You are GOLD… always believe in your soul… or sole? Walking to school is an everyday activity for millions of children but today there was an extra special walk for pupils of Grange Primary Academy, Kettering. A ‘Gold Stars’ themed walking bus was organised to mark a very special achievement for the school… their Modeshift STARS Gold accreditation and presentation by our Mayor.
What is Modeshift STARS Gold?
- Modeshift STARS stands for ‘Sustainable Travel Accredited and Recognised’ and is the award made by Modeshift, the UK body for sustainable travel professionals, and backed by the Department for Transport.
- The Gold award recognises excellence in travel planning for organisations such as schools, businesses and other sites.
- A Gold accreditation for a school is only awarded after a wide range of sustainable or active travel initiatives have taken place. The school must have proven an increase in the percentage of pupils walking, cycling or scooting to school and a reduction in car journeys.
- For Grange Primary Academy the activities they did to achieve this included a trial ‘school play street’, a ‘slow down in our town’ road safety workshop, a road layout painted on the playground for cycling and scooting every day, scooter training day, a ‘moving up’ practice walk to secondary school and lots, lots more.
- Find out more about Modeshift STARS here.
Celebrating Gold STARS
- Here at Brightwayz we support schools across the UK with their active travel schemes through the products and information we provide. However we also love supporting our own local schools directly with our projects in North Northamptonshire.
- This morning we will thrilled to be able to help our local flagship ‘active travel’ primary school, Grange Primary Academy in Kettering, with their celebrations to mark their Gold Modeshift STARS award.
- We organised a ‘gold star’ themed walking bus – with one of the younger pupils dressed up as a gold star and leading the way to school accompanied by our new mayor Cllr Emily Fedorowycz.
- Other pupils wore fun gold star bopper headbands too and all pupils were given a ‘walk wheel cycle scoot’ bright sticker to mark the event.
- Well over a hundred children, teachers and parents joined us for the walk which made for a very exciting, buzzing atmosphere.
- After a photocall in the playground the children made their way to assembly where their Modeshift STARS Gold award was presented to them by the Mayor.
Road Peace Challenge
- The event also was part of the county’s week of Road Peace Challenge activities led by PC Emilie Bunkall from Northamptonshire Police who joined the parade.
- A ‘walking bus’ and award presentation was a perfect activity for the ‘active travel’ themed day of the Road Peace week – highlighting the importance of safe streets for walking and cycling.
- A bonus of PC Bunkall coming along was that they learned about the availability of other local road safety learning opportunities for the pupils such as how to book a lorry visibility educational visit.
- The Road Peace Challenge is part of the United Nations Global Road Safety Week and this week is also Walk to School Week so it was an ideal time to celebrate.
- Grange Primary Academy have had funding from the Northamptonshire Office of the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner to cover the cost of much of the support from Brightwayz.
- Today’s event was a special walking bus – with pupils walking to school in an organised group. However it can also be a regular way of enabling more children to walk to school every day.
- An informal walking bus is when pupils and parents arrange to walk together in a group, with all parents/carers responsible for their own children. It can help boost a walk to school culture for the area and is easy to organise.
- A formal walking bus is when parents/carers take turns to walk the children to school. This can be done with the school’s or local authority’s support as there are some requirements such as DBS checks for parent volunteers and a good system needs to be in place.
- Watch the short animation about walking buses and see our website for more information.
Supporting Your Schemes
If you are involved in, or would like to be involved in, promoting active, sustainable travel initiatives such as walking to school, cycling campaigns, travel plans or road safety initiatives, take a look at our wide range of supporting resources. If you would like to arrange a free advice session on which resources can best support your campaign plans, please get in touch.