Creator of the Daily Mile says it is an ‘absolute joy’ Suffolk schools are taking on the challenge
The primary school head teacher who dreamt up the Daily Mile scheme says it is an ‘absolute dream’ to see it rolled out across the country - including the 11 schools in Suffolk.
Today the EADT and Ipswich Star urged more schools to get involved with the ground breaking initiative which challenges children to run, jog or walk a mile each day.
Head teacher Elaine Wyllie came up with the scheme after she was told by a volunteer at her school in Scotland that the children were unfit.
To see if this was true, she took a class of year five pupils outside to run around the field but most could not complete a lap.
A plan was put in place that the children would go out for 15 minutes each day.
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“I thought it would go off my radar, I thought they would not like it and I would never hear about it again,” she said.
“After four weeks the children were transformed - their focus, their behaviour, their happiness, all different.”
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Today, Mrs Wyllie spoke with Suffolk County Council officials urging them get more schools involved with the scheme.
“It is fantastic, 11 schools in Suffolk and I’m told that is just the start,” she said.
“They are looking to have all the schools take part.
“It’s really a joy because it’s not a money making enterprise, it’s all about the children getting fit in the fresh air with their friends.
“It is an absolute joy to hear all the stories and coming to lovely places in the world like Suffolk and seeing that this is happening, all because of that one comment that children are not fit and now more and more of the nations children are getting fit on a daily basis.”
She added: “We are now getting evidence that their attainment is raised and they are doing better in their SATS when they are doing the Daily Mile and that has been remarkable and very, very pleasing.
“But the happiness, that they are settled, that they are focussed - all these are very important and they feed into the feeling of childhood that children need to get.
“That is really important.
“The key for rolling it out is simplicity.
“It costs nothing, you don’t need any skills or any equipment.
“All you need is children and somewhere for them to run.”
The head teacher of a Suffolk school taking part in the Daily Mile initiative says is has made a marked improvement to the health of the pupils just a year after taking up the challenge.
Jim Cleaver, headteacher at Westgate Community Primary School in Bury St Edmunds, said: “We have been running it for a year now and it is going really well.
“It is now just part of a normal school day, that you do your daily mile.
“It is just part of what we do.
“Throughout that part of their life they are getting daily dose of physical activity.
“It is having a demonstrable effect on the children.
“At the local park run ten out of the top 11 came from our school.”
Abdul Razaq, Suffolk County Council’s director of public health and protection added: “The Daily Mile and the 15 minutes of exercise provide a great opportunity for raising educational attainment as well as getting the children fitter, healthier and focussed.”
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