Efforts by pupils at three Swindon schools to make sure everyone gets there and back in the most efficient and sustainable way have landed them top regional awards.
Haydonleigh Primary, Peatmoor Primary, and Kingsdown School were invited to an event in central London to celebrate their success in promoting and supporting walking, cycling, public transport and responsible car use, for pupils, parents and staff travelling to the school.
Three pupils from Haydonleigh also made a presentation to the audience of 100 peopleat the Southern region National School Travel Awards event at the Camden Centre, which was attended by representatives from schools across the South of England. The award scheme, Modeshift STARS, is supported by the Department for Transport, and is open to all types of school and pupils of all ages.
The three schools were among five in Swindon to gain accreditation under the scheme this year, with another three retaining the accreditation they gained last year. Haydonleigh recieved the top Gold award, with Kingsdown and Peatmoor gaining Silver. To date, just 35 schools across the UK have achieved Gold accreditation, and 69 have achieved Silver.
Haydonleigh also received the National STARS award for Pupil Involvement. This award recognises the work of their team of pupil Travel Ambassadors, who help to run a wide range of activities every year, such as a weekly ‘walking bus’, and cycle training and maintenance sessions. They were also the first Swindon school to create a ‘five minute walk zone’ to encourage families to leave the car at home. Over 25% of pupils now cycle or scoot to school every day.
Swindon Borough Council Cabinet member for Sustainability and Transport, Cllr Dale Heenan, said: “I am always impressed by the commitment shown by the pupils and staff of the schools that take part in this scheme and the results they achieve. It genuinely makes a difference to their health and well-being, and it reduces the number of cars on the school run.”
The two other Swindon schools to gain Modeshift STARS accreditation this year, with Bronze awards, were Croft Primary and Hazelwood Academy. The schools to retain their accreditation from last year were Covingham Park Primary (Gold), and Red Oaks Primary and Abbey Meads Primary (Silver).