For this year’s Walk to School Week (16-20 May), Suffolk County Council is supporting schools to take part in its Keep Moving Suffolk Walking Challenge.
Following the success of last year’s challenge, almost 100 primary schools across Suffolk have signed up to receive a pack of free resources from the council, which aims to encourage 25,000 children, parents and staff to get active by walking to school.
The resources include a poster and daily reward stickers for each class, as well as an activity log for children to complete on their journeys to and from school, giving them fun daily activities to do and a printable certificate to recognise the achievements of children who walk to school during the week.
Cllr Andrew Reid, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Public Protection, said: “Walking for just 10 to 15 minutes a day can make a huge difference to our fitness and wellbeing. As well as the physical benefits, walking regularly can also improve our emotional wellbeing, memory and concentration, whilst also helping to reduce traffic outside school gates.
“Last year we had 86% of pupils whose schools took part, walking, scooting, and cycling to school, which is a fantastic achievement. I hope that this year’s challenge will encourage even more children and parents to get active by walking to school.”
One school taking part in the challenge is Whitehouse Community Primary school.
Lee Jordan, Physical Education Specialist at Whitehouse Community Primary School, said: “Walk to School Week has become an annual event at Whitehouse CP School. Our pupils love taking part and engaging with the resources provided. In particular, recording their walk on their class sticker chart.
“It is a fantastic and simple way of encouraging our pupils and parents to become more active. It also enables them to consider alternative ways of traveling to and from school each day besides taking the car.
“To add a healthy competitive element to this year’s Walk to School Week, we will also be introducing an inter-class competition to see which class has the greatest number of pupils walking to school throughout the week.”
This year Keep Moving Suffolk has teamed up with The Way to Go Suffolk, the County Council’s Active Travel Team, to bring even more benefits for schools taking part in the Suffolk Walking Challenge. Schools taking part will also be in with a chance of winning £1,000 of new playground equipment. To enter, schools simply have to post about how they are getting on with Walk to School Week via Twitter, tag @most_active and use the hashtag #KeepMovingSuffolk. A winner will be picked at random.
[Photo: Mark Witter Photography. L-R: Cllr Andrew Reid, pupils from Whitehouse Community Primary School and Lee Jordan]