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Pupils are glad to be green

By Liz Nicholls

Getting active is giving young eco-warriors at a Medway primary school a skip in their step – literally.

Hollie Scrivener, 7, and St Matthew Class celebrate being walk to school class of the week at St Michael's School, Chatham.
Hollie Scrivener, 7, and St Matthew Class celebrate being walk to school class of the week at St Michael's School, Chatham.

Pupils at St Michael’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Chatham are embracing myriad ways of keeping fit and healthy – including walking to school once a week through the KM Charity Team’s Active Wow (Walk on Wednesday) scheme and skipping for two minutes every day.

Pupil Samuel Crosby explained: “We are eco-warriors - our motto is stay green, be green, act green.”

And assistant head teacher Rosie Ryan says the morning burst of activity has the added benefit of getting the children wide awake and ready for their lessons.

“We encourage the children to walk to school on a Wednesday because we want to encourage them to have a healthy, active lifestyle,” she said. “We have lots of initiatives within the school – healthy eating at lunchtime, skipping, lots of playtime activities, and PE lessons every week.

“There are lots of studies that prove that activity in children also helps their minds and makes them more focused and switched on. They are coming into school with their minds ready to learn.”

Pupil Jeremy Osei added: “It gives children and adults alike an opportunity to have some time together.”

Active Wow works by asking children and parents to walk to school once a week, on Wednesdays. Classes and schools compete with each other to see who can be the best walkers - with trophies and prizes up for grabs.

Active Wow supporters Sohail Hussain, Medway project manager with Volker Highways, and Emily Geeson, marketing executive with Countrystyle Recycling, visited the school in Hill’s Terrace last week to award Diggerland vouchers to the green class of the week, St Matthew’s class.

Sohail was particularly pleased to be there as St Michael’s is his old school.

“It’s a school close to my heart, and it’s great to see that they are encouraging their children to walk to school,” he said.

Active Wow is supported by White’s Transport, Ashford International Hotel, Orbit, Golding Vision (part of Golding Homes), Specsavers, Eurostar, Kent County Council, Medway Council, London Borough of Bexley, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Maidstone Borough Council, Ashford Borough Council and Whitefriars.

Schools can find out more at www.kmwalktoschool.co.uk or by contacting Sarah Clyne on 0844 264 0291 or sclyne@thekmgroup.co.uk.

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