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Mile-a-day keeps Upminster pupils on the ball

PUBLISHED: 15:00 19 December 2015

Kids from The James Oglethorpe Primary School, are running a mile every day as part of an exercise regime.

Kids from The James Oglethorpe Primary School, are running a mile every day as part of an exercise regime.

Archant

Pupils at an Upminster primary school are running or walking a mile every day in a bid to improve fitness.

Pupils in Years 3 and above at The James Oglethorpe Primary School, Ashvale Gardens, Upminster, complete a mile of activity as part of their school routine, in a bid to be healthier and increase concentration.

Younger pupils have been taking part in a less intensive version of the routine, which sees them walk one mile a week.

Deputy headteacher, Paula Sewell, said the initiative had encouraged pupils to lead an active lifestyle.

She said: “Before we began, we walked around with some pupils to see how long a mile is.

“We started with 20 pupils and we had nearly 100 taking part by the time we finished!”

After assembly pupils are given 15 minutes to walk or run nine laps around the school playground.

They are encouraged to take part in rain or shine and teachers are reporting that the students are more focused, said Paula.

She added: “It’s early days but we think that the children are more ready to start their work.

“The students are more focused, which is what we wanted to promote.

“After all, a healthy mind equals a healthy body.”

“It’s a simple easy exercise and also it costs absolutely nothing.”

The school was inspired by teacher Elaine Wyllie, who founded the exercise program at St Ninians Primary School, Stirling, Scotland, in 2011.

Elaine has won a Pride of Britain Award for the initiative.

At an Institute of Healthcare Improvement conference Elaine said there had

been clear improvements in fitness.

She said: “The benefits are there for all to see.

“The school nurse recently reported that there are no overweight P1s (children aged five in primary year one) in the school.

“We think this could be because the children have been participating in the project since nursery.”

According to the Health and Social Care Information Centre, one in 10 children were obese when they started school in 2014.

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