Cornish school children run around the world

Children from one Cornish School have run, jogged or walked enough miles to almost reach Australia.  King Charles Primary School in Falmouth is one of 90 schools across the county that have signed up to the Daily Mile, a national initiative supported by Cornwall Council’s Healthy Schools team that inspires young people to get more active.

The aim of The Daily Mile is to improve the physical, social, emotional and mental health and wellbeing of our children - regardless of age, ability or personal circumstances.  Research has shown that regular exercise can increase attainment in primary school, and parents have reported an increased interest in health and wellbeing from their children after they have started The Daily Mile.

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Portfolio Holder for Health and Well Being and Cabinet Member, Sally Hawken, said: “It’s fundamental that schools play a role in equipping children with the knowledge and skills to make healthy choices for themselves.  The Daily Mile is brilliant because it is very simple and easy for schools to do; it takes no setting up and it’s a brilliant way to lift a class that may need an energy boost.”

Today nothing threatens the health and wellbeing of children more than childhood obesity. More than one in three children is overweight or obese by time they leave primary school.

Cornwall Council and the Healthy Schools Programme supports teachers and children to achieve improvements in wellbeing for the whole school community. In turn this makes a contribution to overall school improvement and raises attainment, achievement and aspirations.

Bobby Hodgson is a member of the School Council at King Charles School, he said: “We thought we needed more exercise, we needed to make our school fitter - So we decided to do a mile every day. I think it’s really fun to have a bit of exercise and it refreshes your mind so you can come back to your learning with new ideas.”

Another member of the School Council, Amelie Rowe, added: “I think it’s very good exercise in the morning or afternoon and it’s just a mile, so it’s not too far to run.  It’s just good to get out of the classroom sometimes and you come back refreshed.”

King Charles School have woven the Daily Mile into their curriculum and set the children challenges like recording enough miles to reach worldwide landmarks.

Teacher at King Charles, Hannah Pickford, said: “It gives everyone an opportunity to work on their own personal best, so the emphasis is not about running a complete mile, but getting out for at least 10 minutes every day and either running, jogging or brisk walking and doing the best they can do and beating what they did the day or week before.

“The children have really enjoyed it, they are excited when we say ‘pens down we are going out to do our Daily Mile’, it does give them an opportunity to burn off some steam and come back to class a little bit more focussed and they seem to be extremely positive about it, no matter what the weather is.

“Each year group is running towards a goal and it is related to a topic they are currently doing in class.  For example last term our year 6 was aiming to run to the pyramids in Egypt.  So far as a school we have done seven thousand miles!”

For more information visit the Healthy Schools website.