York school wins gold for active travel

the Lord Mayor of York with children from Acomb Primary school

The Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Keith Orrell presented the Modeshift STARS Gold award to children at Acomb Primary School. PHOTO: Steve Tipton

15 October 2018

We are delighted that Acomb Primary School has received the Modeshift STARS Gold award following our work with iTravel York to get more pupils cycling and walking on their journeys to school.

Modeshift STARS is the national awards scheme to recognise schools that demonstrate excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.

Active travel events

The school runs regular active travel events such as bike breakfast, themed active travel days and park and stride promotions to encourage the whole school community to leave the car behind. 

Acomb Primary now has 73% of children travelling to school on foot, scooter or bicycle. Many are recent converts - 17% of the pupils who have switched to walking, cycling or park and stride had previously been driven to school regularly.

The Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Keith Orrell, said:

“Being awarded the Gold level STARS Award show just how hard the staff, pupils and parents and carers at the school have worked, making ‘being active’ an intrinsic part of the school day.

“We all know how important it is to incorporate exercise into our lives and walking, cycling or scooting to school is a great way to make a positive start to the day.”

Erin Gray, our schools officer in York said:

“I’m so proud that Acomb Primary School has won this award. They’ve worked incredibly hard to get more active on the school run and they really deserve to get this national recognition. Walking or cycling to school regularly gives children the exercise they need and also helps improve air quality and traffic congestion in York.”

Tom Dennis, class teacher and PE coordinator from Acomb Primary School, said:

“We are thrilled to be awarded the Gold level STARS Award for our efforts to increase safe and sustainable travel to school. It really recognises the hard work done not only by the school, but also by the parents and children themselves to embrace this change towards cycling, scooting and walking.”

Cycling links to curriculum

We currently work in 17 schools in York to encourage children, parents and teachers to look at the health and environmental impact of travelling by car and try walking or cycling to school. Children take part in activities which link to other areas of the curriculum from physical education, such as geography and maths.

In one activity children survey their streets to look at how improved design could make a safer and more attractive environment for walking and cycling. Five-minute walking zones were set up around some schools to encourage parents to ‘park and stride’ when they drop their children off to school, to improve safety and reduce air pollution around school entrances.

We have worked in over 40 schools in York since 2009, funded by City of York Council’s iTravel York programme.

Find out more about our work with schools