Many schools have started to consider whether they should introduce a daily mile into the school day. Understandably teachers are slightly concerned about adding yet another thing into an already busy curriculum. However, there are many benefits to having a Daily Mile Track which very much outweigh the negatives and concerns about time management.
A regular run will help improve focus, behaviour and concentration, will ensure that schools are tackling childhood obesity and fitness levels and will give teachers a quick and easy PE session when time is tight! There are many benefits to installing a Daily Mile Track, but here are the top 5 benefits to teachers.
Improve Focus, Behaviour and Concentration
It has been proven time and time again that physical activity and exercise improves children’s focus, behaviour and concentration. It makes sense! How many times have you told children to stop fidgeting on the carpet, or had children staring out of the window midway through English?
Research has shown that even light exercise increases memory, mood and the ability to perform well on tests. Taking the whole class out for a 15 minute daily run, perhaps before a Big Write, before a spelling test or even before more formal tests will help the children’s brains work at full capacity, ensuring they perform their very best when needed.
Children with SEN will also benefit from having a Daily Mile Track installed in the school grounds. Many children with SEN need brain breaks in order to help their receptive and aural memories, and a quick run will ensure they can focus and concentrate more in class. Other children, especially ones with ADHD, need times when they can move and not have to sit still. Running around a track, especially one where they can see the end point, will help bring their fidget levels down, meaning both them, and their classmates, will find it easier to concentrate in class.
Use Of Sports Premium
For the academic year 2017 – 18, the DfE recently confirmed that they would not only continue to pay schools the Sports Premium Fund, but that they would double it. Unsurprisingly, this comes with some more caveats than previous funding, and the main one is linked to sustainability.
The DfE and Ofsted have noted that in previous years, many schools were using the funding for short term gains – for example in employing specialist coaches to work with one year group – of for funding required parts of the curriculum – for example swimming. They have since made it clear that this is an unacceptable use of the funding, and that schools should focus on a long term plan which will improve sports activities now and for pupils in the future.
The installation of a Daily Mile Track is a great and appropriate use of the Sports Premium. Not only will it encourage more children to take part in sports activities through running a daily mile, it will also increase fitness levels, decrease obesity in our children, and encourage a healthy lifestyle. The DfE are looking for schools to document how they have spent their premium and the impact it has had, and with the installation of a daily mile run, schools can immediately document the ways they are increasing fitness across the years.
Sustainable and All Weather Appropriate
Another great benefit of installing a Daily Mile Track is the sustainability of the track. Whether you are planning on using the Sports Premium Funding, or whether your PTA has agreed to pay for the installation, you want to ensure that your investment will last for a long time. The Daily Mile Track comes with a 10 year guarantee, ensuring that it is sustainable for many years to come.
The other thing you want to ensure is that it can be used in all weathers. Understandably you won’t want to make an investment into sports equipment that can only be used in fair weather. The Daily Mile Track is usable all year round, so you can ensure that children will get a 15 minute daily run no matter the weather in safety. Too often PE sessions are cancelled because of poor weather, usually rain, but with appropriate clothing (coats will be more than enough) there is no reason that children shouldn’t take part in a daily mile regardless of the weather conditions.
Links To Other Curriculum Areas
Cross curricular and incidental learning are still buzz words within today’s education system, and teachers are always looking for new ways to bring their curriculum to life. A Daily Mile Track can not only aid with children’s fitness levels, but can also be linked into other curriculum areas.
You could ask the children to walk a mile and then walk a kilometre so they can physically feel the differences for a maths lesson. You could also act out various word problems in Maths lessons, allowing them to ‘see’ the problem in real life. In Science you could ask the children to design an experiment linked to health and exercise, and then link this to English where they write up their explanation. There are so many ways you can adapt a Daily Mile Track in every day learning.
Easy PE Sessions For Busy Weeks
In today’s schools, teachers are constantly being bombarded with new initiatives from every corner. One moment they need to add cooking into the curriculum and the next they need to ensure that every child has first aid training. It’s non stop! The problems aren’t with the ideas, but with the fact that the curriculum is already jam packed with essentials; and now important areas of the curriculum are being pushed out.
How many times have you found yourself shortening a PE session because you haven’t got time to fit in a Big Write? Or you cancel the netball training because you have to rehearse for the next school play? It happens so often – PE is the one subject that gets squashed and squeezed more than any other mainly because it feels so time consuming.
You know that it is important the children get their required time of sports activity during the week, but some weeks it feels as though you don’t have enough hours in the day. It’s weeks like those that the Daily Mile Track will come in so usefully! It takes children approximately 15 minutes to run a mile, and no matter how busy you are, there is always a 15 minute gap in the day that you can utilise.
So a Daily Mile Track will bring with it many different benefits, both to children and to teachers. Schools which have already installed a Daily Mile Track have found that they have seamlessly integrated a daily mile run into their school day, and the benefits that it will bring.