Stirlingshire head teacher’s Daily Mile idea spreads from Scotland to 30 more countries
Source: The Sunday Post
Founder of The Daily Mile, Elaine Wyllie, has seen her idea adopted by more than 3,500 schools in 31 countries. And, she hopes, scientific research coming out soon will underline the fitness benefits for children and prompt more schools to start ‚a mile‘ of their own.
Elaine, who started it all with just 15 minutes per day of running or jogging in a Stirlingshire school playground, has already seen it transform UK children’s health.
Recently, Elaine had a meeting with Professor Stephen Powis, new medical director for NHS England, as part of discussions aimed at getting England to follow the Scottish, Welsh and Irish governments in recommending schools do The Daily Mile.
Elaine explained, „The answer to the horrendous plague of obesity and physical inactivity lies in the schools. There has been no scalable, effective intervention on childhood obesity anywhere in the Western world. Getting that is the holy grail and we hope the science proves The Daily Mile may help.“
Meanwhile, the profile of The Daily Mile in the UK has rocketed this month, thanks to the backing of ITV. „Having ITV want to become involved is a massive thing,“ said Elaine. „Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought we’d achieve such exposure and have so much interest.“
A recent launch in Ireland has already lead to more than 80 schools registering. Other European countries involved include France, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Poland, Italy and Greece. But the reach is ever-growing, with more countries in far-flung places signing up daily, including Honduras and Jamaica.
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The Daily Mile advertisement (2) supported by ITV and INEOS
Listellick National School – Co. Kerry, Ireland
Listellick National School
Where we’re based: Listellick, Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland
School Roll: 224
How many pupils take part in The Daily Mile: 224
Month/Year we started The Daily mile: November, 2017
Where do we do The Daily Mile? In our school playgrounds
A brief description of your school?
Our schol is an urban/rural school situated on the edge of the town of Tralee. We are a single stream school with 8 classes from Junior Infants to Sixth class.
Since starting The Daily Mile, what differences, if any, have you noticed in the children and across your school?
• The pupils have better concentration and are calmer after it.
• The children are very enthusiastic about it and have more energy after it.
• They have progressed from walking to running and seem to be getting fitter.
• Better attitude by the children towards running and walking
• When we do it first thing in the morning the class seem more settled
Did you encounter any barriers to getting started with The Daily Mile or whilst implementing The Daily Mile in your school? If yes, how did you overcome them?
• It is very weather dependent. If the day was very bad we did exercise in the classroom as we do not have a hall.
• The Daily Mile was well organised in the school – timetabling etc.
What has been the reported impact of The Daily Mile on the children’s learning, concentration, focus, behaviour, mood and relationships?
• Children are happier
• Mood is uplifted when we are back in class
• It wakes them up and contributes to higher levels of concentration in class.
• Socially, I see the children doing the mile with different peers every day. They are forming new friendships.
• Their focus and concentration has improved.
• Very positive – the children love it. They are very disappointed if they can’t
• They learn to respect others as they run in a group.
• It’s a good break for Senior Infants and I use it as a transition between lessons.
Can you tell us about any successful links you have made between The Daily Mile and your curriculum?
• Maths – counting the laps and time links
• PE – running, jogging, walking and importance of keeping active
• English- oral language- heart rate, exercise, laps
• SPHE- healthy habits
• History – running, marathon
Do you have any individual success stories of pupils or staff members you would like to share with us?
• I try to complete the Daily Mile as part of my daily 10,000 step target
• As a group the class seem to bond better as they have a common goal
• As the teacher I enjoy it myself. I often walk with one or two children and it gives me a chance to catch up on a one to one level with them.
• There’s a child with Cystic Fibrosis in my class and at the beginning he found it hard to run 3 laps without stopping. However, over the months he has made great progress and can now do it very well.
• Some pupils don’t get exercise when they go home. This may be the only exercise they get and they really enjoy it.
Do you have any tips for other schools looking to get started?
• Very enjoyable experience
• No equipment needed and very easy to start
• Just do it
• Do not look for reasons for not doing it. Facilities should not be a problem
• All children are included
• We found having a timetable helped us
• Exercise inside on wet days
• Go for it. It requires minimal effort and you get great results
Any other comments?
• The children love it. They always remind me if we don’t get out for it.
• Some children don’t look forward to it but once they are out there doing they enjoy it.
• It’s a great idea
John Greene: Running every day can deliver huge benefits for our young at little cost to schools or parents
Source: The Independent IE
The story has been told many times before but it will never grow old. It’s the one about the teacher in Scotland who thought her pupils didn’t look like they could run, so she got them running. And, as someone said last week, in that single act the teacher changed thousands of lives, because eight years later the school’s students are still running.
They run every single day. They call it The Daily Mile. And other primary schools in Scotland picked up on it and started a Daily <ile. England followed. And now – at last – Ireland is following too.
The Scottish teacher is Elaine Wylie and she was in St Brigid’s National School in Castleknock last week to pass her story on to the teachers and pupils. The occasion was the pilot launch of The Daily Mile. St Brigid’s is one of a number of Irish schools who have taken it on. The hope is that many more schools around the country will do likewise. In fact, what should happen is that every school starts a daily mile. All that’s needed is the will to make it happen.
…And the last word goes to one child in another of the pilot schools, Blennerville NS in Kerry: „The mile makes you more smiley.“
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John Dabell is an experienced teacher, former school inspector, project manager, writer and editor at TeacherToolkit.
Are your children match fit?
Children come in all shapes and sizes and their fitness levels vary considerably – they always have.
The high prevalence of physical inactivity and low level of healthy eating habits is commonplace and so you won’t be surprised to learn that 22 million children under the age of 5 years are overweight. Obese children are more likely to grow into obese adults.
Ali Oliver, chief executive of the Youth Sport Trust, thinks that accessible, inclusive and purposeful sport, play and PE have to play their part in tackling not just obesity but also mental health issues. No one is really going to disagree with this and into this mix we can add a daily dose of 1609.34 meters, 1760 yards, 5280 feet or 63360 inches.
Sedentary lifestyles are far from healthy and this is where schools can help. One initiative that is getting a lot of press at the moment is The Daily Mile, and it is a phenomenon sweeping schools.
The Daily Mile is a simple enough idea – children run or jog outdoors for 15 minutes with their friends. Although children can go at their own pace and they can walk to get their breath, the goal is to run or jog for the full 15 minutes. The Daily Mile website lists an array of benefits.
Whilst running around the playground is nothing new, as a dedicated social activity for 15 minutes everyday then The Daily Mile is unique because this is a social commitment to fitness that involves everyone.
The success of The Daily Mile soon spread and it is now an intervention that many schools are joining in with. The Daily Mile is devoted to promoting a fitter and healthier school and so that means teachers have to play their part too by being positive role models and taking part.
Good mental, physical and emotional health are essential characteristics for a teacher to have if they work with children so The Daily Mile can represent a culture change for everyone in the school.
Teachers often go the extra mile, why not The Daily Mile as well?
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More than a hundred schools in Gloucestershire now running The Daily Mile
A struggling primary school in Gloucester says part of its turnaround is due to getting its children to run for 15 minutes every day. Moat Primary Academy in Matson was placed in special measures last year, but has since signed up to The Daily Mile. It has since been converted into an academy and teachers say they’ve started to see an improvement in fitness and better behaviour in the classroom.
The Daily Mile has already been taken up by half of Gloucestershire’s schools with around 22,000 children running every day. The Daily Mile Foundation says the excitement outdoors helps to burn off energy which often leads to a calmer and more productive class.
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Teenagers should be made to walk or run a Daily Mile to protect them against depression, study claims
Source: Mail Online
Experts say a lack of exercise could be behind soaring rates of mental illness
Figures show the amount of activity children get drops in secondary school
A team of scientists claim that The Daily Mile scheme could help beat the blues
Study author Professor Mark Beauchamp, of British Columbia University, said:
„In The Daily Mile children run, jog or walk one mile every day in their school clothes. The Daily Mile does not require specialised equipment or unique staff training and emphasises enjoyment, inclusion and social participation. All of which happen within 15-minute transitions and during times in the day that work for teachers and schools. Although typically implemented with younger children, active breaks – along with initiatives such as The Daily Mile – represent excellent targets for implementation with older adolescents in secondary schools.“
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The Daily Mile are proud to have been featured on BBC World Hacks‚ Facebook page, and be recognised as „a simple way to get school children fit.“
Miles of Smiles – Ireland joins The Daily Mile movement
Athletics Ireland is delighted to announce the ‚Pilot‘ launch of The Daily Mile which takes place in St Brigid’s National School in Castleknock, Dublin at 10am on Wednesday, April 18th.
Brendan Griffin TD, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport and Elaine Wyllie, founder of The Daily Mile, will launch this exciting and very welcome Primary Schools initiative that is sure to have a far-reaching and lasting impact on Ireland’s younger generation.
Since launching in Scotland in 2012, The Daily Mile has grown exponentially, with over 3,200 schools currently participating, and over half a million children taking part regularly across the UK. The benefits of this fun and free physical activity are numerous, improving children’s physical and mental health and wellbeing, their focus in class, and their fitness levels.
Athletics Ireland will now act as hub for the promotion and development of The Daily Mile in Ireland in collaboration with Local Authorities and Sports Partnerships, who will pilot The Daily Mile during May and June in three regions; Dublin City, Fingal, Kerry and Galway.
Following on from this ‘Pilot’, The Daily Mile will be promoted to Primary Schools across the country when the school year resumes in September.
“We are delighted to be leading this wonderful new Primary Schools initiative that can make a great impact on the fitness, health and general wellbeing of school children all over Ireland,“ Athletics Ireland President, Georgina Drumm said. “Athletics Ireland is fully committed to encouraging all Primary Schools to embrace The Daily Mile. “We have already seen in Primary Schools like St Brigid’s in Castleknock that the impact of The Daily Mile can be transformational – improving not only children’s fitness but also their concentration levels, mood, behaviour and general wellbeing.“
Athletics Ireland CEO John Foley also welcomes The Daily Mile and believes that it can forge a long-lasting legacy for teachers, children and parents – as well as Athletics Ireland. “I want to thank Irish Runner editor Frank Greally for first bringing The Daily Mile initiative to my attention and it pleases me greatly to see that Athletics Ireland now will be the driver of what is a profoundly simple yet effective concept through which primary-aged children run or walk for 15 minutes each day,” Foley said. ”I am also happy that Frank Greally will now act as an Ambassador for The Daily Mile – bringing his enthusiasm and passion to bear on making it a great success in every county in Ireland.”
Elaine Wyllie, founder of The Daily Mile in Scotland in 2012 is excited to see that Athletics Ireland will be spearheading the promotion of The Daily Mile in Ireland and speaking at the launch of the ‘Pilot’ in St Brigid’s National School in Castleknock, she said:
“We are absolutely delighted that Athletics Ireland and their partners have launched The Daily Mile in Ireland. There has been an amazing response from schools and I am looking forward to seeing it embraced across the country. I must also thank Athletics Ireland and the Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, for their passion and commitment to The Daily Mile. Their hard-work will allow The Daily Mile to blossom in Ireland and even more children be given the opportunity to improve their health and wellbeing”
Brendan Griffin TD, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport is also fulsome in his enthusiasm for The Daily Mile: “I think this is a really great idea and I wish it every success. This initiative is all about improving the fitness of the children and it sets out to do this in a way that no child feels excluded. There is no focus on winning or competition between the children, there is no cost involved in terms of equipment or sports kit but the benefits of the children being out in the fresh air and simply having fun cannot be understated. The Daily Mile has been successful overseas and I hope that it meets with similar success here in Ireland”
John Treacy, CEO of Sport Ireland and Olympic marathon silver medallist, said: “Sport Ireland is delighted to support The Daily Mile through the Local Sports Partnership network. This is an excellent example of collaboration between a National Governing Body for Sport and the Local Sports Partnerships at a local level and will get many children out and active, which is vitally important for their physical and mental health. Sport Ireland commends Athletics Ireland on this initiative and looks forward to the roll-out of the programme nationwide.
The Daily Mile: Joseph Wade (+44) 207 384 6980 – (+44) 7758 074 576
The Daily Mile in Ireland: Frank Greally – email@example.com – 087 25 69 690
Baroness Jenkin: The Daily Mile initiative should be introduced to schools nationally
Source: Politics Home
Today, Baroness Jenkin will be asking the Health Minister to work with The Daily Mile to promote and deliver the initiative to schools nationally.
Baroness Jenkin stated, „Knowing of my interest in and concern about childhood obesity, having recently chaired a year long enquiry for the Centre for Social Justice a few weeks ago, I was approached Elaine Wyllie, former primary school headteacher from Scotland and founder of The Daily Mile (TDM)
Initially, like many others, I naively thought that the solution to the obesity epidemic was more or less a question of eating less and exercising more. It is sadly more complex than that. I am well aware that you can’t outrun a bad diet.
Think about your happiest childhood memories. What are they? For me, even though not a sporty kid, they involve being outside, running, playing, climbing trees. I bet it’s the same for you.
The fact is that children are designed to run. You don’t see small children walking. Sadly today you are more likely to see children strapped into buggies for hours on end, in front of a tablet, with a bottle of sugary, teeth rotting juice and a sausage roll sometimes called a Greggs dummy, to keep them quiet.
Six years ago (February 2012) Mrs Wyllie asked a class of ten year olds to run round the school playing field. By halfway round many children were exhausted and had to stop. Most of them were completely unfit and they recognised it themselves. She sat down to discuss it with them and they agreed to run around the field for 15 minutes (which turned out to be more or less a mile) every day to see what level of fitness they could achieve after a month.
The results were remarkable. The children looked better, felt better, were much fitter and, although she didn’t foresee it then, the equally important benefits to their mental, emotional and social health and wellbeing became apparent over time. The barriers to participation in physical activity are removed.
The qualitative assessment, has been further underpinned by academic research. In April 2016, 76 youngsters at Coppermill Primary School in Walthamstow were monitored during their Daily Mile. Again, the results were remarkable, with the study finding that the children who ran The Daily Mile performed up to 25 per cent higher than expected in reading, writing and mathematics.
The Daily Mile is a wholly simple, universally valuable intervention that – in this time of austerity – costs nothing. It has stood the test of time and has been adopted by thousands of schools and nurseries across the UK and beyond. TDM has partnered with ITV for a year long campaign to persuade every primary school in the UK to take it up.
Today I shall be asking the Health Minister to work with TDM to promote and deliver the initiative to schools nationally. The Scottish and Welsh Governments have written to every single primary school urging them to try TDM and here in England we should do the same. Alongside the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Department for Culture, Media and Sport to encourage schools to take up the initiative and achieve cross-departmental goals.
After all, what have we got to lose?“
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