Children and Young People Officer
Date: 25 June 2020 Author: Energise Me
Swanmore CE Primary School launched a daily running initiative to increase education progress, health, and wellbeing in its school.
Swanmore CE Primary School looked at the fitness levels of the children in the school and the direct link between that and education progress. In addition, it looked at the wellbeing of the children, staff and parents in the school and the link between physical exercise and mental health.
The school worked with a professor from University of Essex (Dr Gavin Sandercock) and alongside BBC1 Inside Out documentary team to identify current issues linked to fitness. They discovered that if the pupils improved their physical exercise the benefits would be countless. So they launched their Blaze a Trail daily running initiative.
The school set up a couple of tracks around the grounds that the children could walk, jog or run a number of times to be equivalent to a mile. They invited parents and children in at 8.25am on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday to complete the course.
Children and their parents put a counter into their house box when they’ve completed a mile and record their miles on a class chart. Mileages can be completed at other points in the day during playtimes or if they need a runabout to get their brain fired up during an afternoon.
The school wanted to improve the physical activity levels of children, staff and parents. They believed this would improve attendance, focus levels, mental health and educational ability. Most of all, it would help everyone feel good.
The children and parents have been regularly attending. Often, over 150 people have been walking, running or jogging their mileage. Staff have also been joining in and there is a great sense of community spirit.
Several children were identified by staff, as they struggled during PE sessions and have been targeted to join in. The majority of those targeted have attended regularly and staff have noticed their raised productivity in the mornings.
Staff also targeted children that were often late for school. One family that was regularly late is now one of the greatest attenders, often in school to enjoy Blaze a Trail.
The initiative was relatively low in cost. The school’s site-manager put in posts around the school that he put coloured tape on to create a route. They bought a token collection box and tokens from Amazon at a cost of around £120.
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This case study was originally published in our Primary Inside School Sport magazine in May 2018.