Kate Watts is Deputy Headteacher of Aldenham Prep School, part of the Aldenham Foundation.
St Ninian’s school in Stirling, Scotland, introduced the Daily Mile four years ago. Such is its success health experts want to see it rolled out across the UK. A quarter of children in the UK are already overweight by the age of three. Drastic action is vital to help stem the rising tide of obesity, experts say.
When I read a headline like this, I want to grab the initiative with both hands and run with it. So it was with great excitement we consulted the parents, the school council and the pupils themselves. With our beautiful grounds there really is no excuse. With many positive endorsements it was on Thursday 26th November we introduced ‘Walk a Mile’ to Aldenham Prep for Years 1-6. Wellies and coats on we started straight after lunch with the older children buddying up with the younger ones. The majority of staff joined in too!
“It is easy to see the benefits, we focus so much on reading, writing and math’s skills, but good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle is also vitally important for our children’s future”.
The winter sun was shining and although very muddy in places we had a successful 20 minutes walk with no moaning at all! There was lots of fresh air to blow away the cobwebs and hopeful we reinforced the value of exercise and activity from a young age, thus instilling a good habit for future years. We also hope there will be clear improvements in the children’s fitness levels and their concentration in the classroom, plus providing lots of fun for all involved!
Although St Ninian’s do a mile a day, we are starting with a mile a week building up hopefully to a mile a day in the summer term.
We have even walked with our Christmas hats on!