A Bath and North East Somerset primary school has become the first in the area to achieve a Modeshift STARS Silver Award, encouraging sustainable travel for pupils.
Saltford Church of England Primary School has introduced a number of measures to encourage cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.
These include free active travel breakfasts for those who walk, scoot or cycle to school; ‘active ambassadors’ to represent pupils and develop ideas to improve travel to school and poster competitions.
New bike racks and scooter pods have been installed along with bikeability training for year 5 and 6 pupils.
Modeshift STARS is a national scheme which recognises and encourages schools to increase levels of sustainable and active travel to improve the health and well-being of children and young people.
The Silver Award is presented to schools that achieve a reduction in car use on the journey to school, deliver a whole-school approach and deliver above and beyond what is normally expected of a school.
Melissa Brook, has been leading on School Travel Plan work at Saltford Primary School, with support from School Travel Plan Officer at Bath & North East Somerset Council, Hannah Brittain.
Melissa was delighted at the school’s achievement. She said: “Working with the Council’s School Travel Plan Officer has been a huge support to me and has helped us to implement lots of new initiatives at our school and record the evidence for these activities on the Modeshift STARS website.
“This has enabled us to achieve a Silver Award this year, for which we are truly thankful. To be the first school in B&NES to achieve this Silver Award made the recognition even more special. We are now planning to go for Gold! Indeed work is already underway!”
Hannah Brittain, presenting the award to Saltford Primary School said: “It was lovely to share in the celebration of Saltford Primary’s achievement of the Modeshift STARS Silver Award.
“I have been so impressed by everyone’s enthusiasm and hard work over the last couple of years to get active travel on the agenda at the school. In particular, I’d like to thank the Active Ambassadors for their ideas and for helping out at events such as the Active Travel Breakfast.
“Big thanks also go to Mrs Brook for developing a fantastic School Travel Plan and co-ordinating ongoing initiatives and events to encourage walking and cycling to school. Her passion and enthusiasm are a credit to the school.”
Councillor Paul May (Conservative, Publow and Whitchurch), Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “This is great news for everyone involved in the school and I would like to congratulate them on their efforts.
Choosing active travel for the school run, like walking and cycling, is beneficial to children’s health, saves parents money and helps to reduce congestion and air pollution at the school gates.
In addition to Saltford Primary School, 15 other schools within B&NES are currently working towards Modeshift STARS accreditation.