Inspired by Beau Miles’ awesome documentary about making the most of every 24hours, I decided to make the Ultimate School day with my Year 8 class.

Split into teams of 3, 4 or 5 students, I put forward two goals for the day. Run a marathon within your team, and as a class we would write a book.
The marathon involved running for 2 or 3 km (depending on the size of their group) at 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm. For the book the students had to write a personal reflection – giving a piece of advice to New Zealand 12 and 13 year old tamariki.

My rules for the day were as follows:
You must stay in class
You can eat what you want when you want.
You must do all activities in your group
No technology or devices

Planning for the day started the day before. During maths, groups had to work out how many laps they needed to complete in order to complete the 42,195m. This took a while as the logistics and the maths were rather hard.

Each group then had to complete a detailed plan of their ultimate day. This took a couple of lessons and the students come up with some great tasks – puzzles, games, activities to do, lunches and food to make etc.

The day was fabulous and begun with a run in the drizzle at 9am. After that the students loved just chilling and enjoying each others company. Having no devices was a great way to spend the day and ensure that there was a high level of collaboration. Some groups cooked sausages, others made milo on a gas cooker, one group made yummy sundaes, another created slime, the boys played coin rugby and some even finished school work. One game of played monopoly lasted all day with one group even painted their nails.

The students enjoyed the running, or walking as the day went on. Having two courses – one 500m long and the other 1km long worked really well as it enabled some groups to chop and change their distance a little. From my perspective any day you get a 10km run in during school time must be a good day.

My favourite part of the day was creating the book and reading some of the reflections from the students. I asked the students not to put their names on the reflections as I wanted honest advice. Below is one of the reflections.

Check out the images below…(used with permission), then read our book entitled ‘Things I wish I knew when I was 12’