Primary school first in North East to win Modeshift award
A primary school from Newcastle has become the first school in the North East to receive the Modeshift Stars Award.
Stocksfield Avenue Primary School was last week presented with the Bronze Award for its continued commitment to road safety and healthy travel.
Modeshift Stars is a national schools awards scheme that has been established to recognise schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.
The school works closely with Newcastle City Council’s Road Safety Team, Go Smarter, and Sustrans to deliver road safety and cycling education programmes.
All 470 pupils, from Nursery through to Year 6, have been involved in a wide variety of activities teaching them how to be road safe and vigilant.
Those activities include: stabiliser-free training (Year 2, aged 6-7); non-cyclist training (Year 3, aged 7-8); cycle training (Year 4, aged 8-9); pedestrian training (Year 5, aged 9-10); and visits to the SafetyWorks! – Interactive Safety Centre (Year 6, aged 10-11).
The school has also organised ‘quirky’ events such as ‘Wheelie Wednesdays’ and ‘Happy Shoesday’ ay (as part of Walk Once a Week) as well as running more traditional schemes including Bikeability, Park and Stride and Bling Your Bike Breakfasts – which involve pupils ‘blinging up’ their bikes and scooters with reflective materials in the run up to the winter months.
Angela McEnaney, the school’s deputy head, said: “We are proud to have achieved the Modeshift Stars Bronze Award, as it represents all of the hard work that has been delivered to improve how pupils and in some cases parents journey to school.
“Another important reason for us doing these training activities is to try and encourage families to exercise together and stay fit and healthy. The young people are also more likely to notice aspects of their environment that they wouldn’t necessarily observe if they were in a car.
“The school takes road awareness and cycling training very seriously, which is why we introduce the key messages at the earliest possible opportunity. This is even more significant as the school building is situated near a busy main road, so everyone’s eyes and ears have to be extra alert.”
Peter Gray, head of highways and local services for Newcastle City Council, said: “The award is great news for the young people and staff of Stocksfield Avenue Primary School. It represents what can be achieved with care and dedication; and when everyone comes together to learn about something as important as road safety.
“Our Road Safety Team works closely with the school to advise and deliver a range of activities. If one accident is avoided and one life saved, then it has all been very worthwhile."