If the day begins with a ‘T’, then you’ll find the children of Amberley C of E First School out on their school field, running their Morning Mile.
Each Tuesday and Thursday from 8.30 a large proportion of the school population is turning up at school to stretch their legs before the start of the school day at 8.45.
It takes nine circuits of the school field to cover one mile, and in that quarter-hour period, many of the children are achieving that goal, and the school is planning to award certificates when children complete 10 miles – not in one go, obviously!
The Morning Mile is the joint initiative of Vicky Ferris, who is a Parent Governor, Clare Swales, a school mum and Senior Teacher, Sue Webb.
“They can do their mile either running, walking or jogging,” says Vicky, “what matters is they’re getting exercise and fresh air before the start of the school day. It’s so good for the mind and body!”
Because Amberley is a small school set in spacious grounds, every pupil, from the rising-fives in Reception to the 10 year-olds in Year 5 can participate together. “We can even accommodate pre-school age siblings, who are keen to join their brothers and sisters,” Sue says.
The Morning Mile is based on an idea pioneered by St Ninian’s Primary School, Stirling, Scotland, who introduced the practice in 2015. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery –and when the scheme is as good as this, why not?