Why does Ashgate Primary School focus on increasing active participation?
Today nearly a third of children aged 2 to 15 are overweight or obese and younger generations are becoming obese at earlier ages and staying obese for longer. Reducing obesity levels will save lives as obesity doubles the risk of dying prematurely. Obese adults are seven times more likely to become a type 2 diabetic than adults of a healthy weight which may cause blindness or limb amputation. And not only are obese people more likely to get physical health conditions like heart disease, they are also more likely to be living with conditions like depression.
The economic costs are great, too. The UK spends more each year on the treatment of obesity and diabetes than we do on the police, fire service and judicial system combined. It was estimated that the NHS in England spent £5.1 billion on overweight and obesity-related ill-health in 2014/15.
At Ashgate, we employ a range of strategies to support families and their children in tackling obesity and this page outlines the key approaches employed.
The Daily Mile (Key Stage 1)
The aim of the Daily Mile is to improve the physical, social, emotional and mental health and wellbeing of our children – regardless of age, ability or personal circumstances.
It is a profoundly simple but effective concept and its impact can be transformational – improving not only the children’s fitness, but also their concentration levels, mood, behaviour and general wellbeing.
Research has shown that The Daily Mile can even increase attainment and parents have reported an increased interest in health and wellbeing from their children after they have started The Daily Mile
In 2015/16 academic year, the Daily Mile was introduced at Key Stage 1, with the aim to expand its application across the whole school by the end of academic year 2017/18. We want every child to have the opportunity to do a Daily Mile.
Evidence from the Base Line Measurements (BLM - See below) demonstrates that children completing this programme were assessed as having greater stamina than non participants. In addition, quantitive data demonstrates that there is a 'correlation' between academic pupil outcomes for these groups, with attainment in Year 2 rising for 2 consecutive years and in all core learning areas.
Baseline Line Measurement (BLA) Assessment for Fitness
In the Summer Term of 2017, Ashgate Primary School initiated a programme to secure data on the impact of its efforts to improve fitness. Every child was tested for their fitness by the 'Premier Sports' group in order to provide a baseline from which impact could be assessed. The assessment focussed on a range of activities designed to establish data for stamina. This initiative was funded using the School Sports Grant offered by the Department for Education.
The information was also used to raise concerns with parents and carers where levels of fitness were a concern within that immediate time frame.
The baseline assessment is shared below (as an attachment). Outcomes will be re assessed in Summer 2018 to analyse impact.
What were the findings of the Base Line Measurement?
Completion rate (Who was able to complete the full assessment without giving up)
Distance Observations (who could do more and go further)
Target Areas (Based on the most recent data. It should be noted that targets are based on only one data set and as the BLM continues, targets may change and become increasingly more specific to patterns over time).
Cycling to school / Every Child a Rider
We are big on cycling at Ashgate Primary School! We have our own, bespoke 'Every Child a Rider Programme'. Details of which can be found under the 'About Us Page', under its own section. A link is provided below.
In addition, the school promotes children cycling to school by providing storage for scooters and bicycles. Many children opt to cycle to school, sometimes joined by their parents or guardians.
Cycling to work is also promoted and children recognise that staff in the school use this mode of transport to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The school utilises the national 'Cycle to Work Initiative' to encourage staff to cycle, and be seen to be healthy in their choices.
Lunchtime Mini Leaders
As well as employing Mid Day Supervisors to encourage children to be active at lunchtimes, Year 6 pupils are deployed on a rotation basis to provide a range of activities for children. Children undertaking this role are 'Mini Leaders'.
The primary role of the Mini Leaders is to:
Each week, two Mini Leaders are selected for an award during the RESPECT Assembly; this is done to secure recognition of their roles and the importance of active participation.
Healthy Snack Provision - Break time and Lunches
At Ashgate Primary School we recognise that parents have the right to select and choose appropriate meals for their children. We do however request that parents provide a healthy lunch if children do not have school dinners. We respectfully request that parents avoid sweets and chocolates, and in particular fizzy soda drinks. Whilst food will not be taken from children, parents should expect that school will inform them if it is felt that the lunchbox content is not suitable; we will then work with you to find an approach to enable a more healthy snack content.
We encourage parents to provide a 'five a day' approach to lunch provision and include fruit, vegetables and non sweet products. More information on 'five a day' and suggestions to support a healthy lunch can be found at the bottom of this page.
Break time snacks are offered by the school at a small cost. Whilst these snacks may include pre packaged goods, such as plain biscuits and cereal bars, they do not include crisps, chocolate, sweets of fizzy drinks.
High profile actions to raise awareness and fund initiatives.
Fund raising for a range of initiatives has been undertaken by the school including a revamped Summer Fair Programme and a fund raising cycle ride by Mr Seargent from John O'Groats to Land's End.
Money raised has been used to provide equipment for activities, to fund disadvantaged families participation in non curricular activities (priority given to residential outdoor and adventurous activities and improved playground infastructure). Approximately £4000 has been raised to date.
In Autumn of 2017 the school began the process of establishing an improved playground structure to encourage children to be more active, within the curriculum time as well as during their break periods.
This development is at its early stages, however, the school is committed to improving the playground infrastructure with activity equipment by the end of the academic year 2017/18.
Samples of the fixed equipment are shown below.