Published: 06:00, 26 June 2019
| Updated: 12:14, 17 July 2019
All of the schools taking part in a KM Charity Team survey about green-travel scheme Active Wow said their pupils were walking to school more as a result of being involved in the initiative.
And almost two thirds said they believed Active Wow was responsible for reducing congestion at their school gates, and that it had a positive impact on pupils’ behaviour, knowledge and performance.
More than 43 per cent said pupils’ concentration and activity levels had improved, and 37 per cent said they had a better awareness of road-safety issues.
The results also suggested that the scheme helped to nurture school communities: 53 per cent of respondents said parents were more actively involved with the school community; and 40 per cent said everyone was working towards making their school a greener place.
Active Wow encourages families to walk to school, with classes competing each week to be awarded the Green Class of the Week Trophy. Monthly inter-school green-travel challenges award winning classes tickets to leisure attractions or visits by storytellers.
Now, to encourage more schools to take part, the KM Charity Team is offering a 20 per cent discount for any that sign up by July 5. And members of staff responsible for registering their schools will go into a free prize draw to win two Eurostar tickets.
Schools are reminded that, to make the scheme even more affordable, they can pay for it with their pupil premium.
The scheme is supported by White’s Transport, Ashford International Hotel, Orbit, Volker Highways, Countrystyle Recycling, Golding Vision, Specsavers, Eurostar, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Whitefriars, Kent, Maidstone, Bexley, Medway and Ashford councils, London Array and EduKit.
Active Wow coordinator Kathy Beel said: “These results provide persuasive evidence of the many benefits for schools of taking part in the KM Charity Team’s green-travel initiatives.
“Not only do participants report improved road safety at the school gates and greater awareness about environmental issues among their pupils. They also say children who take part are more active and more alert, and their schools have more engaged and more cohesive communities.
“We would urge other schools in the county to sign up for Active Wow.
“Any school that does so before the end of the summer term will be eligible for a 20 per cent discount.
“And if schools sign up by Friday July 5, the members of staff responsible will be entered into a prize draw to win two free tickets for the Eurostar.”
The survey responses included some very positive comments about Active Wow’s effect on children’s behaviour.
One respondent said: “Those that walk to school tend to come in and settle better than those who do not.”
Similarly, another said: “The daily exercise gets children more alert and ready to start the learning day.”