School’s Daily Mile
There has been a sustained focus on exercise and staying fit and healthy in the last few years, particularly amongst children. Childhood obesity levels are on the rise again, with almost 10% of children being recognised as obese by the time they start school.
This startling statistic is no unfortunate anomaly either, with the number of ten to eleven year olds with obesity standing at almost 20%. With this in mind, the School’s Daily Mile programme was created.
What is the School’s Daily Mile?
The School’s Daily Mile, or Active Mile or Golden Mile to give it its alternative names, is a scheme designed to improve the mental, physical, social and physical health of children. The genesis behind it is very simple; to get children to walk, jog or run for the equivalent of fifteen minutes or a mile a day to help reverse this trend of obesity and keep children healthy in all of the above respects.
The beauty of this idea is that financially it doesn’t cost a penny but the rewards are many and potentially life-changing. Staff do not need any accreditations, certificates or training to take part. This means the school does not have to stretch any further. The children will embrace being outdoors in the fresh air with their friends and it only takes fifteen minutes out of the whole day to do.
Rubber Mulch for the School’s Active Mile
What many schools are doing to embrace this idea more fully, is they are installing rubber mulch surfaces and pathways for the children to use for the school’s Active Mile run. The advantages to this are varied and many.
For instance, rubber mulch surfacing is environmentally friendly as it is made from old truck tyres that are shredded to resemble traditional wood bark chips, so the children can learn an important message about recycling from this installation.
Another great advantage of this kind of flooring is its versatility and easy maintenance. Rubber mulch surfacing can be laid right on top of an existing flooring without any need for groundworks, so it’s extremely cost effective. Because it consists of rubber it is also very easy to maintain.
It’s easy to keep clean and the surface is actually porous, which means that any surface water simply drains away. This ensures that the material actually performs a lot of its maintenance itself and extends is own lifespan.
Why Choose Rubber Mulch?
Rubber mulch is available in an array of different striking colours, which again will encourage the children to compete in the Active Mile. A bright, inviting, colourful floor has to be more inspiring than a waterlogged, muddy stretch of grass, doesn’t it?
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Perhaps the best feature of rubber mulch is the inbuilt safety aspect. When children have the challenge of running, they inevitably want to be competitive against their friends. A little too much enthusiasm can result in falls, scrapes, cuts and bruises, but not if you have the polymeric flooring installed.
Because it’s rubber it offers an impact resistance that is kind to growing bones and muscles. If the worst should happen and a child takes a tumble, they are far less likely to injure themselves. The flooring should take the brunt of the impact, meaning the child can continue with the Golden Mile.
Fitness in Children
The other advantages a rubber polymeric floor will offer are not quite as immediately obvious. These are benefits which EYFS and Ofsted monitor. The Early Years Foundation Stage is concerned with monitoring children’s mental, social and physical advancement. This is between the time they are born and until they reach the age of five. There are certain Ofsted requirements for play areas which you should consider in order to make the best outdoor space for your pupils.
This is a Government-backed scheme with the aim of providing these children with a universal level of care and attention, regardless of their age, ability or personal circumstances.
Children develop at their fastest rate when they are younger and we should be encouraging this. Ofsted are looking to see if children can form lasting social bonds, empathise with others, improve their cognitive and physical skills and make improvements to their overall physical strength. The polymeric flooring encourages all of this and more by inspiring children to get fit while spending quality bonding time with their peers.
Ofsted reports are often favourable towards schools employing these kinds of stimulus. This is because it shows that the school is actively trying to help their children’s development. Fitness in children is important and the Active Mile can help this. By encouraging a child to run, walk or jog one mile every day they will start improving there overall fitness.
The Golden Mile
Since its inception in 2015, The Golden Mile initiative has already expanded to include over 3,000 participating schools across the UK and around the world. The scheme continues to make headlines locally and nationally. Politicians and local councils are trying to tackle the obesity problem head on and advocating the Daily Mile project.
Have a look at the video below to learn more about these school walking tracks:
Scotland in particular are leading the charge, with public health minister Aileen Campbell backing a campaign to roll out the Daily Mile scheme as compulsory for all Scottish schools. The borough of Richmond in London has one of the lowest levels of obesity in the country. This is thanks in part to them implementing the Daily Mile scheme in schools. Richmond councils promise to continue tackling the issue but are progress with the progress they are making so far.
EDUcatering magazine recently ran an article about how politicians from across all parties in Westminster actually came together to plead with the Government to change their childhood obesity plan. They wanted them to shift their focus to encourage children to participate in the Daily Mile and tackle obesity.
Daily Mile Surfacing Options
With all this support and with the campaign gaining more momentum every day, now would be the perfect time for your school or nursery to install a rubber mulch Active Mile track. The track would encourage children to engage in the physical activity. It can also entice them into the outdoors and enjoy spending time with their friends.
They even inspire a healthy sense of friendly competition and rivalry. This will meet with Ofsted approval and conform to EYFS guidelines. Speak to one of our installation experts today who will be able to advise you further on prices. They can also explain which flooring type will best suit your school’s needs.
There are a range of daily mile surfacing options and our team can help you find the best ones for you. If you would like to get in touch, simply fill in our contact form on this page. A member of our team will happily sort out a quotation for you. They can also offer their advice on the best surfacing type for you.