The Daily Mile is an initiative which was started in February 2012 by Elaine Wyllie, who was then headteacher of a large Scottish primary school. She was concerned by the children’s obvious lack of fitness and went on to prove The Daily Mile to be both sustainable and effective in combatting inactivity and obesity in her school. The result was that, in November 2015, the Scottish Government wrote to every Scottish primary school to recommend that they implement the scheme too. In addition, in August 2016 the UK government’s Childhood Obesity strategy identified and supported The Daily Mile’s contribution towards the recommended hour that children should spend taking daily exercise in school.
The Daily Mile is very simple to start in a school. Every child in a school or nursery goes out each day in the fresh air to (run or jog at their own pace for 15 minutes). It is not competitive though some will compete and that is fine. Most children will average a mile in the 15 minutes, with some doing more and some doing less. It is not PE, sport or cross-country but physical activity in a social setting which is aimed at improving the children’s physical, social, emotional and mental health, and wellbeing. The children run in their ordinary school clothes with trainers being ideal but not essential. It can help children to focus and concentrate in the classroom and raise their attainment. And most importantly, the children really enjoy it.
Does running a mile really make a difference?
What's the logic of reducing children’s lesson time by 15 minutes each day; surely they could find ways of being more active at other times?
According to a consensus statement released by Williams and 23 other child-health experts in 2016: “Time taken away from lessons for physical activity is time well spent and does not come at the cost of getting good grades. Physical activity has been found to boost young people’s brain development and function, as well as their intellect.” Indeed, in a previous study, Brooks found that a single bout of exercise left children feeling more awake, increased their attention and verbal memory and improved their feelings of wellbeing.
More information on the benefits of the initiative can be found on the following article:
Did you know... the perimeter of our playing field is 1609.34 metres?
That means children have to run almost four and a half laps to complete their daily mile... phew!