Stone Bay School
How The Daily Mile has improved behaviour and mental health
The Daily Mile
Children and Young People
Stone Bay School is a special school in Thanet for pupils with ASD who have seen significant benefits for their pupils since starting The Daily Mile.
Having started The Daily Mile in Children’s Mental Health Week 2019, the benefits were so good that the school kept doing The Daily Mile every day.
Despite having very little outdoor space, The Daily Mile is still a key part of the school day.
Please tell us a little about your school setting:
We are a special school in Thanet for pupils with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We offer both residential and day school and have both primary and secondary intake.
How long have you been doing The Daily MileTM?
We are approaching one full year of The Daily Mile now.
Why did you want to start The Daily Mile?
It all started with Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week in February last year. As a school we wanted to do something to mark the week and having looked for ideas online, we found The Daily Mile listed as a free initiative on the Place2Be website. It seemed really simple to get started so we decided to do The Daily Mile throughout the week, and it didn’t take long before we started to see the benefits. We have been doing it ever since!
Where do you run The Daily Mile?
We have a small outside area we call the Garden. It has an all-weather surface and is somewhere our pupils really enjoy spending time.
Did your school experience any particular barriers when you began The Daily Mile, and if so, how did you overcome these?
No not really. Our pupils like spending time in the Garden anyway, so it was a great opportunity for them to spend more time outside and enjoy the benefits that it brings.
Since starting The Daily Mile, what have been the benefits for the children and what has been the impact on your school?
It provides a great release for the students. A lot of our pupils travel to school in taxis with some travelling for almost two hours. Starting the day with The Daily Mile means they have the opportunity to have a mental and physical break before going in and so can start the school day refreshed and more ready to engage.
Doing The Daily Mile also really helps the transition between home and school for our residential pupils. Without The Daily Mile pupils would otherwise just come downstairs and head to the classroom, but The Daily Mile provides a clear definition between home life and the start of the school day which helps them transition between the two.
Pupil behaviour has also improved significantly for us. As an ASD school, several our pupils can have quite challenging behaviours, but once we started The Daily Mile, we quickly noticed that behaviour improved across the school. Wednesday is traditionally one of the worst days for behaviour, but within a couple of weeks we noticed we were dealing with far less issues.
We were also surprised to see that rather than struggling to adapt, those with the most challenging behaviours actually seemed to gain the most benefits.
Do you have any particular stories you would like to share about individual children or staff members who have benefited from The Daily Mile?
We love that The Daily Mile is a whole school activity. This means we see pupils socialising with staff and pupils from other classes. We have also noticed staff doing The Daily Mile with pupils they have worked with in previous years which is a lovely thing to see that and probably wouldn’t happen without The Daily Mile.
Have you included parents and/or the community in any of your Daily Miles?
No, simply because most of our pupils travel by taxi and/or are residential so it isn’t practical to do so.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your experience of delivering The Daily Mile?
Get involved – it’s so simple and the benefits are huge!