School children in Poole are being challenged to walk to school as part of a national campaign to help encourage the joy of regular walking at an early age, as well as tackle bigger issues like congestion, pollution and childhood obesity.
This year, Walk to School Week is being held between 16 and 20 May.
It is an ideal opportunity for parents and carers of pupils in Poole primary schools to promote the benefits of a healthy walk and at the same time learn how to remain safe as they walk to school in a fun and engaging way.
Borough of Poole has developed a range of tools aimed at schools and parents to help promote Walk to School Week. The aim is to make the most of the time parents and children spend walking together to school making it an enjoyable experience for everyone. It’s a great way to strike up conversations while enjoying the outdoors and there is also a free App to download with walk to school challenges.
If you think your child may be ready to walk to school by themselves there are some great tips on making sure they stay safe on the Family Information Directory. Allowing children to get to school on their own or with friends increases their confidence and independence.
The Mayor of Poole, Cllr Ann Stribley, is backing Walk to School Week. At a recent visit to Canford Heath Infant School she spoke to a number of children about their lives.
Cllr Stribley, said: “It was lovely to visit the Canford Heath Infant School and meet the teachers and pupils taking part in Walk to School Week. Whether you walk, skip or scoot to school, it’s a great way to start the day. I would encourage children in Poole to take part and see how much fun this can be.”
By 2050 it is predicted that 70% of girls and 55% of boys will be overweight. There are approximately 11,500 pupils in Poole’s primary schools and a short walk each day is easy, free and good for your health.
Cllr Drew Mellor, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transportation and Public Health, Borough of Poole, said: “One in five journeys by car during the morning rush hour is for the school run. It is well known that pupils who walk or scoot to school are healthier and more independent. They have a greater understanding of road safety skills that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their life. They also arrive at school more relaxed and ready to learn enhancing their overall learning experience.”
A spokesperson for Canford Heath Infant School said: "We are always happy to promote Walk to School Week. We see a difference when pupils arrive lively and ready to learn in the morning."