To inspire, encourage and support active travel.

Hold an active travel week, which could include some of the options below as part of the activities. An incentive or challenge could be added to the week to encourage participation.

  • Ticket to ride – give raffle type ticket to all that travel actively, these are then put into a prize draw.
  • Milestone challenge – each time a pupil actively travels they are given a distance (standard for all), which is recorded on a collective travel wall chart. The aim is for the whole school / class to reach a given distance / location. For example travel to London, the moon, Sydney. Could be linked to a national / international event e.g. World Cup, Eurovision, the Olympics.
  • Interclass competition – each class records the number of pupils actively traveling to school that day. The class with the highest % of active travellers wins a class prize – e.g. extra playtime, lunch queue passes, scooter time in the playground.

Active Travel Ambassadors talks / presentations

Active travel ambassadors put together a presentation (this could take many forms e.g. PowerPoint display/play) which they either do in front of each class or as an assembly.

Active travel breakfast or afternoon tea

Those who pedal, walk or scoot to school are invited to take part in a breakfast on arrival at school. Include parents/carers as well: it’s a great chance to chat with them about their daily journey to school.

Assembly themes

A great way to promote and inform pupils on forthcoming activities/events. Can also be used to promote a particular issue / topic e.g.:

  • Be Bright be Seen – three pupils are given a bag of accessories each (one of bright colours, one with reflective materials and one with only dark colours). They then race to put all of their accessories on in 2 minutes. Ask the audience to choose the pupil who would be safest out in the day? At night? Why? Close the curtains and turn the lights off, then use a torch to see who stands out more in the dark.
  • Active Travel Quiz – pick 3 pupils and ask them 10 questions on active travel (answers can be given in a quick intro beforehand).Can use bike bells or horns as beepers to answer question.
  • Active Travel Ambassador presentation – see above. 
  • Benefits of Active Travel – put six resources in a bag: clock, chocolate coins, smiley face, heart, globe and jam jar of toy cars. Choose one pupil at a time to come and take something out and hold it up to the school – pupils then describe how it relates to making an active journey. Clock = saves time, feel more alert in the morning; chocolate coins = saves money; smiley face = how you feel – fun, confident, increased self-esteem etc.; heart = healthy, fit, strong; globe = environmental benefits; jam jar of toy cars = not stuck in traffic jams!

Be Bright, Be Seen

Ask everyone to wear something bright to school using reflective and fluorescent materials. Organise a high-vis fashion show and award prizes for the brightest attire, or investigate different hi-vis materials and lights in a Science class.

Be Fit Fridays/Walking Wednesdays/WoW (Walk once a Week)/Car free day

Takes place regularly on a weekly basis to stimulate and maintain continuous active travel. Use incentive to encourage participation, such as spot prizes, house points, lunch queue jump passes, or interclass competition with the winning classes winning the golden boot, extra playtime.

Bling your bike, yourself or souped up your scooter

Ask everyone to decorate their bike, themselves or their scooter.

Choose a theme, such as a seasonal event or a curriculum topic, or just go random.

Encourage the use of recycled materials and make sure everyone knows about the need to keep moving parts of their bike or scooter free from obstructions.

Creative Writing Competition

Run a whole school or year group competition to produce a piece of creative writing inspired by Active Travel. This could take the form of a poem, story, journal, song, poster, leaflet etc. and could be extended to include films, podcasts etc.

Create a display with the best entries and performed/read out in assembly.

Daily Incentives and/or Weekly Incentives

Offer random spot prizes, targeted prizes or prize draws. Prizes can be purchased items or free incentives such as house points, golden boot, lunch queue jump passes, extra golden time, scooter time in the playground etc.

  • iSpy – pupils spot things on their school journey. Could use A to Z where pupils are challenged to find something for each letter.
  • Ticket to ride – give raffle tickets to pupils each day they travel actively and do a prize draw on the final day.
  • Milestone challenge/virtual race – each time a pupil actively travels they get given a distance (e.g. 10 miles per journey). This is recorded on a travel wall chart. The aim is for the whole school or class to reach a given location, for example London, Sydney, the moon! Could be linked to a national or international event e.g. World Cup, Eurovision, Olympics, Tour de France.
  • Active Travel Passport – Pupils get their passport/logbook stamped each time they walk/scoot/cycle to school.
  • Golden lock or Lucky Lock or Bike Fairy – a lock, tag or other distinctive item is attached at random to a bike or scooter in the bike shed – the lucky owner wins a prize.
  • Pedometer challenge – order a class set of pedometers. The most active class each week wins the pedometers to wear during the school day and see how active they are (how many steps they make) during normal school hours.
  • WOW (Walk once a Week) – Living Streets provide resources for walk once a week schemes. Click here see more about WOW on the Living Streets website.
  • Other titles include: Be Fit Fridays / Walking Wednesdays / Car Free Friday

Guided ride, scoot or walk

Find out if there are local community groups who can help organise a family bike ride or walk to a park for a picnic, games day or treasure hunt.

Poster Competition

Run a whole school or year group competition to design an active travel poster, to encourage other to leave their cars at home. The winning poster can then be displayed around school as a continual reminder and motivator.

Route Planning

Using maps of the local area get pupils to plan a route to get from A to B. Use string to measure distance.

Extension ideas:

Use the school as the starting point groups walk the route(s), tracking progress on the map, could use compasses. The walk can be timed to see how long it takes to go a certain distance. Could also incorporate key landmarks/sights along the route/ treasure hunt / iSpy /creating a journal/video diary of their journey.

Suss it out Activity Sheets

Five activity sheets covering different active travel themes. Each sheet has a 10, 20 and 30-minute activity requiring little preparation and no resources other than those found in a typical classroom. Click here to download the Suss it out activity sheet from Sustrans.

The Big Shift Challenge

A free to access online challenge designed to motivate the school community to travel more actively.

The challenge will set you targets based on how pupils currently travel to school. Make a Small Step, Big Stride or Giant Leap to increasing active travel and receive recognition for your achievements.

Click here to visit the Big Shift website.

The Big Street Survey

An exciting curriculum resource enabling pupils to investigate the area around their school and create a manifesto on how to make their streets safer and greener. Click here to visit the Sustrans website.

Tour De France Curriculum resources

Education pack to accompany the Tour de France with lesson plans and curriculum resources. Download the education pack from Tes.

Walking Incentive

  • iSpy incentive – pupils get points for spotting things on the journey to or from school. Could provide a tick list sheet or use A to Z where pupils are challenged to find one item / object for each letter.
  • Walking Passport – Pupils get their passport/logbook stamped each time they walk to school. The class with the most stamps at the end of the period wins a cup/shield or earn golden time or trip out to local park. Pupils with the most stamps at the end of the period win e.g. house points. Could be extended to include all forms of active travel.

Web page

A group of pupils, e.g. school or year group council, active travel ambassadors, are tasked to create an active travel webpage(s) for the school’s website.