9 October 2015

Walk to School Month

Pupils from St Joseph's primary school in Brighton will be 'blinging' their shoes to celebrate Walk to School month during the week beginning 12 October.

The school in Davey Drive is celebrating its 60th Jubilee this year and is making a big effort to encourage children to walk to school this autumn. They will have a school travel team of pupils during the week and have invited the council's road safety mascot 'Piers the Meerkat' to come and meet the children for a special walk to school.

Headteacher Fran Morrison said: “The staff and pupils at St Joseph's have had great fun celebrating 'Walk to School' month. As a school, we are always keen to promote as much walking as possible and our school is set in an ideal environment to walk. The children always enjoy a visit from Piers the Meerkat and the 'blinging' of their shoes made this event even more special for them. From the feedback we have had from the children and their enthusiasm about this event, we are confident this will make an impact on the amount of children walking to school in the future.”

Thousands of children across the city are expected to take part in the national Walk to School month. Brighton & Hove City Council's support for the campaign includes providing resources to schools through the charity Living Streets and conducting special assemblies.

For the first time the council's road safety team is running a trial with pre-school children to encourage families to walk to their pre-school places. A number of childminders and 43 nurseries and pre-schools have joined up already (over 3,300 children), to 'Walking Week' with more expected to join in with the walking week for younger children from 19 to 23 October.

Councillor Maggie Barradell, deputy chair of the environment and transport committee and a member of the education committee said: “We're pleased to be extending the Walk to School initiative to pre-school children. Walking to school should be a fun and has the benefit of also being a healthy thing to do.

“Reducing the amount of traffic around schools and pre-school settings benefits everyone in terms of reduced air pollution but it especially improves the environment outside school and nursery gates for the city's youngest children, which should further promote others to walk to school too.” 

Around 30 primary schools (10,000 children) have signed up to Walk to School in October.

Windlesham School has been a keen participant in 'Walk to School Month' for many years. Headteacher Aoife Bennett-Odlum said: “This year we are very pleased to be taking part in the Strider's Time Travel Challenge and also each morning during the week beginning 5th October, ‘Piers the Meerkat’ welcomed everyone at the school gate, helping us celebrate and encourage as many children as possible to walk to school.”

Find out more about walking to school in Brighton and Hove