Ladycross Infant School has become the first school in Derbyshire to receive a Modeshift STARS Gold award, recognising its commitment to reducing school run congestion and keeping pupils fit and healthy.
Through a range of initiatives – including training for pupils and staff, improving facilities for cyclists and having scooters available for parents and pupils to borrow – the number of pupils travelling to the school by car has reduced from 34% to 15%.
Modeshift Stars is a national schools awards scheme that has been established to reward schools that demonstrate excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.
The news of Derbyshire’s first ModeShift Gold award follows the announcement last week that Stocksfield Avenue Primary School has become the first school in the north east to receive an award.
Ladycross Infant School also participated in the Big Pedal 2015 − the UK’s largest school cycling and scooting challenge − winning first place for the East Midlands and sixth place nationally for getting 91% of its pupils cycling or scooting to school during a three-week period.
The school has also been praised for encouraging pupils to wear brightly coloured clothes and use flashing lights on bikes and scooters, and for its Balanceability programme − where children as young as two-years-old are taught to balance on a bike without stabilisers.
Councillor Dean Collins, Derbyshire County Council, said: "The school is doing a great job in reducing the amount of car journeys parents and pupils make by promoting new ways of travelling like walking, biking and scooting.
"They’re a shining example of how making small changes to our lifestyle can make a big difference to our health and they should be very proud of what they’ve achieved."
Dan Hancock, Ladycross Infant School’s travel champion and PE co-coordinator, said: "It’s great to get recognised, but the initiative has been part of our work to embed sustainable and active travel across the school. Our children are more active, travel less by car and enjoy their exercise.
"We’d like to thank Sandiacre Safer Neighbourhood Team and Derbyshire County Council’s travel smart team for all their support in helping us to achieve this."