Is the ‘Daily Mile’ the answer to keeping our children fit?
Every school runs the gauntlet of trying to keep their pupils active and engaged in physical activity, whilst still trying to meet the ever stringent literacy and numeracy targets the government bestow upon them.
Having worked in a variety of schools for the past 20 years, we have seen first hand how hard teachers work to ensure their pupils aren’t simply a number on a data information sheet but are provided with a creative, well balanced curriculum which also keeps them physically healthy. This task can be an uphill struggle!
The initiative ‘the daily mile’ was introduced in 2012 as a way of encouraging children to get moving, to walk or run a mile each day. With children walking to school less and less, our lifestyles aren’t conducive to keeping our children moving, so this seems like a wonderful initiative to introduce. (We also especially love the fact it was dreamt up by a slightly cross 80 year old! (She sounds like a real force to be reckoned with!)
‘In February 2012 the daily mile was born, when an 80 year old volunteer challenged a class of school kids about their fitness. The headteacher was so taken aback by the stark truth which demonstrated just how unfit the children in her school were, she began a movement to do something about it.’
So what is ‘the daily mile’?
Simply put, The Daily Mile is 15 minutes wherein children jog or run, at their own pace, during the school day at a time of the teacher’s choosing. We recommend this be during lesson time, so children have their full break/play time. The Daily Mile is not Sport or PE, but rather health and wellbeing through physical activity.
Source -The Daily Mile
The daily mile is an initiative that any school can implement without the need for training, funding, or equipment, and this is what makes it so accessible. With budgets being tightened and expectations on teachers only getting bigger, what better way to get our children fit – simply get them to run around the school yard! It’s almost like we have taken some of the wisdom from the 1940s and brought it to the modern day!
The daily mile is great for aerobic fitness, it serves to build a foundation of exercise, which can then be built upon with a range of other types of physical activity.
The Department of Health says that children over the age of five should be engaging in at least an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise every day – yet only a fifth of children aged between 5 and 15 achieve this. Moderate activities could include walking to school, riding a scooter, or cycling, while vigorous ones include playing chase, football, dancing or swimming.
With the daily mile in place at many schools, this then paves the way for more ‘moderate’ exercise and activities which encourage balance, dexterity, coordination to be layered into the curriculum to complement this.
How do circus skills benefit a child’s fitness?
A circus skills workshop isn’t going to be the key to getting children’s aerobic fitness up to scratch, but it can serve as a wonderful, fun, complementary activity to build on their base level of fitness and introduce other physical skills which are essential to all round physical health.
We focus more on encouraging dexterity, hand eye coordination and body orientation through tricks and games with circus equipment, so our workshops are also wonderful for children who do have lower levels of fitness, to be included and able to participate as fully as those children who are physically very fit.
When children constantly feel like the ‘slow’ or incapable ones, this can be demoralising to the point of them disengaging altogether. A circus skills workshop provides a physical activity which all children can participate in and see results.
With years of experience delivering workshops, we are adept at tailoring the workshop to suit and refer to a variety of topics that your school may be studying, for example; fitness weeks, world book day, a circus topic, or healthy eating.
Being performers as well as teachers, our circus trainers can incorporate a learning topic with the workshops we deliver. When you get in touch with us, just let us know what you have in mind and we would love to make it work!