National awards for schools with top class sustainable travel efforts

Two Northumberland schools have been recognised nationally for their proactive approach to encouraging their pupils and staff to think of alternative ways to travel.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 10:21 am
Barndale House School says walking and cycling is having a positive impact on pupils' health and well-being.
Barndale House School says walking and cycling is having a positive impact on pupils' health and well-being.

Barndale House School in Alnwick won the National Modeshift STARS SEND school of the year 2020/21 for their involvement in activities such as the Daily Mile and Walk to School Week – as well as their own initiatives where they teach road safety, hold car-free days and encourage their older pupils to travel independently.

Tweedmouth Community Middle School in Berwick was crowned winner of the National Modeshift STARS Secondary/Middle School of the Year for 2020/21 at the awards.

Modeshift STARS is the national school awards scheme for those that have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.

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It invites 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 and reduce car use.

Helen Hemsley, deputy headteacher at Barndale House, said: “Our pupils have really embraced our initiatives to encourage sustainable travel.

“They’ve loved taking part in the Daily Mile and Walk to School week, and our older pupils are finding a new independence through our travel training schemes.

“We are seeing such a difference in how walking and cycling is having on their health and well-being, and I am so pleased for the school and the pupils to have received this award.”

Tweedmouth Community Middle School has been, and continues to be committed to raising the profile of cycling to school, with staff trained as ride leaders.

Students took part in the Big Pedal and Bike Week, as well as the opening ceremony for the Tour of Britain. The introduction of dedicated ‘Green Ambassadors’ lead on the initiatives within the school and ensure everyone has the opportunity to get involved.

Headteacher Ben Hulbert said: “I am overwhelmed that the school has been awarded this for a second year.

“We, as a school, really enjoy taking part in schemes that encourage cycling, scooting or walking.”

In Northumberland schools are supported by the Go Smarter team to promote sustainable travel and road safety – as well as developing School Travel Plans.