Meet the pupils of Wetheringsett Manor School, in Stowmarket, the first Suffolk school which caters for special educational needs and disability to be recognised for encouraging sustainable travel and road safety. And they join two other schools in the county to receive accreditation
Pupils at three Suffolk schools have been recognised for their efforts in promoting active and sustainable travel. Wetheringsett Manor School, Castle Hill Infant and Junior School and Thurston Church of England Primary Academy have all received Modeshift STARS accreditations. Wetheringsett Manor School, in Stowmarket, received a bronze award and is the first Suffolk school which caters for pupils with special educational needs and disability to receive accreditation – it promoted road safety and independent travel training to the students, involving assemblies and accompanied walks. Whereas Castle Hill and Thurston schools receive green accreditations for their sustainable travel work.
Wetheringsett Manor headteacher Mark Jeffries, says: ‘As a school we should embrace helping our pupils and staff make healthier choices regarding their travel arrangements.
‘This award gives recognition to the work we do every day with our pupils, whilst highlighting to staff the importance of reducing their carbon footprint where possible by things like lift sharing. I would very much recommend all school take part in this initiative.’
Castle Hill, in Ipswich, won accreditation for planning activities around sustainable transport and road safety, while Thurston CofE Primary, near Bury St Edmunds, promoted cycling by competing in the Sustrans Big Pedal, along with pupils completing Bikeability training and early years pupils completing balance bike training.
Thurston headteacher John Bayes says: ‘It has been a priority to encourage and educate pupils to travel to school in a more active manner whether it be walking, cycling, or scooting.
‘Thurston CE Primary Academy will continue to participate in initiatives promoting sustainable travel and work towards meeting the bronze accreditation criteria.’
Castle Hill head of school Jennifer Smith adds: ‘We are proud of the efforts put in by our staff and Junior Road Safety Officers to achieve the Green Modeshift Award for our school.
‘We aimed to increase the levels of walking, cycling and other forms of sustainable travel to and from school – and this is just the beginning! Our talented team of Year 5 pupils plan to continue working towards higher sustainability awards and have already submitted their application for the Bronze Award.’
The three schools now join previous winners Bosmere Community Primary School, Barrow CEVC Primary School, Great Barton Church of England Primary Academy, Great Whelnetham Church of England Primary School, The Limes Primary School, and Exning Primary School in holding Modeshift STARS Accreditation.
Suffolk County Councillor Richard Smith, Cabinet member for Economic Development, Transport Strategy and Waste, says: ‘Congratulations to all three schools for their hard work in earning these accreditations.
‘Modeshift STARS is an ideal way for schools, pupils, parents and the local community to join forces and reduce the impact of things such as the school run and make active travel an attractive alternative to the car.’
Featured image: Wetheringsett pupils William, Jacy, Rhys and Harley celebrate their Modeshift STARS award with head teacher Mark Jeffries, left, and pastoral manager Perry Smith. (Picture: Wetheringsett School).