A Mile in their Shoes – Schools Tackle Childhood Obesity

St Ninians school in Stirling, Scotland has been sending out all pupils to walk or run a mile every day for the past three years in an attempt to combat childhood obesity. Statistics have shown that 1 in 10 children aged four or five are obese when they start school, which is a worrying figure.

walking mile

While running or even walking a mile a day might seem like an unfair task for such small children, it is a necessary part of staying active and keeping healthy.

Putting it into other terms, a 25 minute walk to school may cover over half a mile, so an hour out of your day is really not that much when it comes to staying fit.

The best part of the scheme is that the teachers also walk alongside the children, helping to encourage them and keep them going. They end up every day coming back into the school with bright faces and red cheeks, alert and eager to learn.

The scheme seems to be working as teachers from dozens of other primary schools have also started to adopt it, including schools in Leeds, Gateshead and even teachers for schools in London.

Mixing up the Classroom Seating

Seating arrangements are a great way to encourage quick order in your class, however it can get boring sitting the same pupils next to each other week in and week out and your class will more than likely have a few troublemakers that like to stir things up. So what can be done?
download-300x160Why not try this simple exercise? Give each child a piece of paper to write on and ask them to write down the names of four children they would like to sit with the following week as well as a student that they feel has been a good Samaritan that week. You can get them to write the papers anonymously or you can ask them to write their names on the top.
hold-hands-300x292What this does, aside from giving your pupils a position to strive towards – Good Samaritan – is it will highlight children in your class that may be having difficulties making friends. It will show who was popular last week and who may not be so popular this week. It may even help to highlight those students which may be bullied, or those that are struggling with their class work.

After all, a cry for help is not always done in the form of a literal, verbal cry for help, and reading between the lines with exercises such as this is a great way to see, even as a supply teacher how your pupils are really doing when it comes to building friendships and relationships which are going to be essential life skills as they grow older.