Be Active

How the Daily Mile is making schools better

The Daily Mile improves concentration in lessons, gives pupils time to unwind and improves physical health.
Pupils and teachers from Grange Park Primary School on their Daily Mile track
Pupils and teachers from Grange Park Primary School on their Daily Mile track

By Amber Bannister, aged 14 – On work experience with the Telford and Wrekin Council’s Health Improvement Service

The Daily Mile is a social physical activity where children run, walk or jogg for 1 mile.  The activity is beginning to spread around the globe, and generally takes place in primary schools.

It aims to improve the physical, emotional, social health and wellbeing of children in the United Kingdom and around the world.

Over the past week I’ve been fortunate enough to have a work experience placement with Telford & Wrekin Council Health Improvement Service. During my time there I visited The Grange Primary School, where I witnessed The Daily Mile in action.

Grange Park Daily Mile track
Grange Park Daily Mile track

Although I only experienced the short term effects of The Daily Mile, the enthusiasm and amusement of the participating pupils made it evident to me that this form of exercise is a simple yet effective way of improving the health of a child.

After watching the children participate in this activity, I can also see that it encourages an active lifestyle, and helps children to become aware of their health.

When I asked the teachers at The Grange Primary School if they’ve noticed a significant change in their student’s behaviour since the introduction of The Daily Mile. They said:

“Yes definitely, it’s a good brain break for when they’re getting restless and it improves their concentration for the upcoming lesson.”

Teacher at Grange Park

A small amount of exercise can have a large impact on the concentration and behaviour of a child, so why hasn’t this daily exercise been introduced in every school?

I asked Lee James (the Head of Extra Curricular Sport at Grange Park) if he would advise other schools to introduce The Daily Mile. he said:

“100%, it has had such a significant impact on the fitness of the students, and they seem a lot happier and more relaxed.”

Lee James, Head of Extra Curricular Sport at Grange Park

In 2018 1 in 3 children aged 10-11 were overweight or obese, and since then it has only increased.

When asked if they enjoy participating in The Daily Mile, the students said:

“Yes because it makes me fit and it makes me ready to listen in lessons.”

Student at Grange Park.

I believe that not only does The Daily Mile have a positive impact on children’s physical health, but it also has an extremely positive impact on their mental health.

When watching the children run the Daily Mile, it became clear that this is something the pupils of Grange Park Primary School really enjoy and benefit from, and it’s a time for them to unwind and socialise with their school friends.

I think it is important for this activity to be introduced in as many schools as possible, because the effect that it has on the students is outstanding.

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