Baden Powell & St Peters CE Junior School is hailed as the first school to win the Golden Shoe Trophy for their overwhelming participation in Walk to School Week.
Borough of Poole’s new annual competition, open to all primary aged pupils in Poole, is designed to encourage as many children as possible to travel actively to school by walking, scooting, cycling or parking and striding during Walk to School Week.
An impressive 80% of children (523 out of 652 pupils) at Baden Powell & St Peters CE Junior School walked, scooted and cycled during this year’s Walk to School Week between 15 to 19 May 2017. The Mayor of Poole, Cllr Lindsay Wilson, visited the school to present the award. All ten participating schools were also able to nominate a class with the highest percentage of active pupils. The children in this class received a Living Streets Strider badge and certificate to celebrate their efforts.
The Mayor of Poole, Cllr Lindsay Wilson, said: “I am delighted to present this award to Baden Powell & St Peters CE Junior School for the greatest participation in Walk to School Week. We are all well aware of the problems of the school run, but walking to school makes children more healthy, alert and ready to learn, and so makes a valuable contribution to their education and wellbeing.”
Headteacher of Baden Powell & St Peters CE Junior School, Mrs Rachel Rusling, said: "As a school, we really value the importance of being fit, active and healthy which is why we encourage the children to walk to school, rather than travel by car. The children start the day with more energy, which means they're ready and raring to go!"
The average primary school journey nationally is just 1.5 miles, yet one in five cars on the road during the morning peak are doing the school run.
There are wide ranging benefits for both children and their parents in reversing the tide of travelling by car. These include improvements to their fitness and health levels plus those who are physically active on the way to school or work arrive refreshed and ready to focus. Walking to school on a regular basis improves road safety knowledge and can foster independence by allowing older children to walk to school with their friends. It’s also far cheaper and less stressful to walk and reducing the amount of short journeys in the car also means less pollution.
Julian McLaughlin, Head of Growth and Infrastructure, Borough of Poole, said: “The council is committed to reducing congestion and increasing the health and wellbeing of Poole’s children. We seek to facilitate this through providing 20 mph speed zones, wider shared use pavements and additional crossings. In doing this we hope to increase the number of children walking to school year on year.”
Cllr Ian Potter, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transportation, Borough of Poole, said: "A short walk each day is easy, free and good for your health. It's also a great opportunity for parents and children to make the most of this time together creating an enjoyable experience for everyone. With so many benefits in walking to school I would encourage children and their parents to continue walking to school all year round."