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Reading Walk to School Week – Schools Sign Up

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Pupils in Reading will be taking to the streets for Walk to School Week next week (20-24 May).

Twenty-three schools in the borough have signed up for the fun five-day walking challenge which highlights how being active on their way to school can help improve children’s health and happiness, and the local environment.

The Council has provided all participating schools with Walk to School Week packs filled with activities for pupils to complete on the way to school and in the classroom. Plus Little Feet packs were provided for early years settings.

Families are being encouraged to support their children to walk, cycle, scoot or ‘park and stride’ to school for the whole week.

The annual Walk to School Week is organised by UK charity Living Streets which also runs the National Walking Month campaign every May.

This year’s theme is The Magic of Walking, featuring various magical beings every day, which teach pupils about five important reasons to walk and the impact it can have, including sustainability, inclusion, health, mindfulness and friendship.

All pupils receive activity diaries, daily stickers and a special reward is up for grabs at the end of the week for those pupils who have travelled actively every day.  

Park Lane Primary School, in Tilehurst, was the first school to introduce a School Street in Reading, in 2021, and is taking part in Walk to School Week this year.

The school’s PE coordinator Peter Phillips said

“Walk to School Week fits in with so many of our school values and ethos about being a healthy school and leading an active, healthy lifestyle. We already have a School Street which allows children to walk and cycle in, so it is building on that.

“Walking or wheeling to school is good for the environment, good for the planet, good for the community and good for the children. When they are active in the morning they are healthier, happier and more receptive to learning, so it is good for the teachers as well. It’s a win, win on so many levels.”

Watch a Reading Borough Council video of Park Lane School pupils preparing for Walk to School Week.

Cllr John Ennis, Lead Councillor for Climate Strategy and Transport, said:

“We are pleased that so many Reading schools have taken up the offer of free activity packs from the Council and signed up for Walk to School Week this year.

“Switching from a car journey to walking to school can make a huge difference to the local environment and air quality, and children benefit from a healthy and active start to the day. Of course, children can take part even if their school has not signed up for the week.

“The Council’s Local Transport Plan aims to encourage more people to walk and cycle, as well as use public transport, and Walk to School Week is a great way for children to experience the benefits of active travel.”

Brian Grady, Director of Education at Brighter Futures for Children, said:

“The benefits of starting your day with a walk or cycle can be felt for the rest of the day and choosing active travel year-round can have a hugely positive impact.

“It’s brilliant to see so many schools involved in this year’s challenge and I’m happy we’ve been able to provide so many useful resources and classroom packs to help support them.”

Reading schools taking part in Walk to School Week are:

Alfred Sutton Primary, All Saints Infants, Blagdon Nursery, Caversham Primary, Christ the King, Coley Primary, Emmer Green Primary, English Martyrs Catholic Primary, EP Collier Primary, Geoffrey Field Infants, Manor Primary, Micklands Primary, New Christ Church Primary, Park Lane Infants & Junior, Southcote Primary, St Anne’s Catholic Primary, St Joseph’s College, St Michael’s Primary, Thameside Primary, The Heights Primary, The Hill Primary and Wilson Primary.

There are four School Streets, involving six schools, operating in Reading with another planned in Great Knollys Street. The scheme allows streets near schools to be closed to through traffic for the morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times to create a healthier and safer environment.

Visit: https://www.reading.gov.uk/vehicles-roads-and-transport/travel-to-school/school-streets/ for more information.