Get miles ahead: How to maintain physical activity in schools after lockdown ends
There is no easier form of exercise for children than walking, jogging or running. It’s free, it’s fun and it helps to keep them fit in both body and mind.
Schools and nurseries across the UK recognise the benefits that regular exercise bring to their pupils, and currently 11,124 schools are implementing The Daily Mile initiative to promote better levels of fitness for their pupils.
The Daily Mile is both a social and physical activity, which gets children out in the fresh air and exercising with their classmates. Children are encouraged to walk, jog or run a full mile around the school premises or a specially designed track every day, making them healthier and more able to concentrate in the classroom.
Recent research has shown that teachers value the importance of The Daily Mile, with 77% of primary school teachers stating that the activity has a positive impact on the attentiveness of their class throughout the school day.
Physical activity levels are declining during lockdown
The country finds itself in unprecedented times whilst we are all living in the lockdown period caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The restrictions on the amount of time we can spend outdoors has limited our ability to keep our children active, especially for those who do not have access to outside space.
The closure of our schools and nurseries has also had a huge impact on the fitness levels of the youngest generation. Almost overnight parents have had to navigate their way through their children’s home-schooling needs and mental well-being whilst adapting to busy working from home schedules of their own.
As a result of the lockdown, the nation’s children are spending increasing amounts of time on their devices and leading a more sedentary lifestyle.
The Daily Mile are addressing the challenge of physical activity during lockdown with the introduction of The Daily Mile at Home and are inviting parents, carers and children to join in an adapted program they can use at home helping them to balance their mental and physical well-being.
School life after lockdown
There has been much speculation on when lockdown will be lifted and how UK nurseries, schools and universities will open. The education landscape is likely to look vastly different when students return to the classroom, with social distancing measures under consideration as one way to ensure both staff and pupils can remain safe.
Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson has said ‘It is incredibly important that we get the right balance in terms of actually making sure that we create an environment that is good to learn in but also that is a safe environment for people to both work in and learn in as well.’
One suggestion has been to reduce the number of children in each class, so they can maintain a safe space whilst learning. But what will happen on the playground? Children naturally want to play, speak with and get close to their friends, especially as they may not have seen them since the schools closed back in March.
Maintaining social distancing whilst enjoying physical activity
The team at Edspace have been considering the challenge of a return to school under social distancing measures and have designed a Daily Mile track which provides a fun and simple exercise facility that can be used every day – whatever the weather.
The track is large enough for teachers to designate staggered starting points around the track, so pupils can enjoy their exercise, still see their friends taking part all around the track and maintain a safe distance while doing so. We can also create wider tracks so that children can overtake in a socially responsible manner, meaning no bottlenecks and all the pupils can run, jog or walk at their own pace.
Are you ready, steady, GO with a post-lockdown playground plan?
We know that as educators you are working tirelessly to provide the nation’s kids with online lessons and home-schooling plans. Many of you are at school providing essential care for the children of NHS staff and other designated keyworkers – and we salute you for your dedication in these challenging times.
We also understand that behind the scenes, leadership teams are preparing to welcome pupils back to school in a safe and responsible manner, working within a very different educational landscape.
The challenge of adapting playgrounds, school playing fields and pathways around school premises to ensure social distancing is causing headaches for teachers. The Daily Mile track provides a cost-effective and enjoyable way to ensure pupils benefit from fresh air and exercise while staying safe.
Get your Daily Mile track designed for FREE
We want to play our part in helping schools and nurseries adjust to this ‘new normal’, so we are offering to design your track route utilising satellite technology to produce suggested routes that will meet your budget requirements. Our design service is totally free and designed to help you plan your post-lockdown playground.
Installation is quick and fuss-free and by taking advantage of our free design offer now, you can have your brand-new track ready for the return of your pupils. All our installations are carried out by a DBS checked team of experts and comply with British and EU standards.
Join the growing number of UK nurseries and schools who provide important daily physical activity for their pupils. Ambassadors, including Sir Ben Ainslie and Sir Andy Murray, agree that The Daily Mile is helping to combat the growing childhood obesity issue by allowing kids to have a good time, burn off some energy and lay the foundations for a fitter, healthier life.