Geoffrey Field Junior School are Reading’s Sustainable Travel Stars

CHILDREN from Geoffrey Field Junior School have been recognised for their efforts on traveling more sustainably to school, achieving both Green and Bronze awards for Modeshift STARS.

The Junior School is the third Reading school to have achieved a Modeshift STARS award – a national scheme which recognises schools which have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.

Geoffrey Field Juniors has continued to encourage pupils, parents and teachers to travel more sustainably over the last year. It is now working towards achieving the Silver Modeshift STARS award. The school has also been rewarded with a scooterpod which will help encourage more children to want to travel sustainably to school, alongside new cycle parking facilities installed last year.

Shelly Hancock, Headteacher at Geoffrey Field Junior School, said:

“We are delighted to be awarded both the Green and Bronze Modeshift STARS Awards. Both our children and staff have been really committed to getting as many children as possible walking, cycling and scooting to school. Our pupil Eco Council, supported by Miss Smith and Miss Schwarz, have played a crucial part in raising awareness and promoting ideas across the school.

“The children have particularly enjoyed taking part in the WOW walk to school challenge – it has shown them that one small change today can lead to sustainable change for the futures for themselves and their community.  It is great for the school to receive the recognition for everything we have been doing – the children are looking forward to parking all their scooters in our new scooterpod!”

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

“My congratulations to all the children, staff and parents at Geoffrey Field Juniors for being Reading’s third school to achieve a Modeshift STARS award. The Council has declared a Climate Emergency and is committed to creating a net zero carbon Reading by 2030, but it’s important to say that is not something any Council can achieve on its own. The success or otherwise of that pledge depends on buy in from the whole of Reading’s community – residents, employees, businesses and schools – which is why it is so gratifying to hear of their tremendous efforts.

“The school should also be commended on their efforts to achieve both the Green and Bronze award during the Covid-19 pandemic, which subsequently has put a great deal of pressure on all schools.

 “The Council’s new Local Transport Plan, due to be adopted later this year, includes initiatives to encourage more sustainable travel to school and I’m delighted that everyone at Geoffrey Field Juniors is leading by example in this respect.”

The school’s most recent staff and pupil travel survey shows that 50% of children walk, cycle, scoot, car share or take public transport to/from school, and over 85% of children prefer to travel using these modes. Geoffrey Field Juniors have taken part in various active travel activities, such as Bikeability, Living Streets’ WOW, the year-round walk to school challenge, an anti-idling campaign, alongside travelling using public transport to outside school activity and road safety awareness work. The school has continued to work closely with the Transport Planning team at the Council, as well as the school community and local community.

Reading Borough Council continues to encourage other schools to take part in the Modeshift STARS initiative, with Park Lane Primary, Thameside Primary and Wilson Primary currently working towards the Bronze award, and the Heights Primary School working towards Platinum.

Oscar Mortali

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