Encouraging active and sustainable travel to school
'Walking is man's best medicine'
At Stannington First School, we are committed to promoting active travel to school and encourage our families to walk, scoot or cycle for their school journey and, where this is not possible for the whole journey, then we encourage families to park away from the main school entrance and stride or ride for the remaining journey.
Why is this important?
Happier Children: It's been proven that children who do some form of exercise, for example a walk, scoot or cycle before school, do better in class because they arrive at school refreshed, fit and ready to learn.
Less Congestion: During morning peak traffic times, one in five cars on the road are taking children to school, contributing to congestion, air pollution and carbon emissions. Encouraging families to walk, scoot or cycle has greatly improved congestion around our school entrance on Church Road.
Cleaner Air: The school run alone is responsible for generating half a million tonnes of CO2 per year (more than some small countries!). Imagine what we can achieve when we convert some of these car rides to strides?
A generation ago, 70% of us walked to school – now it’s less than half.
At Stannington First School, we want to reverse this decline. We want our pupils to be energised and empowered, and to make walking, scooting or cycling to school their natural choice. To achieve this we participate with Living Streets Initiatives such as WOW and we also participate with Modeshift STARS.
Modeshift STARS is the national schools awards scheme that has been established to recognise schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel. The scheme encourages schools across the country to join in a major effort to increase levels of sustainable and active travel in order to improve the health and well-being of children and young people.
Living Streets WOW is a pupil-led initiative where children self-report how they get to school every day using the interactive WOW Travel Tracker. If they travel sustainably (walk, cycle, scoot or park and stride) at least twice a week for a month, they get rewarded with a badge. It's that easy!
We plan regular initiatives to promote active travel to school and encourage families to make a permanent shift in their daily routines. We believe:
- this will contribute towards keeping us fit and healthy
- this will help our pupils develop road safety skills which will keep them safe as they travel further afield and more independently
- this will help keep our local air clean, and free from congestion
- we can enjoy our local surroundings and observe the changes that take place across the seasons
- families can use this time to catch up with each other and share information about their day
What we do
- We use Modeshift STARS to update and monitor our school travel plan
- We promote safe and active travel as much as possible by using our noticeboard, displays, newsletter, social media and website at http://www.stannington.northumberland.sch.uk
- We encourage all members of our school community to walk, cycle or scoot. If this is not possible for the whole journey, we encourage people to Park and Ride or Stride.
To support this we provide:
- Balance bike, Cycle and Scooter training
- Pedestrian training
- Cycle parking
- Scooter parking
- Storage for bike helmets
- Public parking information
- Local school trips are made on foot if the destination is close by
- We inform/remind parents and carers of our school aims at the welcome meetings at the start of each academic year
What we ask of parents
- Please encourage your child(ren) to walk, scoot or cycle to school whenever possible
- Ensure your child(ren) walk or ride sensibly and safely on the way to and from school, and to push bikes and scooters on school grounds
- Ensure that bicycles and scooters are roadworthy and properly maintained. If in doubt consult a qualified mechanic
- Provide your child(ren) with a cycle helmet
- Ensure your child(ren) can be seen by fitting lights to their bike by supplying them with high-visibility clothing
- Ensure you have appropriate insurance cover for your child(ren)’s bicycle or scooter as the school is not liable for any loss or damage to cycles or scooters on the premises or being used on the way to or from school
We understand that sometimes there is no alternative to driving to school.
- Where a car must be used we ask parents to park their car a short distance away away from the school so that some of the journey can be walked or scooted
We have a 5/10 minute walk zone we ask parents to part outside of - see map
We suggest that park & stride or ride is available from the village car park (next to the church), the village hall car park or from the Glebe, next to the children’s park.
If you do have to drive your child(ren) and stop in the near vicinity please do so legally, safely and with respect for our neighbours and local residents
It is not acceptable to park or wait on double yellow lines, on the school zigzags or across residential driveways for any period of time
Please note that the decision on whether a child is competent to cycle or scoot to school is for the parent(s) or carer(s) to make. The school has no liability for any consequences arising from this decision.
What we ask of pupils
- Ask your parents if you can walk, scoot or cycle to school
- Behave in a way that shows you and the school in the best light whether walking, scooting or cycling
- Ride or walk courteously, sensibly and safely on the way to and from school
- Push bikes and scooters on school grounds
- Check that your bike or scooter is roadworthy and properly maintained
- Wear a cycle helmet
- Make sure you can be seen by using lights in the dark or bad weather and by wearing high-visibility clothing