Plenty of fresh air and exercise contribute to academic success


- Credit: Trevor Burrows Photography

‘There is no doubting the benefits of plenty of physical activity in pleasant green surroundings’ Says Patrick Savage, Headmaster of Mount House Prep School in Tavistock


- Credit: Trevor Burrows Photography

In today’s highly competitive world much emphasis is placed on academic success from a very early age. However, the benefits of fresh air and exercise on cerebral success are well recognised and documented. “Mens sana in corpore sano” or “a healthy mind in a healthy body” as the Romans believed, still has much resonance today. Educators in the UK have long believed in the relationship between the stimulation of fresh air, good oxygen intake and the less tangible non-physical refreshment enjoyed by pupils who are able to experience the outdoors during a school day – both in structured and unstructured games play - and intellectual success.


- Credit: Trevor Burrows Photography

Patrick Savage, Headmaster of Mount House Prep School in Tavistock, Devon makes the point that, for children aged 3 to 13, there is no doubting the benefits of plenty of physical activity in pleasant green surroundings. “At Mount House the pupils have the opportunity to take 2 to 2½ hours of exercise – most of it out of doors – every day. Our physical exercise varies from playground games, to properly coached sports practice, and structured PE class work. This undoubtedly plays a significant part in helping our pupils to achieve academic success – including outstanding scholarships, awards and Common Entrance success.”

A recent study undertaken by Dundee University and the University of Strathclyde confirmed that children who carried out regular exercise saw improvements in their academic results at 11 and at 13 (and also in their GCSE exams at 16) The authors of the study claimed that every 15 minutes of exercise improved performance by an average of about a quarter of a gradeand thus it was possible that children who carried out 60 minutes of exercise every day could improve their performance in exams by a full grade – for example, from a B to an A.

As one Mount House mother reports, “It is always heartening from a parent’s perspective to know that, even during times of academic focus (such as exam weeks), our children are still encouraged to continue their games and PE at Mount House – it seems to help my children and their friends to relax, re-focus and face the next exam refreshed.”

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Mount House School is an Ofsted and ISI ‘Outstanding’ Independent Prep and Pre-Prep (co-ed 3 – 13 years) offering nursery, day and boarding provision. Mount House has an exceptional record in preparing pupils for the senior schools of their choice. Open Days: Friday 7th March 2014 / Saturday 10th May 2014

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Amanda Goodison, Marketing Manager, Mount House School / 07899 062997

Tavistock, Devon PL19 9JL / Registered Company Number: 1224029/Registered Charity Number: 270147

This article appeared in the Spring issue of the A+ Education Guide South West. Click here to see the whole magazine.

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