Walk to School Week: 5 Day Challenge for your Pupils!
Walk to School Week 21-25th May 2018
Simply walking to school can bring many health benefits. Why not help your pupils to take the pledge to walk to school and join in with this country-wide celebration of walking? You can set your own ‘Walk to School’ challenges and encourage your children to come up with their own ideas to get active.
Do your pupils or school have pedometers and could they measure their steps to school? Then extend this to investigating their steps during the school day. They will be amazed at how their steps can soon add up!
Children could also purposefully use their data handling skills to record and discuss class walking information: ie using tables, charts and graphs etc to show the data visually.
Young children could enjoy placing their names into a hoop Venn Diagram, representing who walked and who came in a car. You could use pictures of cars and walking children to help them visualise the information and then use wooden blocks to build matching towers for each total….or even simply make lines of the walking/car cards.
If some pupils live too far away to walk to school, then try to encourage and reward them for parking further away, and walking in part of the way. Or reward children for coming in on scooters and bikes etc…anything that celebrates being active!
Why not organise a ‘walking bus’ where responsible adults walk past the nearby houses on the way to school and children join the walking line and then walk into school together? (Please remember to wear high visibility jackets if leading and bringing up the rear of the walking group.)
Another important focus could be emphasising road safety. Children will practise vital road safety skills whilst walking to school with parents and friends. This will give them greater road safety awareness so they can walk with greater confidence when they are older.
Living Streets: Charity Promoting Walking.
If you’d like more guidance then Living Streets is a UK charity that promotes the benefits of children walking. We all see on the news that childhood obesity is now a bigger issue than ever in the UK, so walking to school for 5 days could make all the difference for their future health, especially if they keep it up after the 5 day challenge!
Living Streets has created a new challenge for 2018 for school children and their families to take on while they’re walking to school. Many children and families take up their yearly challenge; in 2017 alone, 400,000 children and their families took part!
This year Living Streets theme is exploring the ecosystem of a tree with their ‘Walking Roots’ Challenge: pupils who walk to school daily can add a sticker to the classroom activity-tree. Each sticker adds to the tree, from the roots and the trunk, to the colourful leaves and blossoming flowers, bringing it to life. They also provide fun activity diaries for families to help to focus on the importance of nature that can be discovered along the route, and the benefits of walking to school.
Their informative class packs for KS1 and KS2 include everything a teacher needs to run the challenge for up to 30 pupils and cost £10.00. For more info visit livingstreets.org.uk
Another initiative through Living Streets is the ‘Walk Once a Week (WoW)’ scheme. This encourages parents and pupils to walk to school at least once a week throughout the academic year. Children can then record how they travel to school, on a class wall chart or individual postcards. If they walk at least four times a month, they receive a fun badge, which are designed by the children themselves.
There is even an interactive WOW Travel Tracker that brings WOW to life. Schools will be able to send pupil journey data collected on the classroom whiteboards to Modeshift who will use it as part of the STARS awards scheme.
International Walk to School Month
If your children love walking, then why not plan ahead for an even bigger school event for October, which is International Walk to School Month, when primary school pupils from across the UK join forces with children in more than 40 countries worldwide to celebrate the benefits of walking to school.
So let’s all get walking!
There is no excuse not to encourage and help your pupils to form new life changing healthy habits. Fewer cars at the school gate, reduced congestion and safer roads around school are an added bonus!
For further information, some free ideas, resources and fun challenges visit:
- Twinkle – Walk To School Week 2018
- TES – Walk To School Week Teaching Resources
- Teaching Ideas – Walk To School Resources
- Awareness Days – Walk To School Week 2018
- Walk To School Week 2018 (The urban walking route planner)