The Daily Mile
The Daily Mile was the brainwave of Elaine Wyllie, a headteacher in Stirling Scotland. She introduced it to improve fitness but also to improve children's social, emotional and mental wellbeing.
We decided to trial it from February 2016 and it was received with enthusiasm by children and teachers.
A course was marked out, 5 laps of both playgrounds and swimming pool area or 3.5 laps of the field. Children can run, jog or walk the course and are encouraged to improve on previous times and distances run.
Initially we found it was hard to keep count of the laps so the children collect a cube after each completed lap and once they have 5 cubes they are able to add a tick to their chart.
Each class aims to run at least 3 times a week plus doing a run as part of the games and PE sessions.
We have noticed improved levels of fitness and stamina across the school. Many pupils have joined running groups or Park Run events in the locality.
We are planning a number of events this year when parents can join in with their children.
The following comments were gathered by Sally Edie, our school governor
‘Reception class has really enjoyed taking part in the mile. Each time we have PE they ask if they are doing a run as a warm up and are always very pleased if they are. All the children have enjoyed participating even if they need to walk for parts of it .The activity has not only shown us who is particularly strong but also who has the determination to keep going even if they are finding something challenging. It is also great how many children support each other and we have seen lots of children encouraging their friends to keep going or offering to run with them to help them keep going.’ [A.Baker reception teacher]
‘It has been really successful in year 2 – the children enjoy it and are keen to improve their performance each time. They understand about trying to pace themselves and some of them are starting to run with people of similar ability. We try to record each time a mile has been completed.’ [Sarah Mead]
'When I used to ask the children to come for a dog walk they used to complain and say they were tired after just a short while. Now they run and are happy to keep going!’ (parent)
‘Shock and horror was the initial reaction from Year 3 when they were told that they would be running a mile around the school on a regular basis. After realising that they could walk if they felt that they were unable to run, they were keener to give it a go. Trainers were quickly put on and off they went! Many children had no idea how far a mile was and set off too quickly – the first time it took 13 minutes for all the class to complete. Our time now is 8 minutes for everyone to finish. They are enthusiastic and are constantly asking when they are going to run- even one girl who hated running and would be the last one to change for outdoor PE, so that she could avoid the warmup run, is now running most of the mile – SMILING! This has led to the class setting a goal for goal to get fit to win the Golden Boot Award as an initiative for the PSHE curriculum. Every week we evaluate how far we are towards reaching our goal and the children happily move their fitness up the scale. They say they feel fitter.’ (K Lesser Year 3)
‘My children love the mile [I hear yesssss whenever I say we are going out to do it] We have been using the multilink to count the laps- I think it is really good for them and I can see a definite difference in their fitness .I noticed the difference in their stamina before half term compared when they returned after the 11 day break! I never have any complaints about doing it!' [N.Russell class teacher].