Kingfisher Primary School in Yeovil has become the first Somerset school to receive the nationally recognised bronze Modeshift STARS accreditation for providing safe and sustainable travel environments.
Modeshift STARS celebrates schools which successfully work with businesses and local communities to adopt travel plans which promote sustainable and safe journeys.
Kingfisher Primary School’s award follows the successful Beat the Street campaign held in the town earlier this year, with 7,039 total players travelling 94,333 miles across the town.
The Yeovil-based school has seen the benefits of active travel range from better concentration levels from pupils to less traffic on the roads at drop-off and pick-up times.
Somerset County Council’s lead member for Transport and Digital, Councillor Mike Rigby, said: “Around one in four cars on the road each morning is on the school run and are responsible for half a million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually in the UK. Schemes like Modeshift STARS are crucial initiatives to help reduce these statistics and improve the air quality around school.
“I’d like to congratulate Kingfisher Primary School for its achievement and hope that more schools will be encouraged to take part in the initiative as we aim to get more pupils to travel by foot or bike, or at least walk the last 10 minutes to school.”
Dan Glentworth, Headteacher at Kingfisher Primary School, said: “We are extremely proud of our pupils and families for their commitment towards active travel. In a relatively short period of time, we have promoted active travel within our school community, and it has been pleasing to see so many families walking, cycling or scooting to school each day.
“I must say a big thank you to our active travel working group, which is made up of our Chair of Governors, Mrs Dunn; parents, Mrs Cobb and Mrs Sturgess, but also our Active Travel Ambassadors, Molly, Mia, Izabel, Rebecca and Josh.
“Our ambassadors have worked hard to promote active travel on the playground and in classes. Achieving the Bronze Award from Modeshift STARS is a brilliant starting position for us to promote active travel further. I’d like to thank SASP and Public Health Somerset for their support during the accreditation process.”
Councillor Adam Dance, Somerset County Council’s Lead Member for Public Health, Equalities and Diversity said: “Cycling or walking to school is a great way to exercise. It helps children arrive at school more alert and ready for the day, as well as boosting overall health and wellbeing – both physical and mental.”
Modeshift STARS is available for free to all schools in Somerset. If your school would like to take part and sign up, please go to: Travel plan resources for schools – ModeshiftSTARS (somerset.gov.uk).
More information can be found on our cycling and walking plans across Somerset at our Commonplace site.