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One giant skip for young minds

A 20-minute session of skipping, aerobics or step is just the kick-start needed for the pupils at Okeford Fitzpaine primary, Dorset, to keep them alert for the rest of the day.

Janet Nock, the key stage 1 teacher who runs the sessions, said: "We have noticed an improvement in concentration spans and self-esteem among the pupils.

"We make sure every class has a morning session of PE too - they need a break from sitting down in the literacy or numeracy hours."

The children are provided with their own water bottles which they keep at their desks, and fizzy drinks and crisps have been banned. "We expected some resistance from the older children but they have taken it on board," said Mrs Nock.

Similarly Year 1 pupils begin each day at Sherwin Knight community infants, Rochester, with a session of running, skipping or climbing, followed by a fruit or vegetable snack. The school nurse and the local dental service give talks to parents on how to prepare healthy snacks for their children.

Lorna Walter, headteacher, said: "The children are much more on task now.

There are a few pupils with behaviour problems in the class and they are much calmer and quieter after the exercise."

Both schools feature on the "Real Stories" section of the Get Active website: www.tes.co.ukgetactive

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