Habitually healthy

Some of you may have seen a news headline yesterday: British children are world leaders in inactivity.

A WHO survey looked at the lives of children aged 11, 13 and 15 living in Europe, central Asia and Canada, including more than 4,000 in England. By age 15, just 11 per cent of girls and 16 per cent of boys in England did the recommended 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity, which can include things such as brisk walking, cycling or rollerblading. The figures put England and Wales near the bottom of the global table. Furthermore, when it comes to eating breakfast before school, which experts say is a healthy eating habit for children, only 37 per cent of 13-year-old girls and 59 per cent of boys in England ate breakfast on weekdays.

The study’s international co-ordinator highlighted significant gender and socio-economic differences, as well as distinguishing between the relative popularity of high-impact exercise as opposed to more moderate day-to-day activity, which used to be more common when children spent more time outdoors.

Whatever the case, none of us would deny the importance of healthy activity and eating, and we should be keen to encourage regular and enjoyable exercise, whilst discouraging excessive screen-time. We know there is often a link between academic performance at school and healthy habits and busyness (music, drama and DofE as well as sport). Those who are engaged in such activities not only have less time to waste but derive self-esteem and confidence from increasing skill levels and enjoyable teamwork. They also have to be better organised to make the most of those activities alongside their studies. You will be pleased to know that, even during this unseasonably cooler weather, we are sending pupils outside for fresh air at lunchtime while also doing our best to maintain our fixture list, despite the rain. We have recently qualified for all four regional athletics finals, and it was a joy to see U12 A-E and U13 A-D girls’ cricket teams competing last week against Princethorpe, with some really well contested games (won 4, lost 5). We will always prioritise lots of PE and Games for our pupils, and there is a real sense of pride in representing the school, at whatever level!

I wish you and your families a happy, restful and sunnier (?) half-term break,

John Watson
Headmaster and Principal