The Heights Primary are Reading’s Sustainable Travel Stars

The Heights Primary School - Silver Award

CHILDREN from the Heights Primary School have been recognised again for their efforts on walking and cycling to school.

A recent school staff and pupil travel survey shows that a combined total of 12.15% of more pupils are walking, cycling, using ‘park and stride’, or public transport to get to or from school. Car use has also dropped by 5.5% in comparison to the previous year.

The Caversham-based school has now become the first in Reading to achieve a Silver Modeshift STARS award – a national scheme which recognises schools which  have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.

In order to achieve Silver accreditation, The Heights has carried out an additional five school consultation activities, 10 travel initiatives, and five supporting initiatives, as well as demonstrating increases in sustainable travel use over the past 2 years. This year The Heights has installed a new scooter pod and additional cycle parking racks. Pupils undertake a daily bike and scooter count. This has shown a demand for a further scooter pod which has been agreed by school governors.

School children will be receiving a certificate at a school assembly on Monday June 10th.

Karen Edwards, Headteacher at the Heights, said:

“We are thrilled to learn that we have been awarded our Silver Modeshift Stars Accreditation, which reflects our whole school community’s ethos and fundamental commitment to sustainable travel.”

Tony Page
Cllr Tony Page

Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:

“Like every busy town or city, Reading suffers from congestion and air quality issues, which is having a detrimental effect on the health of residents. The Council aims to do more to address this as part of its new Local Transport Plan, which we are consulting on this summer.

“Nationally, air quality issues around schools have been in the headlines recently, which is why it is so gratifying to hear of the tremendous efforts of children and staff at The Heights Primary. I’d like to congratulate them all for becoming the first school in Reading to achieve this level of national accreditation. I hope they will be the first in a long line of schools to achieve this success.”

The Heights have taken part in various active travel activities, such as Bikeability, Living Streets WOW (Walk on Wednesday) competition, and continue to use public transport or travel on foot to off-site activities where possible. In terms of consultations, the school has worked closely with the transport planning team at the Council, as well as their school governors, parents teacher association and active travel working group.

Reading Borough Council continues to encourage other schools to take part in the Modeshift STARS initiative, with Coley Primary and Alfred Sutton working towards the Bronze award.

Notes to Editor:

PHOTOCALL: You are invited to send a photographer / film the presentation of the certificates to children at the Heights Primary School at their school assembly on Monday June 10th at 3pm.

Background to STARS:

Modeshift STARS is a national awards scheme which recognises schools and Early Years settings that have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.

Across the country, over 850 schools and Early Years settings achieved STARS accreditation last year. Currently 64 local authorities representing around 13,000 schools in England are signed up to the scheme.

Oscar Mortali

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