Strandtown Primary School
“Has inspired not only the children, but our pupils and staff to become more active outside of school”

Strandtown Primary School

Fact File

Where we’re based: East Belfast, Northern Ireland

School Roll: 985 pupils

How long we’ve been doing The Daily Mile: We’re in our 3rd year!

Our Daily Mile Story

The Daily Mile has been very successfully and easily implemented into our daily school life. As we are a large school, we benefit greatly from the use of a large grass/pitches area at the front of our school and when it’s wet we have a shorter route where the pupils can run on tarmac paths.

The Daily Mile provides a perfect ‘brain break’ for pupils, especially during the long 2 hour afternoon session and it gives all pupils the chance/opportunity to shine on a regular basis within the school week.

Pupils now have a regular period of daily exercise during the day when their heart rate can be increased for a short period of time, thus benefitting their physical health and well-being. The Daily Mile reinforces our physical health and well-being messages as we teach our pupils about the importance of exercise as they look after their mental health, as well as their physical health. It also compliments our healthy break policy.

The Daily Mile has inspired not only the children, but our pupils and staff to become more active outside of school and since starting we have noticed many more of our pupils signing up for local Junior and 5km Parkruns. We have also on the back of our Daily Mile have an annual PTA ‘Family Fun Run.’

Formally monitoring how often each class does The Daily Mile has really worked for us as a school. It encourages the teachers to keep the experience consistent throughout the year and the pupils are very good at reminding the teachers about it!!!

If every pupil in Strandtown runs The Daily Mile once a day, that is 985 miles completed. If each pupil ran it 3 times per week that 2655 miles per week.  That’s a lot of miles!!

Quotes

“It’s great to see all of our pupils outside in the fresh air enjoying themselves and being active.”

Miss Bailie – Head of PE / Vice Principal

“The Daily Mile suits all abilities. All of our pupils try hard to do their best by either running, jogging, walking or a combination of all 3! We are trying to foster an atmosphere of ‘fun through exercise’ so as pupils will want to continue to take regular exercise in years to come.”

Mr. Ewart – Deputy Vice Principal

“I enjoy getting a break from work and getting regular exercise without feeling the pressure that I am in a race.”

Owen, Year 7

“I enjoy getting outside into the sunshine/fresh air and being able to run The Daily Mile without stopping.”

Erin, Year 7

Greenfields Community Primary School
“The Daily Mile has transformed his health”

Greenfields Community Primary School

Fact File

Where we’re based: Maidstone, Kent, England

School Roll: 174 pupils

How long we’ve been doing The Daily Mile: Since 2015!

Our Daily Mile Story

We do The Daily Mile every day without exception and the children love it!

Headteacher Mr Andrews said: “When I came in to post I was shocked to find that children were more overweight leaving primary school than they were when they started, and I knew we had to do something about that. Sport was a key part of school for me as a child, and I wanted to share that experience with my pupils”.

Around the same time the Head of Sport & Wellbeing, Mrs Ball, watched as Elaine Wyllie, founder of The Daily Mile, received a Pride of Britain award for her ground-breaking initiative. Mrs Ball thought it would be a great idea that could be recreated back at school and so when she took the idea to Mr Andrews there was no hesitation!

Each class teacher takes their class out when they are ready and most do it in the mornings. We run The Daily Mile around the school field when we can, and use the playground when we can’t. We have a line marking the route around the playground, and the children know that 7 laps is a mile. We use number cubes to help them keep track of their laps-each child collects a cube when they have completed a lap, and they love showing us how many they have collected!

We run an inter-class competition with a different theme each term. Pupils know that each mile counts towards their class total and as a result we have seen real improvements in attendance as no one wants to miss their Daily Mile! We have even had pupils ask if they can make up their missed days at lunch because they don’t want to let their class down, so it builds a team ethic too.

One of our Year 4 pupils, Louie, has quite bad asthma. At a Cross Country event last year, he really struggled and only completed half the course due to his asthma flaring up. Doing The Daily Mile has transformed his health—he hardly uses his inhaler now and during a recent visit his respiratory specialist said this is highly likely due to the regular exercise which has helped to improve his lung and muscular function. At this year’s Cross Country, he not only managed to complete the course, but even went on to finish 6th!

Fitness benefits have also been huge. We host regular Cross-Country events with other local schools each bring a team of 6 and this year Greenfields took all top 6 places! This in turns builds a positive association with physical activity for our pupils-they enjoy sport, and all want to be in school teams now.

Quotes

“I enjoy it because it makes me fitter and faster and now I am in the football squad. I also like it because it helps me concentrate and gives me a break”.

Louie – Year 4

Stokes Wood Primary School
“When initially setting it up we had several barriers to overcome”

Stokes Wood Primary School

Fact File

Where we’re based: New Parks, Leicester, England

School Roll: 480 pupils

How long we’ve been doing The Daily Mile: We’re in our 3rd year!

Our Daily Mile Story

We are now taking part in The Daily Mile for the third successive year. Pupils run round the school field when it is dry enough and round the playground and round the school pathways when the field is too wet. We are hoping to purchase an all-weather track for The Daily Mile using funding from the sugar tax.

When initially setting up The Daily Mile we had several barriers to overcome:

  • Taking time from the curriculum
  • Collecting data
  • Supervision

After discussions with staff and pupils and making changes over the 3 years to enable all the school to take part, the pupils run The Daily Mile at various times so that pupils and staff can run freely and be safely supervised.

We collect data for the house competition. A child from each house collects the number of laps completed for each class and there is a weekly competition for The Daily Mile trophy and laps go towards an annual competition. The PE teacher records cumulative totals of how many miles the whole school has run since starting the initiative.

There are numerous benefits for pupils and staff. Pupils enjoy it, they compete against each other and themselves, they gain a sense of achievement, it raises their self-esteem, it increases their fitness and teams and individuals have performed better in inter-school competitions.

All our children have benefitted, without exception. The Daily Mile is totally inclusive. It has introduced some of our inactive children to activity and physical exertions past previous experienced levels. It has raised their heart and breathing rate and they have experienced muscle fatigue. Lower ability pupils, including those with SEND, run and can complete as many, or more, laps than peers who fair better than them in class.

Increased self-esteem and raising of confidence has a knock on effect in other more academic activities at school. Staff join in, including the Head Teacher. This builds relationships and provides role models. Some staff power walk, some jog/walk and others run and challenge the children to keep up, run faster and challenge themselves to do better.

Stokes Wood pupils have promoted The Daily Mile on Central TV and on Radio Leicester. The Head Teacher, Jane Gadsby, is an advocate for The Daily Mile and promotes it to her colleagues in Leicester City Primary Schools. Warrick Laverick, the PE teacher promotes it amongst his colleagues in other schools in Leicester and Leicestershire.

In a recent Leicester City Celebration of The Daily Mile at the King Power Stadium, a group of pupils met the founder of The Daily Mile, Elaine Wyllie.

Quotes

“The Daily Mile helps children to eat and sleep better”

“I am really pleased that my child is encourage to run The Daily Mile every day.”

“Coaches at the local football team have noticed the increase in the fitness of the boys on their team”

– Parents

“It’s good fun and I feel fitter”

“We work hard as a class to stay at the top of the table and win the trophy.”

“It makes us feel ready to work in the afternoon.”

– Children

“We have had our best results yet in the 5k challenge and cross country events.”

Mr Laverick, PE teacher

Importance of regular physical activity

Taking part in regular physical activity has lots of benefits for children’s physical health, mental health, general wellbeing, and their learning too.

The benefits are clear but we know that one third of children are active for less than 30 minutes a day (ref). Global recommendations from the World Health Organisation outline that children should be doing 60 minutes a day.

Read on below to see how The Daily Mile can help and click here to access our research resource.

The Daily Mile can improve childrens mood, attention and memory enhancing their ability to learn.

The Daily Mile can improve children’s mood, attention and memory enhancing their ability to learn.

More text to go here.

Link to BBC terrific Scientific article.

The Daily Mile helps children be more active, significantly increases fitness levels, and improves body composition by reducing body fat.

Research carried out by the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh and published in BMC Medicine (2018) has concluded that The Daily Mile is an “effective intervention” and has measurable positive health outcomes in physical activity, sedentary behaviour, fitness and body composition of primary school children.

They conducted a quasi-experimental repeated measures pilot study in two primary schools (n=391): One introduced the Daily Mile, and one continued the usual curriculum. They found that in the intervention school MVPA (Moderate to vigorous physical activity) increased by 9 minutes a day, and sedentary time was reduced by 18 minutes. Bleep test results improved by 39m (6% increase) and skinfolds reduced by 1.4mm (4% decreased).

They conclude that the Daily Mile is a worthwhile intervention to introduce into schools. It is effective in increasing levels of MVPA, decreasing sedentary time and improving body composition. These findings have relevance to teachers, policy makers, public health practitioners and health researchers.

Read the full article here.