The Mail is reporting on the pioneering ‘Daily Mile’ fitness initiative at St Ninians school in Stirling with claims (which are to be tested) that it has resulted in the school having no overweight children and improved behaviour.
A primary school where children are made to run a mile every day has proved so successful in tackling obesity it could soon be introduced nationwide.
Teachers at St Ninians school in Stirling have sent pupils out for the daily run for the last four years and claim it has improved their behaviour as well as their fitness.
Given the popularity of the scheme, a campaign has now been launched to persuade all primary schools across the UK to copy the model.
Five hundred other primaries across Britain have already adopted the scheme as part of their drive to cut childhood obesity.
Daily miles are now run in schools in London, Gateshead, Wales and other parts of Scotland, with 30 schools in Stirling alone taking part.
Children from Hallfield Primary in London were today pictured with ex-Olympian Iwan Thomas, Made in Chelsea’s Nicola Hughes and Chloe Lewis from TOWIE taking part in a mile run.
They were also joined by proud headteacher of St Ninians, Elaine Wyllie, who started the scheme at her Stirling primary.
She said: ‘The thought of children across the country running every day because of something we’ve done is phenomenal.
‘It’s a commonsense approach to children’s fitness, which is free and easy. The most important thing is that the children really enjoy it, otherwise you couldn’t sustain it. They come back in bright-eyed and rosy-cheeked, how children used to look. It’s joyous to see.’
She added: ‘We want all schools to give their children the opportunity to run a mile each day.
‘It only takes fifteen minutes and has been shown to improve their health, fitness and concentration in class.’ …
At St Ninians, teachers take their pupils out of lessons on to a specially built circuit around the school’s playing field for their daily mile whenever it best suits that day’s timetable. Only ice or very heavy rain stops them.
Children who have difficulty with mobility are supported to take part…
Meanwhile, researchers from Stirling University are looking for quantitative evidence of the physical, cognitive and emotional benefits of the daily mile.
St Ninians pupils will be compared with children from a school in Stirling that has yet to start the scheme.
Dr Colin Moran, who is leading the study, told the Guardian: ‘The children [at St Ninians] don’t seem to have problems with obesity; they seem happier and staff say they settle into lessons faster, so we designed a study that would test all of these things. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence about the benefits but there aren’t any scientific facts yet.’
The results of the study should be published in July.
Regular readers will know I am very enthusiastic about this scheme, mainly because of its pure simplicity.
It’s not about getting changed, sport, rules, competition, equipment or any of the stuff that can often get in the way – it’s just a daily run (or walk) that everyone gets involved in.
It will be fascinating to see the research study and also to see how other schools adopting the approach get on.
If you’re involved in any of them, do let us know how you are finding it?
Please share in the comments or via Twitter…
Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or just someone who cares about education and has something to get off your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.
We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!