Way to go - why the city's pupils are walking to school
Schools across Brighton & Hove will be taking part in Walk to School Week, from 19-23 May 2014.
Over 12,000 pupils from forty primary schools across the city have signed up to the national initiative, originally set up by the Living Streets charity, designed to encourage children to walk to school throughout the year.
As part of the week, parents, children and schools supported by the council’s Road Safety team will take part in a range of events and activities to demonstrate how walking is healthy and can help reduce road safety problems, obesity, pollution, and congestion.
To mark Walk to School Week, BHCC’s road safety mascot, Piers the Meerkat will be visiting six schools to greet children at the beginning of the day and hand out small prizes to reward the walkers. The council uses the meerkat as a safety mascot because of the animal’s habit of looking left and right.
During the week, the life sized mascot will be at St Andrew's Primary, Patcham Junior, Aldrington Primary, Brighton and Hove Montessori and Moulsecoomb Primary, and will visit Windlesham School the week before.
To encourage pupils to maintain their healthy habits for the rest of the term, Brighton & Hove High Junior School is extending its Walk to School week activities into a Greener Way to School month where the girls will earn points and prizes for their class depending on how they travel to school.
To mark the final day of Walk to School Week (Friday 23 May), Moulsecoomb primary is having a non-uniform day with a sleepwalking theme, voted for by pupils. There will also be a smoothie breakfast for children in the playground before the start of the school day with Piers the meerkat in attendance.
Councillor Ian Davey, lead member for transport at Brighton & Hove City Council, said: “Many schools across the city already do a brilliant job of encouraging families to walk to school and Walk to School Week is another way of demonstrating the benefits of active safe and sustainable travel.
“I hope the efforts made by all those involved in this initiative will have a positive impact on how people choose to travel to school throughout the year.”
Charles Davies, Head of Moulsecoomb Primary School added: “We promote active travel for our pupils throughout the year and are in the process of developing a new School Travel Plan that encourages walking and cycling.
“Walk to School Week is a great way to get the children to think about why walking is good for them and something they can really get involved with and have some fun.”
The council supports schools throughout the year with travel planning and providing safe routes around schools.
For more information see: www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/parking-and-travel/travel-transport-and-road-safety/walking-school
Notes for editors
BHCC has secured funding from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund and is working with 14 primary schools, including Moulsecoomb primary, to improve school safety planning including scooter and cycle training and development of a school travel plan.
Moulsecoomb primary is applying for accreditation from ‘Modal Shift’ as a school that specialises in sustainable travel. If they are successful they will be the second school in the city to have it; Coldean was the first.
Modeshift is a national membership organisation that specialises in active and sustainable travel and provides behaviour change support for those working with children, young people, families, school communities, educational establishments and places of work.
About Living Streets
Living Streets is a charity comprising professionals and volunteers who work together to create ‘living streets’ around the UK. It has been campaigning for safe, attractive, and enjoyable streets since 1929. www.livingstreets.org.uk/walk-with-us/walk-to-school/walk-to-school-week-2014<http://www.livingstreets.org.uk/walk-with-us/walk-to-school/walk-to-school-week-2014