Daily Mile is improving children’s sleeping patterns and fitness levels, says Suffolk headteacher
PUBLISHED: 18:51 12 June 2017 | UPDATED: 18:51 12 June 2017
Libby Brown, headteacher at Kyson Primary School, has given a resounding endorsement to the pioneering scheme which has been launched in the Ipswich Star and East Anglian Daily Times.
We want every Suffolk primary school to adopt the Daily Mile, which began in Scotland five years ago, and get hundreds more children running, jogging or walking a mile at school every day.
Eleven Suffolk primary schools have signed up. Kyson Primary School started in Easter 2016.
“It has been absolutely amazing,” Miss Brown said. “Staff fit it in when appropriate. If a lesson has required lots of deep thinking, then sometimes it is appropriate to do it after. If it is forecast to rain later, they might do it in the morning. But we do it despite the weather. Wind, rain; you name it, we do it, because that is part of the experience.
“I have to say, in terms of physical fitness, it’s absolutely proved its worth. Absence rates have dropped a little and children are less concerned about getting wet in the rain. The wonderful bonus that we had not anticipated was the fact that, yes, it is physical exercise, but it is mental downtime, and it’s a time when children will often talk to staff about things which are of a concern to them; are worrying them a little bit. You’ll find a little child coming to hold your hand and wants to do it with you.”
Asked if there is any evidence yet to suggest it improves attainment, Miss Brown added: “That is the big question and it is difficult to measure, but it has certainly improved concentration. Parents say children are sleeping better and longer. They are going to bed at earlier times, which we are delighted about. That in itself makes a huge difference to concentration levels.”
She urged other heads to trial it for a month. “You will be incredibly pleased that you started it,” she said.
“I can’t imagine a time now when Kyson wouldn’t do it. Do it, try it, and you will see the benefits. They are tangible.
“The slowest children will take 15 minutes. That is 15 minutes out of a six-and-a-half hour day. It’s nothing, but the gains are huge.”