CHILDREN are celebrating after they were given a national award for walking or cycling to school.
St Peter’s Primary School in Waterlooville won the area’s first Stars (School Travel Accreditation & Recognition Scheme) award.
Pupils took on the challenge to walk, cycle or scoot to school which has resulted in 100 fewer car journeys to school each morning, improving congestion at peak times as well as the health and fitness of the children.
In the 12 months since the start of the programme, the percentage of children coming into school by sustainable means to St Peter’s has increased from nine per cent of pupils not being driven to school to 35 per cent now coming to school without a car.
It is a national school award and is the only countrywide accreditation scheme for rewarding sustainable ways of travelling to school, such as walking, cycling or scooting.
Hampshire County Council’s member for economy, transport and environment, councillor Sean Woodward, said: ‘Introducing the Stars scheme throughout Hampshire is an excellent way to help schools encourage their students to walk, cycle or scoot to school to cut down on congestion at busy times, help with fitness and save a bit of money too.
‘St Peter’s has achieved a significant reduction in the number of car journeys at peak times, which is a huge credit to the teachers, parents and children who have taken on this challenge.’
Headteacher Lorraine Phillips said she was very pleased with the award.
‘I’m absolutely delighted to accept this award on behalf of the school community.
‘Children, parents and staff have really embraced the initiative despite the challenges of our wide catchment area and location on a busy road.
‘We have worked hard but also had great fun with many of the activities and appreciate the tremendous support from the wider community, the Hampshire team, local police, businesses and residents.
‘We are now aiming for silver and gold.’
All schools can take in the Modeshift Stars programme.
Schools can also access further support such as free scooter training, engineering advice, and school travel plan advice.
To find out if your school is eligible for additional support, contact the county council’s school travel planning team call 01962 845638 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.