Active Travel Newsletter | January 2016
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We are Hannah Brittain and Vicky Stone, Sustrans Active Travel to School Officers for Bath & North East Somerset. Please get in touch if you have any great school stories or would like to find out more about our schools work.

Vicky (left): 07920 233 079

Hannah (right): 07887 635 633  


Active Travel is on the up!

Welcome to the Active Travel newsletter for Bath and North East Somerset. In the autumn term the Active Travel to School project grew, with Vicky Stone joining Hannah Brittain as a second Active Travel to School officer and four new primary schools signing up. We would like to say a big welcome to Castle, Saltford, Moorlands and Newbridge primary schools!

Vicky and Hannah were kept very busy this term with offering active travel advice at parents evenings, running competitions, including the ‘Be Bright’ poster competition and the School Travel Challenge, and also with getting pupils ready for winter with ‘Winterproof your bike’ events, which included bike M.O.T ‘s and bike light fitting sessions.

Road Safety is no laughing matter. Or is it?

As part of Road Safety Week schools got involved in a variety of activities, with some having a visit from MOMO Theatre who provided an assembly about staying safe when walking, cycling and scooting to school.

This was no normal assembly however. MOMO describe their performance as ‘Lauren and Hardy trying to present a serious scientific lecture’ which is a very accurate account. Each assembly was hilarious with every child and teacher laughing throughout, but MOMO still managed to portray the serious message of road safety.

Melissa Brook, Y6 teacher and Active Travel Champion at Saltford primary said "the show was a superb balance of both education and entertainment; a serious message with lots of laughs. Would recommend to other schools, without a doubt!"

Seth, a year 4 pupil from Moorlands Junior School said "I don’t think I have ever laughed that much at a play in my life. Sometimes it made us laugh for no particular reason!  However, as well as being funny it also taught us about road safety and how to stop pollution. I never knew that you could make a valuable lesson so witty. It was brilliant!"

Pictured below: MOMO Theatre production at Saltford primary

It’s child’s play

At Newbridge Primary, Hannah delivered a lesson with a twist. It involved playing a Board Game! The ‘Bike Board Game’ is similar to snakes and ladders, with the aim of getting your counter to the end of the board by rolling the dice and moving forward. Instead of snakes and ladders there are red and green squares, which correspond to red cards (the “don’ts” of going on a bike ride) and green cards (the “do’s” of going on a bike ride). The cards give you instructions which will either help (green cards) or hinder (red cards) your progress.

Pupils at Newbridge learnt about the things they should be doing and things to avoid when going on a bike ride, including the importance of inflating tyres and checking your bike beforehand and taking the right things on a ride, like water and a snack.

The game is extremely inclusive. Children of all abilities can take part as well as those whose first language is not English. If you are interested in using the Bike Board Game in your school please get in contact with Hannah or Vicky.

Pictured below: Y5 Pupils at Newbridge primary playing the Bike Board Game 

Christmas cheer

Vicky and Hannah both attended lots of Christmas fairs to provide information to parents on active travel and safe routes to school as well as challenging the children to use their pedal power to turn on the Christmas lights! 

Pictured to the left: Pupil at Moorlands Christmas fair

Lets get active!

Enthusiastic pupils at Castle primary school were overjoyed when Vicky announced them as her chosen ‘Active Ambassadors’! The ambassadors will be helping Vicky to encourage more active travel (walking, cycling and scooting) in their school.

When Vicky met with them, they were brimming with ideas and they decided the first thing they will do is launch an incentive scheme which they have named ‘The mysterious green lock’. Every so often throughout the year they will fit the green lock to a randomly picked bike or scooter in the bike/scooter shelter and the owner will win a prize.  

Pictured below: Active ambassadors at Castle Primary

Star Story - School Travel Challenge Success

In October 17 secondary schools and colleges in the West of England took part in Travelwest’s School Travel Challenge where students and staff logged their active and sustainable journeys online to win prizes. Over the 2 week challenge pupils were encouraged to travel on foot, bike, scooter, bus and even skateboard.

Worle Community School were the overall winners with 27% of pupils in the school taking part. Throughout the challenge Worle pupils logged 4,310 journeys, saving £1,113 and 904 kg of CO2 when compared to car journeys.

As a reward students were treated to a BMX stunt show with Professional BMX Flatland rider, Matti Hemmings. The BMX stunt-show, described as ‘breakdancing on a bike’, saw the riders perform a unique display of ground tricks with all kinds of complex twists and spins.

Abbie Edbrooke, Worle Community School’s Enrichment Programme and Educational Visits Manager, who champions active travel work in the school said:

“This year we have done so much -we have taken part in the Travel Challenge, which we won, and enjoyed a BMX stunt show with Matti Hemmings along with regular bike check sessions with Dr Bike, installing a new covered shelter for staff bikes and running assemblies and awareness lunchtime sessions. We even brought the smoothie bike into school!”

Other schools who took part in the challenge included Norton Hill School, reaching second place, and Priory Community School Academy, reaching third place. 

Well done to all the secondary schools in Bath & North East Somerset that took part in the School Travel Challenge, including Hayesfield, Ralph Allen and Wellsway, and especially to Norton Hill who won for the area. Norton Hill were awarded a stunt show for having the highest overall participation, and a number of staff and students across participating schools won individual spot prizes for their efforts.


Cycle training is available to pupils in all schools in Bath and North east Somerset:
  • Level 1 is open to Years 3 and 4
  • Level 2 is open to Years 5 and 6
  • Level 3 is offered to secondary schools
Cycle training ensures children understand the rules of the road and have the skills required to arrive at school safely.

If you are interested in booking training for your school please contact Rita Maestri on

Top tips for the spring term

  • See ‘Dates for the Diary’ and use any themed dates or events to promote or discuss walking, cycling or scooting.
  • As days become longer and the weather starts to improve (hopefully) it’s a perfect time to encourage people to get back on their feet, bikes and scooters. Sustrans Six Week Guide to increasing active travel in school can help you with this.
  • The Big Pedal is back between 18 and 29 April 2016. The Big Pedal is the UK’s largest inter-school cycling and scooting challenge, powered by Sustrans and supported by the Bike Hub. Each day of the challenge schools will compete to see who can record the greatest number of pupils cycling or scooting to school. This year there will be a five-day or one-day challenge.  There will be fantastic prizes up for grabs in a daily draw, ranging from stunt shows to bike and scooter storage. See the website for more details.

Autumn term in numbers

In the West of England Partnership between September and December 2015

  • 32,020 positive active travel experiences were provided to pupils, staff and parents.
  • Active Travel to School Officers collectively delivered 264 school-based activities.
  • 2,802 secondary school pupils and staff registered for the Schools Challenge in October, logging 10,564 sustainable travel journeys and saving over 2 tonnes of CO2 emissions, compared to making the same journeys by car.
Schools have demonstrated impressive increases in active and sustainable travel after taking part in Sustrans’ Big ShiftSustrans free-to-access online challenge which sets targets and charts success.

Dates for the diary

  • 25th Burns Night – write or research poems about walking, cycling or scooting.
  • 8th Chinese New Year starts – renowned for their fireworks. Explore how to stay bright and visible on the school journey. 
  • 9th February  Pancake day!  Put on a pancake active travel breakfast for those who walk scoot or cycle to school.
  • 14th Valentine’s Day – Show how much you love walking, cycling and scooting by ‘blinging’ your journey.
  • 25th Burns Night – write or research poems about walking, cycling or scooting.
  • 8th Chinese New Year starts – renowned for their fireworks. Explore how to stay bright and visible on the school journey. 
  • 9th Pancake Day  Put on a pancake active travel breakfast for those who walk scoot or cycle to school.
  • 14th Valentine’s Day – Show how much you love walking, cycling and scooting by ‘blinging’ your journey.
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