Get the kids up and active – just a mile a day can make all the difference, plus dip in university applications and counting the cost of a gap year, our Star Pupil of the Month, exam result round-up and so much more…
Studies have shown that activity that raises the heart rate is good for children’s brains and therefore excellent for their education. In other words, physical activity including sport and playing helps children to learn.
Studies carried out by 24 specialists in eight different countries, including Britain, all returned similar results. The findings, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine agreed that there are multiple benefits of exercise for children and young people.
Exercise does not need to be formal or structured. Walking vigorously or simply playing outdoors shows great benefits for both physical and mental development.
Many schools across Kent, Sussex and Surrey have embraced the idea that exercise is beneficial to pupils by participating in a health initiative known as the Daily Mile. It involves children running, jogging or walking one mile every school day in a non-competitive, 15-minute exercise session.
Simple to implement, children run in their uniforms, outside in the fresh air, whatever the weather and there’s no set up, tidy up, or equipment required.
One school in East Sussex has even installed a running track and outdoor gym equipment with the help of a £10,000 Health Improvement Grant from the county council. Pupils at Park Mead Primary School in Upper Dicker, Hailsham, love the energising start to their day.
The school was one of 183 across the county to receive a share of £1.8 million funding which is aimed at improving physical and mental health of school children.
Other schools have been able to improve their playground equipment, change their snack and lunch menu in line with healthy eating guidelines, launch gardening clubs and more. A new funding programme has now also allowed an extra £7,000 per school, which has been put to good use in order to integrate health and wellbeing into the school environment.
Five Ashes CE Primary School, near Mayfield, for example, has used the grant to improve its outdoor play area. The additional monkey bars, slide and climbing wall gives far more scope for exercise and fun.