The five-day walking challenge organised by Living Streets, a UK charity, is an annual celebration of walk to school and the perfect activity to celebrate National Walking Month this May. #WalkThisMay
Living Streets is the UK charity for everyday walking. Their mission is to achieve a better walking environment and inspire people to walk more. A generation ago, 70% of us walked to school – now it’s about half. Living Streets want to reverse this decline. They want children to be energised and empowered, and to make walking to school their natural choice.
Each year Living Streets puts together a fun themed challenge to take on while walking to and from school – order your classroom packs now.
Welcome to the five-day Walking Challenge 2021: WALKING SUPERPOWERS
This year’s challenge will focus on the walking superpowers that benefit individuals, communities and the planet. Each day pupils will be introduced to a brand new ‘Walking Superpower’ taking the form of a fun comic-book inspired design. Classes are encouraged to work collectively to make as many active journeys to school as possible across the week. Each day, the number of active journeys made will be recorded on the classroom wallchart and the class will learn about a new walking superpower (n.b the packs cost £12 each).
The children will be well on their way to reaching their recommended 60 minutes minimum of physical activity per day before even reaching the school gates! Not only will it set them up for a positive day in the classroom, but it will also help create healthy habits for life. Walking has so many benefits from physical to mental wellbeing; aiding concentration and creativity and creating safer, less polluted and more welcoming streets. All that makes for a happy, healthy child set up for success in and out of the classroom.
Using LGfL Resources
Children could also use JIT or J2e5 to create either an animation or a poster to encourage pupils to walk to school, that can be displayed around school and the local environment. Alternatively they could have a go at designing their own superhero in JiT paint, see an example below:
In addition they could write to their local council and ask what is being done in their area to encourage children to walk to school, or to encourage parents to park and stride.
Using J2data, children could collect and represent data on traffic in their local area around school and use this to encourage more people to walk to school.
BusyThings have a template that can be used during the week and throughout the year to capture details of how children travel to school. There are also other activities that could be used for the Walking Superpowers theme (designing their own superhero and/or creating their own comic strip for the week) as shown in their special events area.
Thinking Skills for Life
Thinking Skills for Life from LGfL in partnership with Axis education, includes a section on travel and transport. There are three categories of worksheets for each activity which require different levels of literacy, thinking and comprehension skills. This includes worksheets which use Widgit symbols to support understanding for many young people with SEND, EAL and lower literacy levels.
BBC Teach have a great assembly that schools could use to introduce the week, that includes a video, suggested songs and discussion points.
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.
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 during Walk to School Week.