CHILDREN from two Reading primary schools have been enjoying learning all about being active and travelling sustainably, gaining national accreditation in the process.
The Heights and Moorlands primary schools are the first in Reading to receive Modeshift STARS accreditation – a national scheme which recognises schools which have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.
Children from both schools were presented with their bronze Modeshift STARS plaque and certificate on National Clean Air Day at the Civic Offices today (June 21st). Both schools will now work towards their Silver and Gold awards, with other Reading schools also being encouraged to take up the challenge.
The Modeshift scheme encourages schools across the country to join in a major effort to increase levels of sustainable and active travel in order to improve the health and well-being of children and young people. Working with Reading Borough Council’s transport planning team, the schools have promoted sustainable and active travel by:
- Introducing ‘Walk on Wednesdays’
- Setting up a Bike Bus
- Encouraging children to participate in Bikeability cycle training
- Going on trips by public bus
- Monitoring traffic levels on roads near the school
- Going for walks in the local environment and discussing road safety
- Having a visit from fire fighters to talk about personal safety
- Having lessons in bike maintenance
- Installing new cycle parking
- Participating in Walk to School Week
Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“I would like to congratulate both children and staff The Heights and Moorlands who are leading the way in Reading in gaining national accreditation in this worthwhile scheme. Reading is a tight and highly developed urban area with many demands on limited road space, which makes it so important to encourage sustainable forms of travel wherever possible.
“I know the Council is encouraging other schools to take up the challenge and I look forward to other schools in Reading following suit.”
Karen Edwards, Headteacher at the Heights, said:
“As we are school in a temporary location, we are acutely aware of our impact in the community. We welcome the opportunity to raise children’s awareness of their impact on the local environment, as well as encouraging them to get moving and lead active lifestyles. Modeshift STARS sits very well within our school ethos and has provided an excellent framework to work upon. The school is now looking forward to working its way towards achieving the Silver Award.”
Pupils at Moorlands Primary particularly enjoyed taking part in the national cycle training programme Bikeability whilst working towards their Modeshift STARS accreditation.
Lesley Charlesworth, Head of School at Moorlands, said:
“A lot of our children cycle to school so the Bikeability sessions are really important. All the pupils who took part were enthusiastic about what they had learned.
Comments from children at Moorlands Primary included:
Sian: “It helped me build up my confidence on a bike.”
Phoebe: “It helped me to be safer on the road, we learned signals and how to start properly.”
Jason: “Overall, it was just fun and I will use my bike more because I will be safer.”
Notes to Editors:
PHOTO: The photograph of Heights and Moorlands children receiving their Modeshift plaque and certificate can be accessed at http://news.reading.gov.uk/
Alternatively click on the photograph at the top of this press release to take you direct to the Council’s Flickr account and to access this and other Council photographs.
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.
Information on National Clean Air Day at: https://www.cleanairday.org.uk/news/clean-air-day-2018