Suffolk primary school scoops sustainable travel award

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Children from Claydon Primary School have been recognised for their efforts on walking and cycling to school.

Claydon primary school travel awardA recent study shows that more pupils are now walking and cycling to get to and from school. Car use has dropped in comparison to previous years and pupils’ awareness of road safety and environmental issues has also improved.

Claydon Primary School will become the second school in Suffolk to achieve a Bronze Modeshift STARS award – a national scheme which recognises schools which have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.

The award scheme encourages schools across England to implement their own travel plans to increase levels of sustainable and active travel in order to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

The primary school’s journey to achieve the Bronze accreditation began when pupils and teachers decided to implement a Travel Plan to encourage sustainable travel to school to comply with the planning requirements for the school’s new extension. The school worked with colleagues from Suffolk County Council and the local community to develop the travel plan.

Councillor Mary Evans, Deputy Leader of Suffolk County Council and Member for Highways, Transport and Rural Affairs, said:

“It is fantastic to see the measures that Claydon Primary School has put in place to encourage more parents/carers and children to consider sustainable transport on the school run.

“As more children are aware of the current climate emergency the Modeshift STARS awards are an ideal way for schools, pupils and parents to join forces and reduce the impact of the school run and make active travel an attractive alternative, even if it’s just one day a week.

“Congratulations to Claydon Primary School – keep up the good work.”

Deputy Headteacher Louis Collins from Claydon Primary School, who led on the initiative and worked with parents, staff, the School Council and the Junior Road Safety Officers, was delighted to receive the STARS accreditation as a reward for all their work throughout the year.

Deputy Headteacher Louis Collins said: 

“It has been a big effort to achieve our Bronze accreditation and a lot of that is down to the pupils driving it. They have led assemblies, organised competitions, designed posters to encourage pupils to cycle, scoot or walk, monitored parking outside of school along with PCSO’s and completed surveys.

“However, the biggest success was the Walking Bus as it encouraged parents and carers to use the newly surfaced car park at the Recreation Ground - cutting down the number of cars parked outside of the school gates.

“Although we are extremely pleased and proud of this achievement we will continue to work collaboratively within our community for the benefit of the children and local residents.”

County Councillor John Field for Gipping Valley and a governor at Claydon Primary School, said:  

“Young people are passionate about the climate emergency and this Modeshift STARS award shows the commitment of Claydon Primary’s pupils to make a real difference. Walking or cycling to get to school instead of travelling by car cuts climate damaging emissions and keeps you fit. Great effort Claydon Primary!”

For more information about Modeshift STARS please visit www.modeshiftstars.org/education/