Green travel award for Sandy school

Sandy’s Robert Peel School has been awarded the Modeshift STARS School of the Year Award for its commitment to sustainable travel.

Modeshift STARS is a national awards scheme established to recognise schools who demonstrate excellence in promoting, supporting and increasing sustainable forms of travel to school, in order to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

L to R: Laura Statham, PA, Robert Peel School, students and Kirstie Stevenson, Teaching and Learning Practitioner at Robert Peel School

L to R: Laura Statham, PA, Robert Peel School, students and Kirstie Stevenson, Teaching and Learning Practitioner at Robert Peel School

St Augustine's Academy in Dunstable was awarded runner-up in the national awards.

Both schools were presented with their award at the National Modeshift STARS Awards Ceremony.

To achieve the award, Robert Peel School has been working closely with Bike It Officers from Sustrans, who are funded by Central Bedfordshire Council, to take part in many initiatives which encourage their pupils and staff to walk, cycle and scoot to school.

The school, with support from the council, have also set a standard which involved all year five and six pupils being proficient at riding a bike before moving to secondary school.

The school has shown a significant increase in pupils cycling to school from 5.9% in March 2016 to 10.2% in July 2019, and pupils being driven to school has also seen a 10% decrease.

St Augustine’s Academy, who has already achieved the Modeshift STARS bronze award, have also been working closely with Bike It Officers to run Dr Bike sessions so that pupils’ bikes have been serviced and kept in a safe, usable condition.

They have been regularly taking part in sustainable travel challenges including the Santa Challenge, Big Pedal and Walk to School Week and the through the council’s Travel Choices scheme the school has also received a set of refurbished micro scooters which are used regularly.

Over the ten days of the Santa Challenge, the school accumulated 4,940 miles, with 80 pupils achieving all ten days, which is impressive for a school of around 170 pupils. During the Big Pedal 2019, the school also achieved a top 200 placing nationally.

Every school in England, outside of London, have the opportunity to take part in the Modeshift STARS initiative for free and help their pupils be more active and stay healthy.

Schools can reach three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Schools interested in joining the scheme should contact the council’s Travel Choices Team on travelchoices@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.