The national walk to school campaign is organised by Living Streets, a national charity that promotes walking and runs from 20th – 24th May 2019. Each year Living Streets puts together a fun themed challenge to take on while walking to and from school. This year is Living Streets’ 90th anniversary, and with this special occasion, the theme they have chosen is that of taking pupils on a special walking journey re-tracing the steps of their greatest achievements over the course of the last 90 years. The classrooms packs and activities are built to make the pupils feel empowered to change their walking environment for the better: they’ll experience first hand the importance of walking to school.(The classroom packs are charged at £10 each)
It’s been proven that children who do some form of exercise, especially a walk before school, do better in class because they arrive refreshed, fit and ready to learn. During morning peak traffic times, one in five cars on the road are taking children school, contributing to congestion, air pollution and carbon emissions. The school run alone is responsible for generating two million tonnes of CO2 per year. I
Living Streets have recently published a report entitled Swap The School Run For The School Walk this report lays out 21 recommendations for decision-makers at all levels to enable more children to walk to and from school.
The Walk to School week is part of the year round WOW challenge to encourage children to walk to school, the site has lots of free resources that can be used to promote walking to 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 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.
Children could also use JIT or J25 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. 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.
Busythings also have a template that can be used during the week and throughout the year to capture details of how children travel to school
EYFS Spotlight is a way of highlighting the many varied resources that LGfL offers to help your Early Years Foundation Stage setting by providing topic maps and planning. This resource aims to filter the extensive collection of LGfL content into popular EYFS themes / topics.
The resource is ideal for use in primary schools and early years settings. Within each category below you’ll find a variety of links to LGfL resources and suggested teaching ideas on how to use them within your Early Years setting. As some settings may have variations in naming of topics, please see the topic descriptions to help you search for the related content. My Home and Local Area would be perfect to use during the week it covers making connections with the local area, talking about directions, exploring maps of the local community and the wider area.
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.