‘ For three-and-a-half years, all pupils at St Ninians primary have walked or run a mile each day. They do so at random times during the day, apparently happily, and despite the rise in childhood obesity across the UK, none of the children at the school are overweight.
‘The daily mile has done so much to improve these children’s fitness, behaviour and concentration in lessons that scores of nursery and primary schools across Britain are following suit and getting pupils to get up from their desks and take 15 minutes to walk or run round the school or local park.‘ The Guardian Monday 28 September.
The scheme was introduced by the now retired Headteacher, Elaine Wyllie. In an interesting interview on the Today Programme (6 November. The interview starts at 2.43.32, near the end of the programme) she filled out more details of the scheme: Continue reading →
It’s been ringing in my ear recently. Like a tune stuck in one’s head, endlessly repeating itself. ‘Disciplinary society’, those are the words, that’s the discordant, repeating, tune.
And the flipside of discipline, is punishment; or, in the more mealy-mouth words of official-speak, the flipside of discipline is ‘sanction’. In practical terms this is a distinction without a difference as anyone who has been sanctioned is likely to tell you. If it looks like a punishment, if it feels like a punishment, then it’s punishment.
And as a society we seem to be getting better and better at creating occasions to threaten and impose punishment or sanction.
Why do I mention this now? It’s simply that over the past couple of weeks or so a few seemingly disparate experiences crossed my path, and, not for the first time, I realised I was seeing a pattern, a system in fact, and not a series of random coincidences. I’d noticed it before and I’m pretty sure that you have to. No claim to novelty here, this is about sharing dismay. Continue reading →