Active Travel Newsletter | September 2015
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Active Travel hots up in South Glos!

During the summer term we were thrilled to have 7 new schools joining the project. It’s been a fun packed summer with many different events and sessions taking place:
  • Andy has been busy delivering skills training sessions into primary schools with 8 Safer Fitter Greener presentations, 5 route planning sessions, 200 pupils received pedestrian training and 130 pupils undertaking scooter training.
  • The streets around Callicroft Primary were brightened up with colourful creations during the school run as pupils’ blinged their rides to school and were welcomed with an active travel breakfast.

Pictured: The winner of Bling Your Ride goes wild at Callicroft!
Pictured: Yr5 at St Chad’s Patchway embarking on their 5 minute walking zone walk.
  • The smoothie bike blended up a storm appearing at summer fetes at Meadowbrook and Callicroft Primary, and at Stoke Lodge Primary’s sports week. It also enjoyed a good pedal at Wheatfield Primary’s Family bike ride.
  • Bradley Stoke Community School ran a Golden Lock competition to encourage cycling and scooting with some great prizes and a free breakfast up for grabs.
  • The whole school at Meadowbrook Primary took to their feet and held a Giant Walk event in the name of active travel and slower speed limits.
  • St Chad’s Patchway CofE VC Primary Year 5s helped the school to develop a 5 minute walking map and Charborough Road Primary ran an Active Travel poster competition. Both of which will encourage more families to actively travel to and from school from September.
  • The term ended on a high as Andy organised The Game of Chance, a fun game show style quiz delivered by the Tiny Giants Theatre company, into 7 primary schools. 900 pupils watched scenarios played out by actors to earn health points to learn about sustainable safe travel.
A big thank you to all those schools that arranged and undertook Hands Up Surveys during the summer term. Your support with collecting this data is vital for determining the impact of the project.
“Wow wow wow!!!!!! Kids loved Lee [BMX performer], he was amazing…the show was amazing…he engaged every child…they thought he was awesome!!! Thank you so much for all your hard work this year.”
Pat Scott, Learning Mentor/HLTA, Little Mead Primary Academy
‘’The workshop was fab and the children and all adults involved loved it.’’
Teacher,St Chad’s Patchway CofE Primary commenting on route planning and 5 minute walking zone sessions
"I enjoyed scooting because it felt faster…enjoyed fresh air…spotted things I don’t normally see in the car…went past families, met up with friends and mums were chatting as we raced, talked before school, played games with mum on the way, walked with my pet."

Year 3 pupil, Wansdyke Primary

‘’I would like to thank you so much for the work and support you and your colleagues have given to our school. Our Active Ambassadors have enjoyed finding out about travel and environmental issues; lots of our pupils have enjoyed the breakfast events organised; the teaching and pupil resources provided have been first class too.’’ 

Teacher at The Ridge Juniors

Helping to move up!

The Bikeability Instructors, supported by Andy, once again helped Year 6s pedal their way from their primary school to their new secondary school. 11 transition bike rides led 88 pupils to Abbeywood, Bradley Stoke Community Schools, Patchway Community College and Brimsham Green Secondary. The pupils were greeted at their new schools with well-earned refreshments and a tour of the cycling facilities. The pupils really enjoyed the experience, which we hope has given them the confidence to cycle to school.

Thank you very much to all the staff involved at the primary and secondary schools, and the Bikeability Instructors, who made the rides possible.
The team alongside Bikeability instructors also helped to encourage continued active travel from primary to secondary schools by attending parents evenings for new Year 7s. Travel advice was provided along with useful maps, leaflets and giveaways, with a record number of parents signing up their children for Bikeability courses in the autumn term.

Pictured:Transition ride from Bailey’s Court Primary

Top tips for the autumn term 

  • See ‘Dates for the Diary’ below and use any themed weeks, dates or events to promote or discuss walking, cycling or scooting… International Walk to School Day (and Week) and Road Safety Week are all coming in the next few months.
  • Start thinking about when the evenings get darker and the importance of using lights and being visible. Diwali is the Festival of Lights, perfect for promoting being seen after the clocks change.
  • Plan your activities for 2015/16 and take your hands-up/baseline surveys to see how pupils are currently travelling. Do you need to refresh a travel plan, or tweak your information for new parents and pupils? What new things do you want to try? 

Get this resource… 

  • Bike to School Week may have come and gone, but our new guide, 5 Small Steps to Something BIG, includes five activities designed to be delivered over five days, to help you turn any week into a Bike, Walk or Scoot to School Week. Download it at

Join the Travelwest Schools Challenge

Following a highly successful challenge last year, all secondary schools in the West of England are invited to join this year’s challenge and make it even bigger and better.

There are many alternative ways both staff and students could travel to school that are healthier and a lot more fun. 

The healthy competition the challenge provides encourages students to really think about how they travel. We would like schools to invite as many students as possible to participate so they get active by walking, cycling or scooting. An active life helps students feel happier and improves the level of concentration throughout the day.

Where distance prevents active travel, public transport could help with increasing the feeling of independence by slowly introducing students to being responsible for their own traveling. Other options include car sharing, which could be encouraged among parents.

All journeys logged on the Challenge website count to the total school score, and there are spot prizes up for grabs. Visit to register.

Due to the Safeguarding process, new registration approvals can take up to 2 working days so make sure to give plenty of time to register before the challenge starts!

Biggest and Best year ever for Bristol's Active Travel to School Week!

Active Travel to School Week, run in Bristol's City Schools, is an active travel incentive in its third year that evolved in 2015 to include more interactive and creative resources to keep pupils entertained. Pupils were encouraged to reflect on their journey to school through daily challenges, drawing their route to school and collecting stickers. They were given a journal to record their week and add to as they saw fit. The stickers were half completed images to encourage pupils to use their imagination to complete the image and make their own vision of their local area. 
The journal and its week of challenges served as research for pupils to draw on when entering the competition to design their own dream journey to school. After a week of exploring and considering the local area and their journey, pupils were better informed to create their own space. They were asked to imagine a happier, healthier and greener space to live in and travel through; a place where the local community can choose to travel actively, socialise and play together. Winners were chosen based on creativity, community inclusion and how much their design encouraged active modes of travel.
Twenty pupils won a family voucher to either At-Bristol, Bristol Zoo, ss Great Britain or Pedal Progression bike hire at Ashton Court. Pupils at Little Mead Primary Academy were wowed by a BMX stunt show for being the overall winning school.
In total, 55 primary schools registered (compared to 45 in 2014 and 50 in 2013) and 17,051 pupils took part (compared to 13,626 in 2014 and 12,075 in 2013). So we can very safely say this has been our biggest and best year to date.
Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and highlighted not only increased active journeys for the duration of the week but also the parental involvement and potential longer term change in travel behaviour.

This term in numbers

West of England Partnership region

  • 16,799 positive active travel experiences for pupils, staff and parents
  • Active Travel to School Officers have collectively delivered 236 school-based activities
  • 16 Transitions events or sessions have been delivered at schools, engaging with 963 pupils and 970 parents in total

Across the UK

Sustrans’ School Mark recognises and supports schools’ excellence in active and sustainable travel. At last count we had 690 schools who had achieved Bronze level, 75 with the Silver award and 19 with Gold

Schools have also demonstrated impressive increases in active and sustainable travel after taking part in Sustrans’ Big Shift, our a free-to-access online challenge which sets targets and charts their success.

During the summer terms South Gloucestershire schools have benefitted from:

  • Outdoor skills sessions – 294 x pupils
  • Classroom sessions – 625 x pupils
  • Transition rides – 88 x pupils
  • Assemblies – 484 x pupils
  • Activities and events – 1111 x pupils
  • Parent engagement - 705 x parents
  • Teachers engaged – 83 x staff
Total number engaged = 3,390

Dates for the diary

  • 7th International Walk to School Day
  • 5th-9th International Walk to School Week
  • 25th Clocks change
  • 31st Halloween
November December
  • 24th-26th Christmas

We'd love to hear from you…

Hello, we’re Emma Cocksedge, Active Travel to Schools Officer and Andy MacDonald, Sustainable Travel Skills Assistant. We’re working together to increase active travel in schools in South Gloucestershire. Please get in touch if you have any great school stories or would like to find out more about our work.

Emma Cocksedge:
Tel: 01454 866623
Mob: 07920233076

Andy MacDonald:
Tel: 01454863067
Mob: 07824081072

Available in hard copy on request.
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