Local schools have received a national award this month for their incredible efforts to educate their pupils and parents about active and sustainable travel, encouraging them to ditch the car, where possible, on the school run, which is all part of the council’s ‘My Journey' initiative.
Evendons Primary School, Gorse Ride Junior School and Highwood Primary School were presented with the Modeshift STARS Bronze Certificates, by Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways and transport, for demonstrating excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.
To achieve accreditation the schools had to survey current travel modes to school and then put in place initiatives to increase the numbers of children walking, scooting and cycling, as well as consulting the school leadership team, governors and the Local Authority to identify any travel and transport issues.
The schools have taken part in at least ten sustainable travel events including road safety shows, scooter and bikeability training, as well as teaching their pupils about the benefits of active travel and how to safely travel in the winter.
Families were also encouraged to take part in Living Streets’ ‘Walk to School Week’ and Sustrans’ ‘The Big Pedal’ competitions with Evendons achieving a massive 77% of its pupils walking, scooting or cycling to school.
Cllr Jorgensen said, “I am thrilled to be awarding a record number of Modeshift STARS accreditations this year with proactive schools like Evendons, Gorse Ride and Highwood all demonstrating excellence in their promotion of active and sustainable travel, improving the children’s understanding about the positive impact little changes can have on local air quality and their health.
“It is also great to see children encouraging and educating parents about what they have learnt at school with families embracing sustainable transport, not only just the school run as this cannot always be possible, but on other journeys throughout the week”.
The next step for these schools is to work towards their silver accreditation and achieving a measured reduction in car travel to and from the school gate as well as doubling the number of events they take part in.
Modeshift stars is a national awards scheme providing recognition to the schools who demonstrate excellence in promoting active and sustainable travel.
My Journey encourages schools across Wokingham Borough to get involved and offers a £2,000 grant to schools which achieve a new Modeshift stars accreditation for spending on further promotion of active and sustainable travel to and from school. For further information visit www.myjourneywokingham.com