School's travel plan for healthy kids – and a healthy planet
CHILDREN at a Yate junior school are helping to cut congestion and pollution by finding active ways to get to school.
The Ridge Junior School in Melrose Avenue has introduced an active sustainable travel plan to encourage children and parents to walk, park and stride, cycle or scoot to school whenever they can.
And to give them an incentive, the school has introduced a “golden lock” placed on a bike and a scooter each week, which wins whoever rode it to school a prize.
A golden ticket is also on offer for children using the school's 'park and stride' site at the Riverside car park, to encourage those having lifts to do part of the journey on foot, and there is also a prize draw for children who walk all the way from home.
The school is working with South Gloucestershire Council's road safety team to apply for accreditation with the Modeshift Stars scheme, which gives awards for schools promoting 'active travel'.
Staff have noticed a reduction in the number of families driving the whole way to school and children who have had some 'wake-up exercise' on their way in.
Some children have had clean air workshops, and bike safety and maintenance courses are also taking place.
A new larger entrance gate has been installed for cyclists and children are carrying out scooter and bike counts to monitor the scheme's success.
Head teacher Phil Boult said: "We appreciate that not all families can avoid using the car in the morning, so we are delighted that so many families, where they can, are helping the community with travel to school initiatives.
"Even a small reduction in car journeys makes a considerable difference.
"We are immensely proud of the way that our children and parents have embraced this, partly due to the learning that the children are doing in school around the reasons why active travel is vital for their health and the health of the planet."