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Even more schools sign up to Active Movement scheme

Even more schools sign up to Active Movement scheme

24 October 2022
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More children in Wokingham Borough will be getting active by adding standing and movement to their daily routine in the classroom.


The Active Movement programme offers a unique approach to behaviour change within schools by encouraging children to sit less, stand regularly and move more.


Wokingham Borough Council is keen to promote the scheme following the success of last year’s pilot. This saw seven schools in the borough take part across the academic year, with more than 2,000 pupils and 82 teachers getting involved.


For 2022-23, Active Movement will be supporting an additional eight primary schools to walk, cycle and enjoy all kinds of physical movement throughout their day. Those that took part last time reported levels of activity increased across the school, with more participation in other sports as well.

Challenges and prizes up for grabs


Now children are going to get more active going to and from school as well. From 31 October to 25 November this year, children will take part in the programme’s Active Journey campaign, which aims to reduce the amount of time spent in cars, with activities including a walking bingo challenge.


Every child will receive a bingo card and each time they complete one of the active journeys featured, they can cross it off. Once they have completed all nine, they hand it into their school to be entered into a prize draw, which features a scooter and lots of other great rewards.


The Active Journey campaign is supported by the council’s public health team in partnership with My Journey Wokingham. This is a borough-wide sustainable travel campaign that helps and inspires residents, employees and students of all ages to travel actively.


It is hoped this will result reduce air pollution across the borough, especially outside schools when there is increased traffic for drop-offs and collections, while helping the council honour its pledge to do all it can to address the climate emergency.


By encouraging active travel and seeking to provide more amenities like crossings or cycleways over the coming years, the council also hopes to address inequality by offering access to more affordable ways of getting around.

Widespread benefits to keeping active


Cllr David Hare, executive member for health, wellbeing and adult services, said: “Encouraging all our residents to lead happy and healthy everyday lives is one of our top priorities and it is really important to emphasise the value of regular exercise for our physical and mental health. There are lots of ways to get involved in the Active Movement programme, including in November when there will be challenges and prizes on offer.”


Cllr Prue Bray, executive member for children’s services, said: “The benefits of being active on your way to and from school are vast: children can walk, cycle or scoot to school with their friends and get a real sense of achievement knowing they are being conscious of the environment. Schools that took part last year also said it had a positive impact on participation in sport, which is a really positive sign.”


Active Movement schools will also be developing their school travel plans using Modeshift STARS, a free travel planning tool open to all schools in Wokingham Borough.


The Modeshift STARS platform offers a nationally recognised system of accreditation, with each level having different criteria.  The My Journey team also offers up to £2,000 grant funding for schools that achieve at least a bronze level accreditation, with more becoming available as they progress up through the levels. This grant funding can be used to encourage active travel.


This is just one part of the Active Movement programme designed to improve physical activity levels of all young people within a school setting.


This will in turn support the overarching aim to reduce levels of childhood obesity in the borough. This is important as currently one in five children aged four or five is overweight or obese in Wokingham Borough, increasing to one in four at ages ten and 11.


Data from 2018/19 highlights that, only 41 per cent of children and young people in the borough are physically active. This is lower than both the national average of 46.8 per cent and regional figure of 47.8 per cent.

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