Having just got back from a 10K walk with my family, how when we are at school, we sometimes do not see the world outside – busy moving from lesson to lesson and involving ourselves in one activity after another.
We can effectively be indoors for at least 5 hours a day. To be outside and enjoy the fresh air and the countryside are key components to healthy living as we know – not only in terms of the exercise, but very importantly, the need to fill our lungs with oxygen. Then, this week, when I visited the site of one of our new primary schools, due to open in September 2015, I was surprised to learn that the levels of oxygen are monitored in the classrooms so that more can be filtered into the rooms if need be! Technology is truly amazing. However, I still do not think you can beat actually getting outside and enjoying all that this has to offer. This weekend, my family walked through strawberry and raspberry fields along with cherry orchards; we ambled in rapeseed fields and a salad farm – all on our very own doorstep! Equally, I know that our Duke of Edinburgh teams were doing something very similar in other parts of Kent; finding their way with the help of an ordnance survey map, cooking on the open fire, but essentially enjoying the outdoors.
There are a myriad of health benefits for individuals who spend time outside, including an increased intake of Vitamin D and decreased hyperactivity and depression. We also know that for those people who tend to be more active in the open air, there is a reduced risk of obesity. So, when our Duke of Edinburgh students come back to school today, although they will be nursing aching muscles, we know that they will also be energised by being outside for much of the weekend – lots of fresh air and exercise to compliment the teamwork and map work. Similarly, our students now have the advantage of using our large outdoor areas at lunchtime, following the investment in the Izatt Building. They will not only enjoy the socialisation aspects of the space, but they also benefit from breaking up their day with fresh air, sunshine (we hope!) and enjoying the beautiful environment around them. Although Invicta is situated in the centre of a town, we are extremely lucky to have been able to develop a campus with such lovely setting. However, we are also extremely fortunate to have such a proactive Parent, Teacher’s Association (FIGS – Friends of Invicta Grammar School) who have kindly funded lots of new picnic benches for our girls which arrived on Friday. As I walk around the school at breaks and lunchtimes, I am not able to enjoy the delights of a strawberry field, but one thing for sure, is that I can see our students enjoy their surroundings and make the most of some fresh air! We are indeed very lucky! Thank you very much FIGS – I know that the girls really will appreciate all your hard work in the fund raising.