London, UK. Running a mile a day can help children do better in reading, writing, (running) and maths
In January this year, a study by Fitmedia showed that children who ran a mile a day at school achieved up to 25% higher than expected in reading, writing and maths. They were also fitter, more confident and behaved better in class.
The Daily Mile ethos is taking off in a big way as one school in North London have already started to see the benefits of this daily mile. They are in full training for the YMCA One Mile Children’s Fun Run on Sunday 21st May 2017. The runners, dubbed the ‘Mighty Milers’, jog, walk or run for 15 minutes before lessons start every school day, with the aim of completing the YMCA’s One Mile race as their goal. The YMCA North London’s annual Adult 10k and Children’s fun runs has evolved over the last 26 years in to one of the largest community events in North London, and continues to grow in popularity and attendance every year (http://www.ymcanorthlondon.org.uk/ymca-north-london-fun-run-festival/).
Children have been taking part in the YMCA annual run for a long time, and Fitmedia have recently tested a school who were doing a ‘Daily Mile’ to see the benefit of taking part in daily sporting activities in the form of running, walking or jogging a mile a day through a variety of exercise tests. Fitmedia released the findings of their scientific study and showed that before the daily mile, over half the kids they tested were ‘unfit’ but after 15-weeks of the daily mile less than one fifth were still unfit. Additionally, the school reported that the daily mile made their students more focused, attentive and ready to work – hence this remarkable increase in attainment in school tests. This study by Fitmedia shows the benefits of being physically active go far beyond just improving fitness.
Fitter kids are smarter kids we can prove it… says Fitmedia Director Sheila Forster
Fitmedia Ltd is delighted to announce the appointment of Gary McGaghey and James Cotton, to the Board of Fitmedia as Non-Executive Directors.
Non-executive board members are experts from inside and outside the industry who provide challenge and oversight to the board in developing the company.
Sheila Forster says “I am delighted that Gary and James are joining the Board. They have significant financial and commercial expertise, and wide ranging experience in growing and expanding businesses. The appointments to the board highlight Fitmedia’s aim to expand and to bring effective evaluation to the education and physical activity sector. Our new board members are ideally placed to help us build a long term plan to grow Fitmedia Ltd and ensure that we deliver a successful strategy.Gary McGaghey
Gary McGaghey is an International Commercial CFO with an exemplary track record of delivering increased shareholder value. Gary brings with him more than 20 years’ experience in mid cap and multi-national fast moving consumer goods and pharma companies.He is currently the Group CFO of Nelsons & Co, a UK based multinational pharma company, after spending more than 15 years at Unilever in a variety of senior finance roles globally.
His expertise in delivering optimal results includes; shaping business strategy to deliver sustainable top and bottom line growth, financial restructuring, M&Aand business transformation. He brings with him a broad range of commercial experiences both inside and outside of the finance function, as well as deep experience in corporate governance.
Gary said:“I am hugely excited by the opportunity to work with Fitmedia to drive the next stage of its growth agenda, building on the successes to date. Bringing new technologies to unlock the needs for health and nutrition in the younger generation, is an inspiring agenda to be part of, setting the foundations of sustainable wellbeing into adult life.James Cotton
James brings over 15 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. He isa results-driven professional with a background in providing hands-on leadership, direction, and focus for business growth.He former positions included a start-up business which included heading up the operations and growth of one of UK’s largest franchise leisure brand to over 100 health clubs.
James joins Fitmedia whilst owning and managing a successful leisure consultancy company. Prior to this, James spent over 6 years at Anytime Fitness UK & Ireland gaining experience at Director level managing elements such as operations, marketing, sales and compliance.
James said “Fitmedia are a forward thinking company, whom have the best interests in developing and improving the nation’s health by enabling schools, parents and children with the information to promote increases in physical activity”.
The two new appointments will add to the current Non-Executive Director, Andy Sutch, the former Director of Business in Sport and Leisure and Chairman of Panathlon.
For more information, please contact Sheila Forster at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07979 654319.
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
The Association for Physical Education(afPE) and Fitmedia have joined forces to createa bespoke resource to help support the teaching of physical competence in primary schools.
Together they have developed Lesson Support Cards, showing primary school teachers how to easily teach fundamental movement skills.
The cards enable teachers, irrespective of their background in physical education (PE), to teach and improve the basic building blocks of physical activity, such as throwing, catching, running and jumping.
The lesson support cards will be launched on September 26th on National Fitness day at: Prior Weston Primary School & Children's Centre, Golden Lane Campus 101 Whitecross Street, London EC1Y 8JA, from 1-15pm -3.30pm.
Sheila Forster MA, MD of Fitmedia, said:
‘We are delighted to have collaborated with afPE to produce this great resource for primary schools. Without fundamental movement skills, children struggle to take part in any kind of physical activity, and watching children struggle to do simple things like catch a ball made us realise how physical literacy is declining among children. Effective teaching is at the heart of inspiration, and we are delighted to play a part in inspiring the next generation to greater levels of activity, participation and enjoyment.”
Sue Wilkinson MBE, CEO of afPE, said:
‘We believe that high quality teaching is what inspires children and young people to learn. Teachers with excellent knowledge and understanding will drive standards to improve attainment. From our experience of designing and development teachers’ and the wider workforce materials, we know that there is a significant impact on pupil outcomes. By
developing teachers’ skills in areas such as ‘improving physical competence’ we will see greater progress, through more confident pupils who will also continue to achieve their maximum potential. We are delighted to be able to work in partnership to support the workforce that is trying to address physical and emotional well being that if we achieve this will impact on improved attainment for all.’
Research has shown that physical literacy is declining in the UK, with some pupils starting secondary school without even knowing how to catch or throw. A survey by Virgin Active found that nearly half of primary school pupils are leaving school without the basic movement skills to engage in physical activity, whilst a third leave unable to swim.
The vast majority of teachers recognise PE is as important as the other subjects they teach. And studies from Britain, Europe and the US have shown that improving core skills can impact positively on academic achievement.
However, teachers often feel they do not have the experience to teach PE effectively. The Virgin Active survey found that a third of teachers lack confidence when it comes to teaching PE, while over a quarter said they don't feel adequately qualified to teach the subject and more than half want more professional development opportunities for PE
And with many primary schools lacking the resources for a PE specialist, it is difficult for head teachers to know what quality and effective PE looks like.
The lesson cards from afPE and Fitmedia are a simple and practical way for educators to deliver effective PE to their children. They contain 11 lessons, each focussed on a different fundamental movement skill, such as catching, throwing, jumping or running. Each card shows how to teach that skill and activities to practice it.
The cards are handy and easy to use, and are specifically designed for Key Stage 1 children, whether they are learning the skills for the first time or consolidating previously learned skills. They can also be used with older children, to reinforce their existing learning or as warm up activities before games.
For more information, please contact:
Sheila Forster at email@example.com or 07979 654319.
Sue Wilkinson at Sue.Wilkinson@afpe.org.uk or 07887 681 678.
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
Cuts in school funding are starting to bite, with nearly 75% of Headteachers expecting their budgets to be in the red in the coming year. A recent poll from the NAHT found that more than a third have had to reduce the number or hours of teaching staff.
Of all subjects, PE can be the most vulnerable to such cuts. Often demoted or deprioritised in favour of the “core” academic subjects, it can be regarded as the “Cinderella subject”, struggling even in good times for timetable space, resources, or credibility. But the need for regular and effective PE is shown by its benefits, which are becoming increasingly well known.
For example, Fitmedia’s recent study showed how a daily running programme could have a positive impact on academic attainment, with participants performing up to 25% higher in reading, writing and maths. They were also fitter, more confident and better behaved.
At Fitmedia we believe proper evaluation is essential and should be the foundation of all PE/sport programmes. It can play a key role in ensuring effective PE provision - whatever the budget.
This is true at each level of development. For example, during primary school, particularly at Key Stage 1, the most important thing is for kids to develop Fundamental Movement Skills-throwing, catching, jumping. Mastering these are crucial for developing full physical literacy-and for allowing them to engage in sports and physical activity as they grow.
For primary teachers, knowing what skills their students have can help them plan lessons effectively. If a teacher knows her class are strong in running, but weak on catching, they can focus their lessons and resources accordingly.
At secondary school, it is presumed that children have developed these skills and the emphasis becomes more on participation and success in team sports. This is also the age at which obesity starts to become more prevalent. This means that fitness becomes more important.
For secondary teachers, assessing their students’ fitness levels can identify those most at risk-for example, through obesity or low fitness levels. Teachers can then target specific resources to where they are needed most.
Evaluation can also help identify natural physical talents and aptitudes, which can aid selection for teams, and it can be equally helpful with outsourced lessons, such as those provided by third party PE providers, to ensure they are fit for purpose and effective.
It can also help teachers decide how and where to spend additional funding, such as the PE and Sport Premium. This is an excellent resource, but can only be used efficiently if properly monitored. Effective evaluation will provide important data, showing how and where it is impacting on students’ physical skills and wellbeing, and prevent its funding being spent on ineffective or inappropriate programmes.
Crucially, evaluation allows teachers to alter their teaching to suit the children in front of them. This means that their resources - whether it is teaching time, equipment or funding - goes to where they will be most effective.
When resources are in good supply, this is useful in ensuring the children have a PE programme that brings out the best in each child.
When resources are limited, it could be crucial in ensuring the children have a PE programme at all.
Sheila Forster and Alex Scott-Bayfield Fitmedia
Dr Gavin Sandercock and Dr Daniel Cohen’s work in children’s fitness testing has been cited by Sir Liam Donaldson, then the Government’s Chief Medical Officer, in relation to fitness testing in schools.
Some examples of articles relating to the work of Dr Cohen and Dr Sandercock are below:
Both Dr Sandercock and Dr Cohen have appeared on national television and radio, including Radio 4, BBC News 24 and Radio 5 Live and have spoken at national conferences.