A Brighton & Hove School has been given two top awards for the work it does with early years children and their families to encourage active travel.
Brighton Waldorf School Early Years has been awarded the Modeshift STARS Early Years of the Region (south east) for 2020/21 for their work to get more children, parents and carers walking, cycling or scooting their way to school.
The school, which was given Gold Modeshift STARS accreditation earlier this year, also won National STARS School Travel Award – Early Years of the year 2020.
Over the last four years, staff at Brighton Waldorf Early Years have seen the number of families using Park & Stride (driving some of the way to school, but walking the rest) increase by 12%, active travel (walking, scooting and cycling) increase by 7% . Also, car use halved from 31% to 15% during the first two years.
What have they been doing?
During the four years the school has been working with STARS, they’ve worked hard to promote active and sustainable travel to its their children and their families:
• Staff have been trained to deliver balance bike skills training to early years children
• The school has been working to promote active travel Fridays throughout the school year, asking parents, carers and children to walk, scoot or cycle at least the last five minutes of a journey or hop off the bus a stop early
• Children and family centred learning on the benefits of physical activity
• Regular class walks all year round, whatever the weather, including learning about road safety
• Conversations during lunch about healthy eating and good habits
• Parent meetings, evenings and talks include the benefits of walking for children.
• Encouraging families to continue the daily walks over lockdown.
This award continues a long tradition of success for early years settings in Brighton & Hove. Awards have previously been won by Footsteps Day Nurseries Portslade (in 2018), Hove (in 2019) and Growing Up Green Day Nursery, Preston Road (2020).
Amy Heley, Chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee said: “I’d like to congratulate Brighton Waldorf School Early Years on this great award and for their work in promoting active and sustainable transport in the city.
“It’s so important that children learn from an early age about the physical and mental health benefits to active travel, but also the benefits to the environment around them.
“The school is setting such a good example to everyone by encouraging children and their families to think about their travel habits.”
Modeshift STARS is the Centre of Excellence for the delivery of Effective Travel Plans in Education, Business and Community settings. The scheme recognises early years settings, schools, businesses and other organisations that have shown excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable and active travel. www.modeshiftstars.org/