The Daily Mile is easy to implement in any school and fun for all children. The success of The Daily Mile is in its all-inclusive nature – evidence from across the country suggests that even children who are reluctant to take part in PE enjoy and participate happily in The Daily Mile. Additionally, children with mobility difficulties should be fully supported to take part as well.Read on below
Elaine’s top tips for Daily Mile success…
Here are my top tips for getting started with your own Daily Mile!
Keep it simple – resist the temptation to over-complicate it. The Daily Mile should always be social and fun. From time-to-time, you may wish to connect it to the curriculum or do something seasonal – for example, running Laps to Lapland.
Make it safe – in order to ensure that The Daily Mile is a safe activity for all the children, carry out a risk assessment of your route. It can be good to involve the children in doing this.
When deciding on your route – if you can, make it about 5-12 laps long. This allows the children to enjoy running as far as they can in the 15 minutes, without anyone being in the lead. The Daily Mile can’t be done in mud.
Try to do it daily – and certainly no less than three times a week – otherwise children will find it hard, and won’t enjoy all the benefits that come from daily physical activity.
The Daily Mile is not a race or competition – it’s a daily physical activity which is social. The whole class should understand that they can go out and run at their own pace. The children chat with one another as they run around together and it’s common to hear the language of friendship.
It’s always fully inclusive – make sure all children are out in the fresh air, getting involved. This will ensure it is sustainable as the children enjoy it so much – they’ll get the opportunity to chat with current friends, plus make new ones.
Treat the weather as a benefit, not a barrier – children enjoy being outside in different types of weather, connecting with nature and being aware of the seasons.
The children don’t change into kit – they always run in what they are wearing. Trainers should be encouraged and many schools have found that it’s a good idea to make black trainers part of the school uniform.
Deciding when the class goes out is best left to each teacher – they know their class and can respond to their needs. If a school timetable is constructed for The Daily Mile it could mean that a class might easily miss their slot – due to heavy rain, perhaps – and this can introduce difficulties. It is best if The Daily Mile is integrated into the children’s schedules in a time-flexible way.
Encourage the children to run and jog – although they can stop and walk to catch their breath from time to time, the real benefits to the majority of children come from running and jogging for 15 minutes. Walking the whole time is not ideal – children who are able to run should be encouraged to run as much as possible. Many children are sedentary at playtimes, so The Daily Mile is an ideal opportunity for them to raise their heartbeats, be out of breath and improve their balance – all good for their health.
It's fantastic to see initiatives like The Daily Mile be established, showing real leadership from the eduction sector to improve children's fitness levels, their cognitive behaviour and make a real difference to schools, teachers, parents and young people's lived. We know sitting still kills; not sitting still helps children build skills that will stay with them for life.Tanni Grey-Thomson