What a difference a mile makes!

Stamfordham Primary is one of the latest schools to embrace The Daily Mile as part of its schedule for all students.

Having started last year the initiative has gained momentum and all classes at the school now take at least one session of exercise as part of their timetable each day.

Local county councillor Veronica Jones, who is also cabinet member for well-being and health, visited the school recently with Cath McEvoy-Carr, executive director for children’s and adult services at Northumberland County Council.

They took part in the Daily Mile with students, and were extremely impressed with the enthusiasm of students, teachers and parents, and how much they all seemed to enjoy and benefit from their sessions.

Cllr Jones said:  “We know how important it is to get into a regular habit of daily exercise, and at Stamfordham they are starting this at an early age and the children are doing their Daily Mile around the school playing fields.

“We want every child in the county to have the opportunity to do The Daily Mile.  It’s great that we have almost 40 schools around Northumberland already taking part, and the council is actively supporting schools who want to take this up, and encouraging them to do so.”

Headteacher Claire McKinney explained how the Daily Mile works at Stamfordham Primary:  “We started running the initiative nine or ten months ago now, and during that time we have seen an exponential difference in concentration, especially post lunch time.  

“The children are more aware of when they feel tired and how regular exercise can help, and we also talk about the biological benefits.

“Our students don’t stop to get changed, they just go out in their school uniform, pulling on outdoor shoes or coats if needed.  They do their exercise and then come back in and carry on with whatever they left behind.

“We are lucky to have a large field here at Stamfordham, and so more than one class can easily be out at a time.  Staff and students all enjoy it, and it has even become a bit competitive with the older children!

“The Daily Mile is firmly embedded here at Stamfordham Primary.”

The Daily Mile is a national initiative that aims to improve the physical, social, emotional and mental health and well-being of children – regardless of age, ability or personal circumstances.

It is a social physical activity, with children running or jogging – at their own pace – in the fresh air with friends. Children can occasionally walk to catch their breath, if necessary, but should aim to run or jog for a full 15 minutes.

Northumberland County Council and Northumberland Sport support schools in setting up and running The Daily Mile - and it was recently incorporated in the 2019 Northumberland School Games held in Cramlington.
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