The adoption of daily mile as an active mile initiative: the children’s and teachers’ voices

Journal article


Howells, K., Bowen, J., Mannion, K. and McMartin, C. 2019. The adoption of daily mile as an active mile initiative: the children’s and teachers’ voices. Physical Education Matters. Autumn 2019, pp. 37-39.
AuthorsHowells, K., Bowen, J., Mannion, K. and McMartin, C.
Abstract

Background

Prior to the adoption of The Daily Mile as an active mile initiative by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) (2018), we were inspired by Collingwood et al’s (2000) proposal that physical exercise can raise self-esteem, so investigated the potential impact of physical activity interventions on the self-esteem, reading and numeracy levels of one case study child, Jonny (Howells & Bowen, 2016). We found that Jonny was able to make significant improvements to both his self-esteem and academic achievement through weekly one-to-one physical activity interventions of athletics, in particular hammer and shotput throwing (figure 1). In 2017-2019, we extended beyond Jonny’s story to investigate a whole class active mile physical activity intervention, to see if similar improvements as found for Jonny could be seen in whole classes across several schools within the south east of England. As well as examining the voices of the children and the teachers, we sought to understand their understanding and knowledge of the active mile initiative.

Daily physical activity interventions have been recommended by DHSC to increase overall physical activity levels since its first plan of action in 2017. The daily activity intervention followed by the schools involved in the research was The Daily Mile, as this was specifically recommended by the DHSC within its second plan of action for childhood obesity in 2018. The introduction of The Daily Mile is named as a “national ambition for every primary school to adopt” (p.11). The Daily Mile is an initiative that encourages primary schools and nurseries to take children outside for 15 minutes of self-paced running, jogging or walking each day (approximately one mile) (The Daily Mile Foundation, 2019). Since the launch of The Daily Mile, it has been adopted by 8,562 schools and nurseries worldwide (The Daily Mile Foundation, 2019). Previous researchers, such as Chesham et al (2018) in Scotland, have found that The Daily Mile can effectively increase levels of moderate to vigorous
physical activity and improve physical fitness. The Daily Mile also aims to improve the physical, emotional, social, health and wellbeing needs of children to encourage them to leader healthier lives (The Daily Mile Foundation, 2019).

This research examines three schools within Kent in which The Daily Mile was introduced. The research is a small-scale enquiry with an opportunistic sample of schools who were interested in comparing and sharing their current practice and asking questions about the implementation of this new initiative. Both quantitative and qualitative data collection were used to support a mixed methodology approach.

KeywordsPhysical activity; physical education; teacher education; early years; daily mile; active miles
Year2019
JournalPhysical Education Matters
Journal citationAutumn 2019, pp. 37-39
PublisherAssociation of Physical Education
Publication dates
Print05 Nov 2019
Publication process dates
AcceptedOct 2019
Deposited25 Nov 2019
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8915y/the-adoption-of-daily-mile-as-an-active-mile-initiative-the-children-s-and-teachers-voices

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