Chew Stoke Church School has become the second school in Bath and North East Somerset to achieve a gold national award for promoting walking, cycling and sustainable travel.
Modeshift STARS is a national accreditation scheme that recognises schools that champion healthy and active ways to travel to and from school, as well as embedding those habits for pupils in later life.
Chew Stoke Church School is the second school in the district to achieve the highest gold accolade for excellence after Bathampton Primary School was the first to receive the award in 2019.
The school has seen a significant reduction in cars parking outside the school and families that need to drive choosing to ‘park and stride’ instead, since it engaged the whole school community on road safety and the importance of walking, cycling and scooting.
Events, competitions, reward schemes and poster and video campaigns were used to promote the school’s message. Pupils took to Facebook to promote the importance of walking, scooting and cycling and their video can be viewed here.
Bath & North East Somerset Council provides support to schools to achieve their Modeshift STARS award.
Councillor Joanna Wright, joint cabinet member for Transport Services, said: “Covid restrictions have changed the way that many of us work and get around. As more people are now working from home, making active travel part of the school run is a great opportunity for both parents and pupils to get essential daily exercise while cutting the numbers of cars doing the school run which is good for air quality. With the recent announcement that schools will reopen this month, now is a good time for people to try out alternatives.”
Vicki Hennessy, Deputy Headteacher at Chew Stoke Church School said: “At Chew Stoke Church School we have been striving to promote cycling and scooting. With the help of the PE Council our mission has been to educate the children and families about the health and well-being benefits of travelling to and from school in this way and how we can be doing our bit to help save the planet. Our PE Council led their own project to increase numbers cycling and scooting to school, and as a result more than tripled the number actively travelling in both EYFS/ KS1 and KS2. It has been a whole school effort and we are very proud of our results.”
Schools that have not already engaged with Modeshift STARS can register for free on the Modeshift STARS website at www.modeshiftstars.org.
One-to-one support is available from the council’s School Travel Plan Officer, to support schools with their award. Email [email protected].