Fit pupils are going for gold at Pye Bank

Pupils at Pye Bank CE Primary School take part in a daily 'golden mile' excercise run around the school.
Pupils at Pye Bank CE Primary School take part in a daily 'golden mile' excercise run around the school.

A health initiative introduced at a Sheffield primary school has proved very popular with pupils.

In fact, the ‘Golden Mile’ that has quickly become a fixed daily feature in the timetable for youngsters at Pye Bank C of E Primary School is so popular that it has sparked an idea for a community initiative.

Year four teacher Melissa Drake started the Golden Mile with her pupils as part of work they were doing within class on healthy lifestyles and physical activity levels.

Every morning, after break-time, Miss Drake’s class lace up their trainers and dash outside to run full laps of their playground until they have completed a mile in distance.

To ensure that each pupil does run a ‘golden mile’, year six pupils joined them to measure out and mark the course during one of their maths lessons.

The results of the daily exercise feature, that has now been in action for over a year, have proved exciting in terms of noticeable benefits....

Positive outcomes from the golden mile, recorded by Miss Drake, have included improved concentration levels during lesson times that in turn lead to better learning. There has also been an increase in the amount of water that pupils drink.

Miss Drake said: “Pupils who do the golden mile are seeing the impact that exercise is having on their bodies and are noticing the benefits of drinking more water, especially after exercise.”

Along with physical benefits, Miss Drake has noticed a greater drive and determination within pupils to do well and beat their own personal best times from day to day.

This enthusiasm has spread to other parts of the curriculum too, she said, and there have been social and team-building aspects as classmates have encouraged and supported each other to complete the run each morning.

The great success of the school scheme is now set to spread to parents and members of the community as the Pye Bank physical education coordinating team, Tania Marsden and Alexandra Weston, are working together to set up a first Pye Bank Running Club.

Sport development officer Alexandra Weston said: “The idea is that the club will open its gates to parents, friends and teachers to join pupils in the Golden Mile, to engage the community in a more active and healthy lifestyle.”

Pye Bank school strives to link with their community whenever possible, and holds a number of shared and open events, workshops and learning opportunities during which parents and carers are welcomed to school to join in activities.

Head teacher Mo Andrews explains in her welcome posted on the school website: “We have a wonderful physical and learning environment, which everyone who visits us now always comments on. We are particularly proud of our Lavender Field (School Hall) which forms the heart of our school.

She continued: “We are absolutely committed to working in partnership with our parents and our community and will be looking at new and exciting opportunities and possibilities to extend this work as the year progresses.”