We're in it together

Bibury Church of England Primary School’s “Churchyard Challenge.”

Bibury Primary School is a small school located in the Costwold Village of Bibury. Despite the fact that they have a small, enclosed playground with no field, Bibury School found a solution and do their Daily Mile in the Churchyard instead!

Read all about Bibury School’s Daily Mile story below and enter your story before Thursday 11 July 2019 for the chance to receive a visit from Jamie McDonald, also known as Adventureman.

Have you encountered any barriers to doing the Daily Mile in your school? If yes, how did you overcome them?

Although keen to take part in the Daily Mile initiative, we were hampered by our lack of field, green space or anywhere safe to run. I explored different areas where we could run but they were either too far away and/or had too many risk factors, including roads without paths, a river and a plethora of tourists. Picturesque Cotswold villages are not designed for school children. The school is immediately adjacent to the village church and enjoys very close links with the vicar and the congregation, who are represented on the school’s governing body. We had used the churchyard once before for The Sports Relief Mile and when we said that we wanted to run the Daily Mile but had nowhere to do it, the churchwarden suggested we used the churchyard. Together we walked a possible route and decided on the safest options. As the churchyard is a public place we have staff acting as marshals so the children are in view of an adult at all times.

Since starting The Daily Mile, what differences, have you noticed in the children and across your school?

The children are incredibly enthusiastic about doing it, and not at all fazed by running around a churchyard. Stamina is an issue for our children as the majority are either brought to school by car or walk a very short distance. Rural roads are dangerous and parents are rightly worried about children cycling. But we have seen an improvement in how many laps of the churchyard they can run/walk and this has extended into their sport at school. At a recent Quadkids event our children were much more confident about tackling the 400m event.

The children are also keen to talk to each other about how they got on and enjoy collecting their uni-fix cubes as a marker of their personal improvement.

Have you seen an impact on the children?

We run in the afternoon and it helps to improve focus. We always come back in laughing and happy.

Have you made any successful links between the Daily Mile and the curriculum?

We have included some maths and quite a lot of PSHE. At the beginning we always repeat the mantra that it is a run, not a race. I act as “tail runner” and we use the Parkrun approach that no-one can be last but me. Our older children help encourage the younger ones to keep going. We have also done some simple science talking about warm ups, heart beat etc.

Do you have any tips for other schools looking to get started?

You may have to think outside the box to find somewhere to run but there will be somewhere. Engage the help of the local community; I keep them fully informed of what we are doing by writing articles for the local village magazine. Get staff on board and reassure them that they don’t have to run if they don’t want to. I run with them and the children really enjoy seeing me panting round but respect those adults who can’t or won’t run. The children absolutely love running.