The national walk to school campaign is organised by Living Streets, a national charity that promotes walking. Each year Living Streets puts together a fun themed challenge to take on while walking to and from school. In 2017 400,000 children and their families joined the challenge and got a taste of the many benefits the simple act of walking can bring. Their vision is that every child that can, walks to school.
A generation ago, 70% of us walked to school – now it’s just over half. Why have we engineered walking out of our lives? Some of the reasons include:
- Towns and cities built to accommodate cars.
- Unsafe crossings.
- Uneven pavements.
- Congestion and overcrowding at school gates.
- Air pollution.
They have produced a short video which you can watch below detailing reasons why children like to walk to school, this could be used alongside the assembly they have also produced to help you introduce the week.
They are also promoting a Happy Shoesday on Tuesday, 22 May 2018 where children will be allowed to wear any shoes for the whole day. They can decorate them, wear odd shoes or even come to school in their slippers! Living Streets would like schools to raise money for their charity, but you can take part just by organising an activity for your school.
There are also a number of resources from LGfL that can be used during this week:
Thinking skills for Life from LGfL in partnership with Axis education, includes a section on travel and transport,there are 3 categories of worksheets for each activity which require different levels ofliteracy,thinking and comprehension skills. This includes worksheets which use Widgit symbols tosupport understanding for many young people with SEND, EAL and lower literacy levels.
Children could also use JIT or J25 to create either an animation or a poster to encourage pupils to walk to school, they can see if they can improve on the one produced by Living Streets. They could also write to their local council and ask what is being done in their areas to encourage children to walk to school, or to encourage parents to park and stride.
Using J2data children could create data on traffic in their local area around schools and use this to encourage more people to walk to school.
Think from the Department of Transport have websites for Primary and Secondary both feature sections for teachers, pupils and parents. Topics include Road rangers, Stepping stones, Map your journey and small changes which link perfectly to the Walk to school week theme.
STARS is TfL’s accreditation scheme for London schools and nurseries. STARS inspires young Londoners to travel to school sustainably, actively, responsibly and safely by championing walking, scooting and cycling. STARS supports pupils’ wellbeing, helps to reduce congestion at the school gates and improve road safety and air quality.
STARS is open to all London schools and nurseries. To take part in the scheme, you first need to create a STARS Online account. This will put you in touch with your local borough officer who will support you throughout the accreditation process, help you create a School Travel Plan (STP) and select the most suitable activities for your school to address your travel issues and reach your active travel targets. A great resource to use Walk to School Week.