Proven ongoing health benefits of daily physical activity in schools
With schools set to reopen their doors to pupils in September after the COVID-19 closures, there will be an increased focus on providing a safe learning environment for children
Schools are making provisions to welcome students back to the classrooms by preparing safe learning areas and maximising outdoor classrooms to help maintain social distancing.
Sadly, whilst most youngsters are looking forward to the new term and seeing their friends, the lockdown measures have taken their toll and many children will be returning to school with poorer physical health.
Edspace recognises the importance of physical activity and the positive impact of exercise and fresh air on children’s emotional health. The addition of a Daily Mile track to the premises is an easy way for schools to play an important part in rebuilding pupil’s fitness levels.
There are currently over 11,000 schools and nurseries that take part in the various daily exercise initiatives. It’s a fun activity that allows kids to jog or run at their own pace and encourages awareness of the importance of health and fitness.
St Polycarp’s School: 87% of children achieve the Daily Mile in 15 minutes
By introducing the Daily Mile to the curriculum from September, schools could reap the long-term benefits of improved mental and physical health, better concentration in the classroom, and improved learning outcomes amongst KS2 children.
But don’t just take our word for it.
We’ve seen proven results from St. Polycarp’s School based in Farnham. In 2015, Edspace installed an exercise track at the primary school, which has an intake of 420 students. The school set a simple goal that every child should be able to run a mile before they leave Year 6.
Five years later, we revisited St. Polycarp’s School to catch up with Deputy Headteacher, Karen Trafford to hear what impact the Edspace track has had on its students:
“In 2015 we had an Edspace running track laid in order that our children could run a mile daily. Five years on that running track is still going strong.
Parents, staff, and children have given feedback on the benefits of the daily run over this five-year period. The feedback summarised is that the children are both mentally and physically healthier, sleep better, eat better, are more focused in class, do better in National tests and love the freedom felt as they run along the track surrounded by trees and nature.”
The school has monitored the success of the running track since it’s installation. In October 2015 only 15% of pupils could run a mile each day. Fast-forward to March 2020 and 87% of the children can now run at least a mile in fifteen minutes.
The senior leadership team at St. Polycarp’s School has been so impressed with the results that they have produced a guide to help other schools in the area implement their own Daily Mile activities.
Parents have been equally impressed and have reported notable differences in their children since the Daily Mile was introduced. The school has received many positive comments such as ‘I thought it was a fabulous idea and such a simple, common sense way to enrich children’s lives in so many ways,’ and ‘my children are sleeping much better and for longer than before they started running every day.’
The track has proved so successful that Edspace is now working with the school to upgrade their track with the addition of a colourful six-lane sprint track which will be incorporated into the existing circuit.
It’s not only the pupils who make use of the St. Polycarp’s School Daily Mile Track. Teachers are encouraged to jog with pupils and use the time to interact with their students.
The track has also seen some famous faces completing the seven laps which make up the mile; Olympian swimmer, Duncan Goodhew, Made in Chelsea and I’m A Celebrity winner Georgia Toffolo and Jeremy Hunt MP have all visited the school and enjoyed the track.
Plan your Daily Mile Track with the experts
If you’re considering the benefits of an all-weather Daily Mile track for your pupils, our friendly team are on hand to help.
Our running tracks are constructed using a polyurethane bound rubber chip, which provides a porous, resilient surface that can be used all year round. The track is easy to maintain and designed to withstand thousands of miles of use by children of all ages and abilities.
Join the growing number of schools who’ve taken advantage of our many years’ experience supplying play and outdoor learning products to the educational sector by contacting us for a free consultation.