Oakhurst Primary School took first place in last year’s Sustrans Big Pedal, and there was a fierce competition in the first two weeks of March to try and topple it from retaining the position as the UK’s most committed cycling school.
At the end of the 15 day virtual cycle tour of Britain, Oakhurst came second to Crosshouse Primary in Scotland, closely followed by another North Swindon school: Haydonleight Primary.
The competition from 28 February to 20 March attracted over 1,000 schools across Britain, twelve from Swindon, who had to register the number of children, parents and staff who left the car at home to cycle or scooter on a daily basis.
Each stage was a different length and The Big Pedal website used a formula to calculate the number of cycle and scooter journeys, weighted to take account of the number of children in each school. The more who took part meant a better chance of winning stages and the overall competition.
Children at Oakhurst were asked to dress as superheroes to launch their title defence on 28 February and enjoyed a free breakfast.
Headteacher Dale Burr, dressed as Batman for the day, said: “It was an amazing response. Normally about 75 per cent of children walk or cycle to school. Well over 90 per cent got involved for the launch.”
Organising teacher Liz Horrobin added: “We were overwhelmed at the launch, we couldn’t distribute croissants, fruit and yoghurt fast enough. There was really great support during the three weeks. It’s great how the children and parents take part in school activities like this.”
Mum Mandy Toll, below, said: “We live quite closeby and try to cycle as often as we can; it’s a really great project to get everybody involved and try to win again.”
The school also used the virtual tour on the Big Pedal website as a way of learning more about the areas the cycle ride passed through.