Case Study: ELAN
Name of setting: Extend Learning Academies Network (ELAN)
Setting type: A Multi Academy Trust of primary schools.
Address: Bournville Primary School, Selworthy Road, W-S-M, BS23 3ST
Location of setting: Town.
Roll number: 3,500 approx across the MAT
Written by Lee Molland (Sports Champion) and Caitlin Stephenson (The Daily MileTM Co-ordinator based at Wesport Active Partnership covering The West of England).
Extend Learning Academies Network is a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) and currently includes the following schools:
- Bournville Primary School
- Locking Primary School
- Mead Vale Primary School
- Mendip Green Primary School
- Milton Park Primary School
- Walliscote Primary School
- Windwhistle Primary School
- Oldmixon Primary School
The schools are situated in and around Weston super Mare in North Somerset within easy reach of Somerset, BANES (Bath and North Somerset) and South Bristol. Most of the schools started doing The Daily Mile last year, and recently we have grown to all doing it.
Where do the schools run The Daily Mile?
Each school is different. Two of our schools don’t have fields, so they do it on the playgrounds. Others use the field or playgrounds during the winter.
Did your setting experience any barriers when you began The Daily Mile, and if so, how did you overcome these?
Lack of green space and change of staff is always a consideration. As a MAT, we help each other with ideas on how to embed provisions that benefit our children, so it was great to see schools talk to each other and advise on ways that they have implemented. Each school owns their Daily Mile, but they share ways to improve. Our schools work really hard to ensure the children have many opportunities to get physically active despite busy workloads, and this is recognisable by the continuous improvements in the children’s physical activity levels.
Since starting The Daily Mile, what have been the benefits for the children and what has been the impact on your setting?
As the Sports Champion who visits each school every week, you can feel a buzz when different children talk about The Daily Mile. It’s a lovely sight to walk through a school and see The Daily Mile happening. When we hosted our MAT Daily Mile day, we had nearly 100 children coming together to celebrate the intervention, with children clearly showing that they are getting fitter, faster and stronger.
Daily Mile Stories?
I (Caitlin) based at Wesport and Lee who is the Sports champion across ELAN combined forces to put on a MAT Daily Mile morning which saw children from each school in the MAT come together at Mendip Green in October to run The Daily Mile and try 2 new sports (fencing and disc golf). All children also attended an interactive learning session about the benefits of doing The Daily Mile. In this session we gave the children a chance to come up with ideas about how they would encourage other pupils to engage with this initiative.
This was a brilliant exercise and the children came up with some fantastic ideas such as putting on their own assemblies in their school, using a Daily Mile buddy system pairing the older and younger years together and getting the teachers involved when they run The Daily Mile. Both the sporting activities and The Daily Mile saw great engagement and excitement from the children. This event was a huge success and it wasn’t long until the final school in the MAT had signed up to The Daily Mile.
If you chose to link your curriculum to The Daily Mile, what has worked well for you?
We are writing a new PE Curriculum, and may link The Daily Mile in as a way of measuring if children can remain active for sustained periods of time, and understand the importance of leading a healthy, active lifestyle. The Daily Mile foundation often link initiatives that can be cross-curricular, so we will also follow updates on this.
Have you included parents and the community in some aspects of your Daily Mile?
One of our schools engaged in Wesport’s Daily Mile Parents in Sport Week; each year group had their parents come and do the Daily Mile with them on different days of the week. Another school has linked Race for Life events with The Daily Mile and invited families in to run together. We are also beginning to signpost our children to the Weston-Super-Mare Junior Parkrun.
Anything else you’d like to share with us about your experience of delivering The Daily Mile?
I (Lee) have been an advocate of The Daily Mile since its start, and was delighted to work with Slough Borough Council to enrol it out to schools when leading PE at my old school, many years ago. We were a school with 900 children on roll. After a difficult start, The Daily Mile became a part of the school day, and helped to elevate PE and School Sport into the heart of the school. Here at ELAN, we have an unbelievable workforce who go above and beyond for their children across their schools, with PE Leads taking advantage of so many opportunities despite the additional work that comes with it. I would like to thank them for supporting this. They do this for the benefit of the children and I hope one day The Daily Mile will become a product of that, with teachers enjoying the break from the classroom to run, walk or jog with their children, enhancing everyone’s wellbeing at the same time.
Comment from Caitlin:
It’s been a great pleasure to watch the development of The Daily Mile in this short space of time across ELAN and see the engagement of the schools across the MAT. The Daily Mile morning was a great opportunity to showcase the importance of The Daily Mile and how it can be used within the school setting. It not only created a buzz for the children but educated the teachers in how they can develop it further within the school.
It also enabled the final school of the Trust to see The Daily Mile in action, and in turn they have decided to roll it out in their school. I look forward to working further with Lee and the schools within this Multi Academy Trust in the future. I am aware of how hard teachers work to give more physical activity opportunities to the children, and I would like to think The Daily Mile is an initiative that can do this easily, with not just physical benefits but positive mental wellbeing benefits as well. ELAN have shown that it can be embedded across all schools, with teachers offering support and advice to each other. I would encourage any school reading this to look at getting The Daily Mile into their school as well. If you want to get involved, and need support or ideas, please don’t hesitate to contact me on – firstname.lastname@example.org
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