At the Chesterfield School Sport Partnership, we work in partnership with Sustrans, Derbyshire County Council and Wheely Fun Wheels to deliver the Active Travel programme. After spotting a gap in the fitness initiatives targeted at children, the partnership developed this programme to encourage more children to travel more actively. Questionnaires are completed to assess the impact of the programme.
Schools take part in a variety of initiatives as part of the programme, including the Modeshift STARS Award, which is the national schools awards scheme that has been established to recognise schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel. The scheme encourages schools across the country to join in a major effort to increase levels of sustainable and active travel in order to improve the health and well-being of children and young people.
The Active travel programme has been piloted in Chesterfield with Brockwell Junior School and Westfield Infant School. After a successful year, the award will be offered to all primary schools within the partnership over the coming months.
As part of the scheme parents and pupils have access to an assembly delivered by a Sustrans volunteer. Sustrans are dedicated to making smarter travel choices possible, desirable and inevitable. The assemblies discuss the impact of active and sustainable travel, highlight suitable routes to walk, cycle and scoot to school.
Another initiative as part of our Active Travel programme is Sustrans ‘Big Shift’. This is a free to access online challenge designed to motivate the school community to travel more actively. The schools are set targets based on how pupils currently travel to school. These are broken down to a Small Step, Big Stride or Giant Leap as part of the incentive to achieve.
There are also Travel Smart Weeks, run each May and October by Derbyshire County Council. This is where we encourage pupils to make the most of their school journey as a way to help them keep fit, beat traffic jams and pollution, as well as making sure they remember to travel safely too.
The partnership have long-since worked with Wheely Fun Wheels, delivering cycle initiatives such as Wheels For All, an inclusive cycling programme in Chesterfield. As part of Active Travel, Wheely Fun Wheels provide Early Rider sessions for reception aged children as well as Bikeability levels one and two for older pupils.
As well as targeting schools and teachers, we use the Active Travel Ambassador programme to train pupils to promote, support and ensure the scheme is run smoothly within their school. The Key Stage 2 pupils attend conferences and workshops to learn how to better implement the scheme and get more people actively travelling to school.