Kirklees Children Lead the Way in Walk to School Week

Four of our primary schools walked their way into the top ten in West Yorkshire for their achievements in a walking challenge. Orchard Primary School, Gomersal St. Mary’s Church Primary School, Gomersal Primary School and Moldgreen Community Primary School were amongst the thirteen schools across Kirklees that were part of WOW’s Walk to School Week.

WOW is a pupil-led programme that allows children to self-report how they get to school every day using the interactive WOW Travel Tracker. If they travel sustainably (walk, cycle or scoot) once a week for a month, they get rewarded with a badge. During Walk to School Week the challenge was to walk, cycle or scoot to school every day, and an unprecedented number of families rose to the challenge.

Councillor Carole Pattison, Cabinet Member for Learning said,

“Staying active and healthy is more important now than ever, walking to school is a great way to make sure children arrive at school energised and ready to learn. It is inspiring to see children as young as these really taking an active part in increasing sustainable travel. To have four out of the top ten schools in the whole of West Yorkshire is a fantastic achievement this Walk to School Week. Signing up to the WOW project has allowed schools to make a real difference. I encourage more schools to make use of this and ModeShift Stars, with the hope that we can see even more of a shift away from cars as the first option for travel.”

The Highways Safety Team works with schools to actively promote sustainable travel. They have been impressed with how the children from primary schools across the district have taken the lead and persuaded their families to rethink their journeys to school. With support from the team, schools can sign up to ModeShift Stars, a nationally recognised scheme with an online portal full of tools to help plan and promote sustainable travel.

Councillor Naheed Mather, Cabinet Member for Environment said,

“Firstly, I would like to say well done to the children and their families who stepped up to this challenge so readily. Sustainable travel is important for our children’s wellbeing and for the environment. Walking to school not only means that children are likely to be healthier, fitter and more alert than those who are driven but these more sustainable journeys are vital for the environment. It means reduced congestion on our roads, help to combat climate change and reduced air pollution.

We hope to see more schools making a commitment to sustainable travel and we will continue to do whatever we can to help them achieve their goals.”

Schools wanting to find out more about how they can promote sustainable travel should visit the Modeshift Stars website where they can register.