Frenchwood Community Primary School has been named one of the top 10 schools in Lancashire for active travel.Advertisement
Pupils and families have been participating in the Living Streets WOW challenge, which encourages walking to school more and using cars less, to help reduce congestion and pollution in the area.
Pupils who walk to school at least twice a week every week receive a badge each month with different endangered animals on them.
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The Frenchwood school organised a special event on Thursday 19 May to celebrate being in the top 10 schools.
Laila Ali, Business Support Officer at the school, said: “We were delighted to welcome staff from Living Streets and local councillor Yakub Patel.
“Pupils enjoyed a free breakfast for walking to school thanks to Morrisons Deepdale, Asda Fulwood and Sainsburys Deepdale.
“Preston North End Community and Education Trust came along with goal posts for a penalty shoot out with Living Streets mascot Strider, and staff set up music speakers in the playground for wake and shake dance. It was a huge success.”
Headteacher Cathryn Antwis explained how the scheme accommodates families who live further away from the school.
She said: “Since we joined The Walk to School Challenge in January, the percentage of active journeys has increased from 55 per cent to over 75 per cent each week.
“With the support of Sajid Patel from Grand Occasions, we have established a Park and Stride facility. This enables children who live some distance from school to participate in the scheme as their parents are able to park at Grand Occasions on London Road, and then enjoy a healthy ten minute walk to school as a family.”
Parent Alia Hamid said the initiative had made a big difference to her family’s mornings.
She said: “When you take the time to walk, you notice more; my son and I see so much on our route to school, sparking conversation and interest in the world around us.
“I think for us, that short walk to school really does allow us to clear our minds from any of the morning rush or concerns we may have about the day.
“My son also loves seeing his friends on the way to school. It’s a nice opportunity for the children to catch up and socialise, and for us parents to get to know one another and build connections in our local community.”
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Another parent, Daisy Dutton, agreed.
“Walking gives us chance to talk and play together,” said Daisy. “It allows me to fully engage and give my boys 100 per cent of my attention. You also get to connect with and see more of your local community, and the changes in seasons and nature.
“Children are very aware of the environment and how our choices and lifestyles can impact upon it. Walking to school is just one simple way they can make a positive change.”
Daisy has also noticed the difference it makes outside school.
She added: “Traffic near the school gates used to feel stressful and dangerous but it’s much safer and calmer now. It’s very obvious the majority of our school families have accepted the challenge and it’s made a huge difference.”
Preston City Councillor Yakub Patel said: “Having road sense is a vital life skill, and the daily walk to school gives our pupils the perfect opportunity to practise safely with their parents.”
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