Nearly 7,000 pupils from 33 schools across Cumbria took part in this year’s Walk to School Week.
Walk to School Week – which took place October 5 to 9 – is a national campaign led by the ‘Living Streets’ charity, supporting over 320,000 pupils from thousands of schools across the UK to walk, scoot or cycle to school.
Cumbria County Council’s Active Travel team supports the national Walk to School campaign each year, and parents who walk find the journey to school less stressful, their fuel bills go down, their children perform better at school and their children feel healthier and fitter.
Teachers also report that those pupils who walk to school are more attentive once they reach their desks.
Walking to school not only improves our air quality but is a great way for children to build more exercise into their daily lives, helping them to arrive to school healthier, happier and ready to learn.
Nancy Sloan, Cumbria County Council’s School Travel Officer, said: “Walk to School Week is always popular with Cumbrian schools – the focus is on fun, active travel and building daily exercise into the school journey.
“Schools find that their entrances and surrounding streets are less congested during drop off and pick up times, which improves air quality and provides a safer environment.”
Cllr Keith Little, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “I’m pleased to see that so many children in Cumbria have taken part in this year’s Walk to School Week.
“It’s been a difficult time for families in recent months and this has been a fantastic way to get more active in the mornings and enjoy the fresh air.
“Walking to school is an easy and free way for children to get active as part of a daily routine. Teachers confirm that pupils who walk to school are more alert, ready to learn and gain better grades than those who come by car.”
Noel Banner, Headteacher at Kirkby Thore School, said: “During Walk to School week we focussed on getting into school safely as part of our ongoing road safety programme.
“As a small village, with a high volume of traffic, it is really important that our children respect the roads and take care when travelling between school and home.
“It was fantastic to see so many children from Nursery through to Year 6 coming in safely by foot, bike or scooter this week.
“As the darker evenings approach, we will continue to promote travelling to school safely. Well done to all of the children who participated.”
Naomi Foster, Headteacher at Our Lady & St Patrick’s School, Maryport, said: “We have had around 85 percent of our children walking to school every day during Walk to School Week, with 100 percent of children walking to school at least once throughout the week.
“We normally do have a high proportion of walkers anyway but families made even more of an effort to do it this week.
“It has been lovely to see families walking together and enjoying a chat on their way to school and it also sparked more conversations in class as children were talking about what and who they had seen on their way.
“Our smallest children were even talking about crossing the road safely and looking out for cars! Children also seemed calmer at the start of our school day as they had had some exercise before coming into class.”
Cumbria County Council is proud to support Walk to School Week each year, and we understand the importance of encouraging children and families to leave the car at home and experience the benefits of a more active journey to and from school.
All the schools that took part in Cumbria:
- Our Lady & St Patrick’s Catholic Primary
- Chapel Street Infants
- Ireleth Sr Peter’s
- Newbarns Primary & Nursery
- St Paul’s School
- Victoria Infants
- Cumwhinton Primary
- Great Orton Primary
- Great Corby Primary
- High Hesket Primary
- Inglewood Junior
- Kingmoor Junior
- Upperby Primary
- Jericho School
- Orgill Primary
- Brough Primary
- Brunswick Primary
- Calthwaite Primary
- Kirkby Stephen Primary
- Kirkby Thore School
- Patterdale CE Primary
- Plumpton Primary
- Shap Endowed CE
- Arnside National Primary
- Burton Moorwood
- Croftlands Junior
- Grange CE Primary
- Heron Hill Primary
- Dean Gibson Catholic Primary
- Sedbergh Primary
- Sir John Barrow
- St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary
- St Oswald’s CE Primary