Scarborough area schools recognised for success in increasing walking and cycling

Two Scarborough area schools have been recognised for their success in encouraging more children and parents to opt to cycle or walk on the school run rather than travel by car.

By Duncan Atkins
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 12:37 pm

Malton Primary Academy has achieved its platinum Modeshift STARS award - the scheme’s highest honour - while St Augustine’s Catholic School in Scarborough, has won the Modeshift STARS Secondary School of the Year Award for the Yorkshire and Humber region for its commitment to obtaining the Modeshift STARS Gold Award.

Modeshift STARS is a national awards scheme recognising schools that demonstrate excellence in promoting, supporting and increasing sustainable forms of active travel within their school, improving the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

To secure the Platinum Award, Malton Primary Academy took part in a variety of activities, among them a road safety week that included truck awareness training provided by DHL and haulage company Dennis Distribution, which also supplies hi-vis jackets that are used on school trips.

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Pupils at Malton Primary Academy show off their award with Jackie Speakman, of the Sustainable Travel team, and Mandy Carpenter, who champions the Modeshift work at the school.

Other actions included surveys of how pupils and staff get to school, a parking pledge asking parents to be mindful of where they park, a request to a local shop to change its delivery times, which was quickly agreed, “walking home alone” arrangements for some pupils and a balance bike training day for reception and year one pupils.

Mandy Carpenter, of Malton Primary Academy said: “When I found we had achieved Platinum I was eager to share the news.

"I was emotional as it has been such a rollercoaster over these three years."

She said the academy was proud of everyone involved, including staff, pupils, parents, guardians and the wider community.

Pupils at a Bikeability session at St Augustine’s with (back, from left) Bikeability staff Keith Prichard, Ashley King, Alison Fewster and John Kiddle, and (front) Lisa Scott and Jackie Speakman.

"We will continue to work to retain this accolade, keeping active travel an ongoing area for development," she added.

To achieve their Gold award, St Augustine’s worked closely with their students, staff, parents, governors, local councillors and North Yorkshire County Council’s Sustainable Travel team, which nominated the school for the Modeshift STARS Secondary School of the Year Award.

The school regularly takes part in sustainable travel initiatives to encourage pupils and staff to walk, cycle and use dedicated school transport to commute.

Examples of sustainable travel initiatives include active travel breakfasts, cycle maintenance workshops, youth travel ambassadors, increasing cycle storage shelters, attending the Schools Yorkshire Tour and conducting travel surveys to monitor the Modeshift trends.

Lisa Scott, from St Augustine’s, said: “We are delighted to have won a Modeshift STARS School of the Year Award.

"The school remains committed to promoting sustainable travel and encouraging our children to lead a healthier and more active life while reducing congestion and improving air quality outside school.”

Barrie Mason, the County Council’s Assistant Director, Highways and Transportation, said what great achievement these were.

"We know through our Sustainable Travel team how much work they have put into achieving their Modeshift awards.

"Their commitment has increased the number of students walking and cycling to and from school, and decreased the number of families who drive.”

Every school in the county has the opportunity to register and plan sustainable travel initiatives to achieve their Modeshift STARS award. Schools can reach five levels: green, bronze, silver and gold and platinum.

Schools interested in joining the scheme should contact North Yorkshire County Council’s Sustainable Travel team at [email protected] - the Sustainable Travel team can also help any business that would like to work towards Modeshift STARS Business accreditation.