Belmont School (SEN)
“The pupils are aware of the impact it has on their wellbeing and access to learning”

Fact File

Where we’re based: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

School Roll:  142 pupils

When we started The Daily Mile: November 2018!

Our Daily Mile Story

Belmont is an all age special school catering for pupils with a wide range of different needs including social, communication and emotional difficulties.  We started a trial of The Daily Mile back in November 2018, with a view to include it as part of our school curriculum. Our deputy head teacher introduced the initiative to all staff with the suggestion of taking part in the activity 3-4 times a week. A working party was set up where further ideas could be discussed and shared in order to come with a best fit plan for Belmont and we have a school council which is run by pupil representatives from each class to support the pupil voice.

Introducing The Daily Mile to Belmont School came at a pivotal time in the culture change within our school. A key focus for us a few years ago was to focus on mental health and wellbeing for our staff and pupils. As part of this we underwent the training and implementation of ‘restorative approaches’ across the school. This therapeutic approach ensures that all are supported in the building and maintaining of relationships and the resolving of conflict, when it occurs, in a restorative manner – i.e. Some of our pupils find it easier to ‘walk and talk’ than to ‘sit and talk’.

To be successful in this approach it is essential for time to be allocated to the relationships across our school. Along with other allocated time to give value to the building of relationships we incorporated this into The Daily Mile. This also fits very well with our ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’ theme to help to keep all members of our community focused on improving their own mental health.  This time that The Daily Mile takes each day is dedicated to building relationships across the school and to build strength and fitness, as well as mindfulness or taking notice of nature as they walk. This is an essential part of our day now, as it allows time for staff and pupils to connect on a different level around physical activity that strengthens their relationships and sets them up well emotionally for the day.

Our pupils now see The Daily Mile as part of their school week and are aware of the impact it has on their wellbeing and access to learning. It takes place on site with two routes possible depending on the weather. Being a special school, we have had to be creative with our approach due to the needs of our pupils.

Taking part in The Daily Mile boosts mental wellbeing, promoting a positive attitude and feel-good factor. It can also raise self-esteem, ease anxiety and build confidence and our pupils get a great feeling of satisfaction after they have completed The Daily Mile. For some of our pupils who suffer with anxiety or ASD, The Daily Mile provides routine and stability into part of their school day.

The Daily Mile also provides the opportunity for our pupils to interact socially with peers from other classes as well staff who they wouldn’t normally spend time with during the school day. Pupils can enjoy talking with friends, share experiences and offer support to each other and it provides an opportunity for pupils to talk to adults disclosing any worries they may have.

Many of our children struggle to sit in a classroom for long periods of time and can lose focus easily. This can lead to a deterioration in behaviour which can have an impact on their learning and cause disruption to others. The Daily Mile can provide pupils with an opportunity to get out in the fresh air, let off steam and chat to adults away from the classroom environment.

At Belmont we are beginning to move towards a more creative curriculum to meet the needs of our changing cohort of pupils. The Daily Mile fits in with a variety of topic based themes such as the seasons, weather and mini beasts, and it can support our extracurricular activities, such as outdoor learning and the Duke of Edinburgh award. Taking part in The Daily Mile within our school grounds allow the pupils to explore the outdoor learning environment whilst keeping safe.

The Daily Mile offers an ideal opportunity for students to be involved in their school and its community. Whilst walking or running the Mile, the older children support their younger peers giving them a sense of responsibility as well as acting a mentors and “buddies” for new or younger children. Recently the whole school took part in Diversity Week which involved raising money for charity, listening to guest speakers, getting dressed up and having a cake sale. The Daily Mile turned into a Pride walk where the children walked in non-uniform whilst waving flags and wearing badges and bands.

Staff see it as an opportunity to improve their own fitness and agree that it boosts both physical and mental wellbeing. One member of staff has been inspired to run the Cheltenham half Marathon and uses it to inspire her children whilst doing The Daily Mile.

Quotes

“It’s great to get the children out with the rest of the school, they feel inclusive with each other, helping others around the course.”

– Ms Sharpe

“I love seeing all the pupils together outside in the fresh air whilst showing respect for their school site.  It motivates me to exercise more.”

– Caretaker

“The Daily Mile is lovely.”

– Primary pupil

“It is fun because we get to talk with each other. It is exciting because you have fun and you go do fast, slow or medium jogs and it makes you ready for the day. Also, you sometimes you get to see some of you friends you haven’t seen for a while.”

– Secondary pupil

“When I have worries, I share them with Miss and she gives me good advice on how to take my mind off it and think positively.”

– Secondary pupil

Mead Vale Community Primary School
“His classroom behaviour has completely changed”

Mead Vale Primary School

Fact File

Where we’re based: Worle, Weston-super-Mare, England

How long we’ve been doing The Daily Mile: 1 year

Our Daily Mile Story

Mead Vale has been completing The Daily Mile for a year, once a day during lesson time, five days a week. Since starting we have found that the children are calmer, happier and concentrate more after completing The Daily Mile. It gives the children a chance to release built up energy and gives them a reason to get outside. Furthermore, staff are now joining in with The Daily Mile as well and this has seen an improvement in the children’s interest in running.

We complete The Daily Mile on the field when it is dry and the playground if it is wet and the children know that 9 laps of the field and 17 laps of the playground is a mile and use this as an incentive to try and do slightly more each time.

We are lucky we have such a large flat field which is great in the summer. However in the winter, it is wet and unusable, and the playground can get quite congested if more than one class are out at the same time.  This can also lead to some children putting little effort in and not reaping the benefits The Daily Mile brings. We have found that when the children have some sort of challenge, perhaps linked in with their school topic, the effort put in is much greater.

The Daily Mile also provides an excellent opportunity to provide children with an extra chance for some physical activity, helping to keep our children as fit and active as possible. Where children are engaged, we are really seeing the benefits The Daily Mile brings, both with improvements to their physical stamina and their stamina in the classroom.

Initially the staff were reluctant with the worry of having time away from lessons. However the children now pester the teacher to make sure they do it. All staff have the freedom to complete The Daily Mile when they feel it can be most useful.

One boy in particular had a difficult start to the year, often refusing to work and leaving the classroom to hide. He attended a couple of after school clubs but his behaviour was also an issue there so he wasn’t getting much physical activity. He really took to The Daily Mile, running by their teacher’s side every day, and by the end of the year, his classroom behaviour had completely changed. He now works hard and tries his best. His running ability has also come on hugely. He commented towards the end of last year that “I can run longer distances easier now without getting tired”. His efforts were rewarded at the end of the year when he won the long distance race on sports day!

Quotes

“Educating children holistically, this has got to be one of the best initiatives I have seen in 30 years.”

Mrs Langley – Deputy Head

“The Daily Mile is an incredible initiative, providing children with the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and experience some physical activity, improving their stamina both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Mr Watkins – Year 5 Class Teacher

“I love running The Daily Mile.”

Pupil

The Daily Mile Improves the Physical Fitness of Italian Primary School Children and is easy to implement.

Research led by the University of Torino has found that The Daily Mile is versatile and transferable to primary schools in Italy.Teachers saw positive effects within their school environment, after doing The Daily Mile. Children who took part in The Daily Mile had significantly increased physical fitness and teachers found the programme extremely easy to implement into their school day.

There were two groups – the control group which consisted of 309 students, and the experimental group which had 486 students who implemented The Daily Mile as per core principles for 3-months. According to the University of Torino, 96.4% of teachers participating in the study said The Daily Mile has no negative impact on their teaching and 93% said The Daily Mile was extremely easy to implement. In total, 72% of teachers were very satisfied with the activity and compared to the control group, fitness significantly increased in the experiment group who completed The Daily Mile.

You can read the full study here.

 

Press Release: Experts in Italy find that The Daily Mile significantly improves fitness of Italian primary school children and is easy to implement

EXPERTS IN ITALY FIND THAT THE DAILY MILE SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVES FITNESS OF ITALIAN PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN & IS EASY TO IMPLEMENT

  • Research led by the University of Torino has found that The Daily Mile is versatile and transferable to primary schools in Italy.
  • Teachers saw positive effects within their school environment, after doing The Daily Mile.
  • Children who took part in The Daily Mile had significantly increased physical fitness and teachers found the programme extremely easy to implement into their school day.

The University of Torino has found that The Daily Mile is easy to implement and improves fitness of primary school children in Italy. In a study published on 15th October 2019, the University conducted research on 795 children across five primary schools in Italy. There were two groups – the control group which consisted of 309 students, and the experimental group which had 486 students who implemented The Daily Mile as per core principles for 3-months.

According to the University of Torino, 96.4% of teachers participating in the study said The Daily Mile has no negative impact on their teaching and 93% said The Daily Mile was extremely easy to implement. In total, 72% of teachers were very satisfied with the activity and compared to the control group, fitness significantly increased in the experiment group who completed The Daily Mile.

In Italy, 30.6% of primary school children are overweight or obese (Italian Ministry of Health report “Okkio alla salute”) which is alarmingly high compared to other European countries. The Daily Mile Foundation are hopeful that Research proving the initiative’s transferability will encourage even more countries to take up the initiative.

Elaine Wyllie MBE, founder of The Daily Mile, said, “I am delighted that the research undertaken by the University of Torino has found that The Daily Mile is significantly increasing the fitness of those children taking part and it is encouraging to see that Italian teachers found it as easy to implement in Italy as it is here in the UK. The research shows that if you stick to the simple core principles of The Daily Mile, it can be done anywhere and has a positive impact on the children.”

The Daily Mile, supported by INEOS, has to date been referenced in research conducted by the Universities of Stirling, Edinburgh and Highlands & Islands in Scotland, and by the Mulier Instituut in the Netherlands. The University of Torino have proven that The Daily Mile initiative is transferable to a different climate and schooling system.

Gennaro Boccia, Researcher from the University of Torino, said, “We were really excited to conduct this study on The Daily Mile. It’s a great initiative and we are extremely pleased that we got the results we did. To have Italian research find The Daily Mile has positive benefits on children and is also easy for teachers to implement is fantastic. Anything that benefits children is amazing, and we are really pleased to be supporting the cause.”

ENDS.

Media contacts

MediaZoo: Chris Hall chris.hall@mediazoo.tv – 07739 571 634

MediaZoo: Emily Drake – emily.drake@mediazoo.tv – 07769 158 292

The Daily Mile improves the physical fitness of Italian primary school children and is easy to implement

Article title: The Daily Mile improves the physical fitness of Italian primary school children and is easy to implement.

Dr Gennaro Boccia (Research Fellow at the School of Exercise and Sport Sciences) and researchers at the University of Torino investigated the effectiveness of The Daily Mile in improving fitness of Italian children and the feasibility of the initiative in 5 primary schools.

The study concluded The Daily Mile is versatile and transferable to primary schools in Italy. Teachers saw positive effects within their school environment after doing The Daily Mile, and children who took part had significantly increased physical fitness. Additionally, teachers found the programme extremely easy to implement into their school day and 96.4% of teachers agreed The Daily Mile has no negative impact on their teaching.

Read the full article online or download the paper, published in the International Journal of Environment Research and Public Health on 14th October 2019. 

How The Daily Mile works in practice

Article title: How The Daily Mile works in practice: A process evaluation in a UK primary school.

Research conducted by Jennifer Harris (Senior Child Physiotherapist and Pre-doctoral Fellow) and Associate Professors, Dr Gary Mountain and Dr Linda Milnes, University of Leeds, examined implementation factors, mechanisms of impact and contextual factors instrumental to the implementation of The Daily Mile in a primary school.

They concluded that with systematic organisation and planning, The Daily Mile has potential to be an integrated means of increasing physical activity. Recommendations include:

  • Enrolment of local implementation leads and support network
  • Engagement with wider community
  • Preparation of suitable track and access routes
  • Appropriate timetabling of intervention launch
  • Goal setting and class reflection on strategies to cooperate within a physical environment
  • ‘Buddy systems’ and modelling of positive attitudes
  • Small incentives to maintain sense of purpose
  • Implement within broader context of health promotion

Read the full article online, published in the Journal of Child Health Care on 9th October 2019.

Press Release: 2 million children run The Daily Mile as it signs up 10,000th school

2 MILLION CHILDREN RUN THE DAILY MILE AS IT SIGNS UP ITS 10,000TH SCHOOL

  • 10,000 schools and nurseries across 68 countries are now signed up to The Daily Mile, the life-changing children’s fitness initiative.
  • 2 million children around the world are now running The Daily Mile, every day.
  • The Daily Mile founder, Elaine Wyllie MBE, said: “We have experienced monumental growth in recent With the 10,000th school signing up to the initiative, two million children across 68 countries are quite literally taking steps every day towards a healthier future with The Daily Mile.”

The Daily Mile Foundation – who oversee global roll-out of The Daily Mile and are supported by INEOS – today announced that 10,000 settings around the world have now joined the initiative. This figure has grown by nearly 50% in the last 12 months alone. The Foundation’s flourishing network of partners in the UK, Europe and beyond are working hard to get schools taking part in the initiative in their countries. In the UK alone, partnerships with Sport England, supported by the National Lottery, as well as London Marathon and ITV have led to record engagement with The Daily Mile. Their support marks a shared ambition of leading national organisations to getting children active across the country.

In England alone, over 5,000 schools are now signed up.

The Daily Mile initiative was founded by Elaine Wyllie MBE in 2012 when she was headteacher of St Ninians Primary School in Stirling, Scotland. Concerned about the children’s lack of physical fitness, Elaine decided to get her pupils moving for 15 minutes every day to improve their overall fitness and wellbeing.

Leading up to the 10,000th sign up, the initiative has received formal backing from the Scottish and Welsh governments and high-profile support from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, as well as sporting legends Sir Andy Murray, Paula Radcliffe MBE, Sir Mo Farah and most recently Eliud Kipchoge – world record holder for the marathon.

A growing network of research shows the many benefits of The Daily Mile for children’s physical health and wellbeing, their mental health and wellbeing, and their learning. The Daily Mile helps children be more active, increases fitness, helps children feel happier and supports children’s focus and concentration in the classroom. Research by the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh also showcases the benefits of The Daily Mile for schools and teachers. Their research found that the success of the initiative lies in its core principles and ease of implementation.

Further recognition of the Foundation’s outstanding work in the UK and beyond comes after Elaine Wyllie was awarded an MBE for ‘Services to the Fitness of Children’ in the 2019 New Year Honours list.

Elaine Wyllie MBE, founder of The Daily Mile, said: “The Daily Mile has experienced monumental growth with 10,000 schools now signed up with 5000 schools in England alone. Two million children across 68 countries are now quite literally taking steps towards a healthier future with The Daily Mile. Just six years ago I started the campaign at a single primary school in Scotland with the simple belief that just 15 minutes of daily activity could be transformational and improve the health and wellbeing of our young people. I am delighted by the growth but hope that this is just the start. I want every single child at every school to experience the positive health benefits of running The Daily Mile.”

ENDS.

Media contacts

MediaZoo: Chris Hall chris.hall@mediazoo.tv – 07739 571 634

Teachers observe that The Daily Mile improves both concentration, peer to peer and teacher-child relationships

Kings College London School of Population Health and Environmental Sciences evaluated The Daily Mile as a public health intervention in the borough of Lewisham. Their study reports the perceived benefits by teachers for participating children which include improved peer to peer, and teacher-child relationships, and better concentration in class. These positive outcomes were most pronounced for children who don’t get much other physical activity in their day. Read the full study here.

The Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy (SCPHRP) based within the University of Edinburgh reported similar observations in their study where they evaluated teachers’ perspectives of the barriers and facilitators to the delivery of The Daily Mile in 8 primary schools in Edinburgh. They found that The Daily Mile increased teacher-child rapport, and enhanced classroom concentration. You can read more about their evaluation here.