There is substantial evidence that regular exercise can bring about many benefits for pupils, including improving levels of fitness and mental wellbeing and increasing concentration. It is also important for long term health that pupils enjoy physical activity in school – taking away a positive experience that will stay with them for life.
Richmond Primary School in Shoeburyness is one such school and strives to create multiple opportunities for pupils to fully embrace physical activity and sport and combine it into daily school life. Over 400 students and staff complete their Daily Mile, a scheme introduced to counteract childhood obesity, no matter what the weather, a true inspiration!
After the introduction of the Daily Mile, many children wanted to do more activities so the school started a running club with points gained through the number of times students participate. The buzz this ‘leader board’ has created means the sports noticeboard is the most popular spot in the school as students strive to clock up as many miles as possible. Simon Russell, P.E Co-ordinator at Richmond Primary says: “Schools have a massive role to play in inspiring young people and stretching the opportunities – whatever your level of fitness or ability”.
He goes on to add: “We are a school that wants to everyone to get involved. We regularly take all interested pupils to competitions, such as football matches for both our male and female teams of all abilities.” It’s not just about taking the top level of students to competitions.” Last year Simon managed to get the school to complete a total of 6,101 hours of extra curriculum sport such as running, football and gymnastics. Quite an achievement!
The pupils clearly have fun and early on understand the importance of participating. Archie, age 7 says: “Exercise keeps you fit and healthy”, and Jamie also 7 said, “I like to learn new sports and keep fit.” Lily, a year 3 pupil said, “I love going to running club at school, and now also do the park runs with Mr Russell and my mum.”