West Meadows Primary School has become one of only eight schools in the country to achieve a Platinum Modeshift STARS award, thanks to promoting active and sustainable travel to school.
The Hoyland School is marking the achievement by closing the road to vehicle traffic outside the school gates as part of our wider School Streets project.
West Meadows Primary school have been involved with Modeshift STARS (Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition Scheme) since 2016. They have delivered dozens of initiatives to support pupils, parents and staff to walk, cycle and scoot to school. As well as road safety awareness, classroom sessions and assemblies, they have delivered walking trips, bike safety checks and repairs, on-road cycle training, incentive schemes, active travel breakfasts, bike decorating workshops, anti-idling campaigns and park and stride events. The school has even installed a new bike shelter and purchased balance bikes (bikes without pedals) to teach younger children how to ride.
Closing a section of road to traffic outside the school will create a safe car-free space and help to empower even more families to walk, scoot or cycle to school. Parents are being asked to leave the car at home or park at least a five-minute walk from school so that children can travel to school without fear of traffic or vehicle emissions that are harmful to health.
There will be a range of activities taking place at the school, including scooter and balance bike training, air quality and road safety classroom sessions and active travel drama workshops. Each class will also take part in a walk around the local area to earn points for their school as part of the Beat the Street project.
Cllr Chris Lamb, Cabinet Spokesperson for Environment and Transport, said: “By closing the road to traffic, we can create a cleaner and more pleasant environment outside our schools. This will also allow us to host activities for children and demonstrate that streets can be enjoyable places for children and families to live, work, learn and play together.
“This is a small but very meaningful step towards our commitment to become net-zero carbon by 2045.”
Daniel Wood, Head Teacher at West Meadows Primary School, said: “We are extremely proud to become one of the first schools in the country to achieve Modeshift STARS Platinum. The wellbeing of our pupils is hugely important to us, and we are constantly going the extra mile to encourage healthier, safer and happier journeys to school. Increased physical activity at the start and end of the school day is great for physical health, but it also means pupils are more alert, focused and ready to learn in class.”