children’s obvious lack of fitness and went on to prove The Daily Mile to be both sustainable and effective in combating inactivity and obesity in her school. The result was that, in November 2015, the Scottish Government wrote to every Scottish primary school to recommend that they implement the scheme too. In addition, in August 2016 the UK government’s Childhood Obesity strategy identified and supported The Daily Mile’s contribution towards the recommended hour that children should spend taking daily exercise in school.
The Daily Mile is very simple to start in a school. Every child in a school or nursery goes out each day in the fresh air to run or jog (at their own pace) for 15 minutes. It is not competitive though some will compete and that is fine. Most children will average a mile in the 15 minutes, with some doing more and some doing less. It is not PE, sport or cross-country but physical activity in a social setting which is aimed at improving the children’s physical, social, emotional and mental health, and wellbeing. The children run in their ordinary school clothes with trainers being ideal but not essential. It can help children to focus and concentrate in the classroom and raise their attainment. And most importantly, the children really enjoy it.
Since 2015, The Daily Mile has been adopted by almost 3,000 schools in the UK alone, proving extraordinarily popular with thousands of children, parents and teachers. The initiative is also attracting strong overseas interest, and schools have signed up in over 40 different countries. Globally, it has been adopted by over 5,000 schools.
We introduced The Daily Mile for all the children in Patrington CE Primary Academy this week to ensure its health and wellbeing benefits are available for everyone. As a school we are excited about this new initiative and we are looking forward to the benefits it will bring to your child/children. To find out more about how it all works please visit: www.thedailymile.co.uk.