We’ve listened to your questions and answered the most frequent ones. If you have a question which isn’t answered, contact Elaine!
What is The Daily Mile?
The aim of The Daily Mile is simple – we want to get children fit by running for 15 minutes a day. Headteacher, Elaine Wyllie, founded The Daily Mile to tackle the obesity and poor levels of fitness of the children in her school. The great thing is that this daily exercise is not timetabled. Teachers take their classes out at a time of their choosing and it only takes 15 minutes. It’s simple – the kids don’t get changed, it gets them out of their seats and gives them an opportunity to go outside and socialise within their school community.
Where is The Daily Mile held?
Wherever you want! We encourage people to organise their own Daily Mile at their schools or groups, so it can be held wherever you can find enough space to run around safely. We recommend that it is held outside, around a school field or playground for example. We have put together an easy to follow Risk Assessment checklist to make sure it can be done safely.
Is it safe for my child?
The Daily Mile only requires an open space (that isn’t muddy) and adult supervision. For example, that would normally be in the playground, on a path around the school field or (where circumstances permit) could take place in the local community. But don’t forget to do the Risk Assessment first. And it’s only 15 minutes so the children won’t be pushed too hard and they don’t have to run all the way. Children with mobility difficulties are supported to participate fully. All the evidence, including feedback from children, parents and teachers, suggests the benefits far outweigh any concerns. After a few weeks, your children will be healthier, happier and their concentration in class will improve.
A mile sounds like a lot for a child. How far is it?
When we first started the Daily Mile, it was as easy as doing five laps of the school field. It normally takes only 10-12 minutes – any parent knows how long children can run around for so the Daily Mile really isn’t as long as it might sound. And remember, you will find that the children support and encourage each other.
My child is too young!
We’ve experienced success implementing The Daily Mile from nursery school age upwards. Young children might not manage an entire mile, but they will still enjoy the fresh air and exercise from an early age. In addition, it instils a healthy belief that exercise is fun and not a chore. Medical opinion suggests that The Daily Mile is appropriate exercise for children aged 3 and upwards.
Is it inclusive enough?
Every child should be encouraged to take part in The Daily Mile. In our experience, all children, even those who are reluctant to take part in P.E. lessons, enjoy participating. In recent cases, The Daily Mile has been implemented for children with additional support needs with great success – schools like Rosslyn Primary herald The Daily Mile for helping their children address behavioural issues.
Won’t this interrupt school lessons?
The idea is that The Daily Mile take place in a slick 15 minutes turnaround, desk-to-desk. We encourage teachers to fit their Daily Mile as appropriate around their lesson-plan. Alternatively, if it’s easier, you can always schedule your Daily Mile at the same time every day. Often, teachers go out for The Daily Mile when they feel that the children are losing focus.
Won’t it tire them out and stop them doing their school work?
Quite the opposite! There is a proven link between daily physical activity and raised attainment rates. We’ve found that every child comes back in rosy-cheeked and ready to focus. The Daily Mile has been shown to help increase concentration levels. Parents have also reported that their children are eating better and sleeping better – they’re “tired in a good way.”
How much is it going to cost parents?
That’s one of the beauties of The Daily Mile – it’s free. We don’t waste time with P.E. kit either, we just get up and go.
So what’s the point?
The Daily Mile is all about encouraging children to be more active and to help them understand the benefits of physical and mental health and well-being. It is also proven to be an effective way of tackling childhood obesity and has been recognised by many experts for doing exactly that.
Every child, no matter their circumstances, age or ability, can succeed at the Daily MileThomas Dowens, Education Scotland