It’s outdoor physical activity, as part of Health and Wellbeing, in an enjoyable social setting. The class goes outside into the playground with their teacher and run and jog at their own pace for 15 minutes each day.
What are the benefits for children?
Children develop a physical activity habit and running every day becomes normal for them. They quickly develop fitness, stamina and resilience – most children are fit after only four weeks. Mental health is improved and children report feeling happier and less anxious. The Daily Mile refreshes their bodies and minds and they return to class more settled and ready to learn.
What are the benefits for the school?
The Daily Mile is simple and free. It has a positive impact on whole class focus and individual challenging behaviour. There is no planning or measurement needed and no workload for teachers or schools. The health benefits extend to staff and there is overwhelming support from parents with many excellent examples of family engagement. Schools report that disclosures increase because of the daily opportunity for teacher / child engagement away from the four walls of the classroom. In addition, it helps schools to meet recommendations for daily physical activity and provides an extra reason for being outdoors. Importantly, it helps children access PE and Sport with many schools finding that performance improves considerably.
When The Daily Mile is implemented according to the Core Principles, it is sustainable over time, because the children enjoy being outside getting fit with their friends. Teachers and children can introduce occasional child-pleasing ideas to keep it fresh such as Laps to Lapland, running to Tokyo or even running the route in the opposite direction on a Friday!
Full guidance on the introduction and implementation of The Daily Mile is available on our website – www.thedailymile.co.uk
If you have not yet tried The Daily Mile in your school or nursery, I suggest that you give it a go and see what happens. Most schools find that it’s a game changer for children’s mental and physical health and brings significant benefits in terms of happiness, focus and behaviour. It was developed in a large and complex primary school and, perhaps because of this, it slots easily into the life of schools and nurseries across the UK and beyond, bringing benefits which far outweigh the 15 minutes it takes out of each day.
By Elaine Wyllie MBE, Founder of The Daily Mile™