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The Daily Mile Success Stories - Dinas Powys Primary School

15/04/2024 00:00, I Mewn Blog / School News /

We caught up with Mrs Dutfield, a Year 2 teacher at Dinas Powys Primary School to hear their success story of introducing The Daily Mile into their Year 2 classes.

How long have you been doing The Daily Mile?

Year 2 have been completing The Daily Mile since the beginning of the Spring Term. In January, the children used a trundle wheel to measure the perimeter of the playground and then with support used a calculator to work out how many laps they needed to complete to ensure a mile was completed. This engaged the children from the beginning, and they were able to explain what they had done so they had some ownership of the distance they needed to cover. We explained to the children the importance of exercise and used the saying of healthy body healthy mind. In January, they completed a mile every day for the month of January and Monday, Thursday and Friday during February and March.

How many children are taking part in your school?

There are 2 Year 2 classes with 30 children in each class.

We focus and base our classroom practice on Growth Mindset. So, the children were excited at first to complete the mile, but this did wain and they needed motivational language and sentence patterns which were adult led to continue to motivate the children. As a year group we decided we would jog instead of walking the mile. As a runner myself the benefits and the way it makes you feel has a positive effect. The children can now be heard saying” even though I find this hard, I'm going to keep going”, “my legs are aching but I'm not going to give up”, “I'm getting myself fit”.

To keep the children motivated we introduced a timed lap challenge for a child in each class who was showing a growth mindset. This gave the children more encouragement to keep jogging the 13 laps of the playground. In addition, we introduced Friday as a celebrity day where outside agencies were contacted to come and join the children to complete the daily mile. Also, we discussed playing music on Thursday and Friday to continue to motivate the children towards the end of the week. The daily mile has become part of the school week.

Since starting The Daily Mile, what have been the benefits (physical, mental and social) for the children and staff?

The children now see the daily mile as part of their daily routine. They have said that they really enjoyed doing it and how it makes them feel happy. Staff said they found it easier the more times they completed it and how much better it makes them feel. The social benefits we have seen are that children are encouraging each other to keep going and through the taught growth mindset approach they openly say they will not give up even if they are feeling tired.

Has The Daily Mile had an impact in your school?

We decided that on a Friday we would have a celebrity from the world of fitness and sport to hopefully come and complete the daily mile with us. Cardiff City, FAW and WRU were contacted by email. Consequently, we had a visit from Dan from Cardiff City and he promoted the positivity of exercise and led a football session to develop the children's football skills.  Cath Bingham came from Run Wales and explained to the children about the daily mile and showed them a map of the different countries where the daily mile was run. Joe Ledley from the FAW completed the daily mile and representatives from FAW attended and led a football skills session with all 60 children. There was a question-and-answer session with the celebrities and as the Health and Wellbeing topic this term is all about Being Healthy the children asked well thought out questions. The impact has been the links we have generated with outside agencies who have provided the children with opportunities to understand the importance of keeping fit and healthy. Also, they were able to hear sports people talk about the importance of exercise.

Do you have any stories you can share about individual children or staff members who have particularly benefited from The Daily Mile?

One of the staff members was daunted by having to run to complete the daily mile. Through integration and motivating the children she was running with; she has grown her confidence in her ability to run and has seen an increase in her own fitness levels as she has completed it. In addition, she is now more confident running and enjoys the way it makes her feel.

Enthusiastic pupils shared their thoughts on The Daily Mile:

“It’s fun”

“It keeps me fit”

“It makes me calm”

“It makes me happy”

“It’s really good to do exercise”

“I like it when I have a stitch and I keep going and don’t give up it goes”

“You can feel it through your body”

“I like calming myself down after doing it”

“I like running fast”

I like it when I feel sweaty”

Children from Year 2 measuring the distance for The Daily Mile.

Joe Ledley from FAW completing The Daily Mile.

Calling all teachers, school staff, parents…

Is your school already signed up to The Daily Mile? If so, we’d love to hear your success stories and enable others to be inspired by your experiences! Please fill in the ‘share your story’ form below or contact Cath our Young Person Physical Activity Activator: