Ditch the car, get your coats and shoes on and walk to school!

Nicola Waight (centre) who is road safety officer for Portsmouth City Council takes road awareness classes at Copnor Infants School as part of Octobers national Walk To School initiative. (left to right), class teacher Rhian Evans, Billy Buchanan, Rio Blake, and Friea Edosa all five. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (123195-5)
Nicola Waight (centre) who is road safety officer for Portsmouth City Council takes road awareness classes at Copnor Infants School as part of Octobers national Walk To School initiative. (left to right), class teacher Rhian Evans, Billy Buchanan, Rio Blake, and Friea Edosa all five. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (123195-5)
Newbridge Junior School Picture: Maria Bujor

Children in Need: Junior School has a pretty perfect Pudsey plan

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RAIN or shine, school children across the area are learning their green cross code as the annual Walk to School campaign begins.

Parents are being urged to ditch the car and put on their wellies to get the children out walking.

As part of the annual campaign, which runs throughout October, Portsmouth City Council runs Child Pedestrian Training for all year one pupils around the city to help them understand and practice how to cross the road safely.

And this week, pupils from Copnor Infant School have been taking part.

Hawys Miller, Year 1 teacher at the school, said: ‘We want them to be very aware of road safety.

‘I think it’s really good that the children are going out on to the road as opposed to just going in the hall.

‘They have had hands-on experience of being out on the main road, supervised and shown how to do it properly. I think it’s a really good thing.’

And Mrs Miller added that the school is keen to encourage children to walk in every morning.

‘There is very little parking outside the school as they are mostly terraced roads,’ she added.

‘So we do encourage as much as possible to walk to school.

‘It’s good exercise and it’s good for the children to get fresh air first thing in the morning.

‘It’s something that we do promote with the children.’

More than 8,000 children from 30 schools in Portsmouth are expected to take part this year by giving the car a rest and walking in.

This is around 2,000 more than last year.

Parents who don’t normally walk with their children, but live within a mile of their child’s school are encouraged to support the campaign in addition to those who already walk in every day.

Families living further afield, or those who drive as part of a longer journey, can take part with the new option of ‘park and stride’ by driving the car part of the way and walking the rest.

Walking to school can benefit children by helping to reduce casualties, helping children settle into class in the morning, improving their road sense and keeping them fit and healthy.