Published: Thursday, 28th September 2017
Pupils at Kinsale Infant and Junior schools in Hellesdon launched their Bike, Walk, Scoot Club today (Sept 28) as part of a bid to keep active and healthy and arrive at school relaxed and ready to learn. The club, which involves pupils and their parents and guardians committing to make active journeys at least three days a week, is a pilot project which could subsequently be rolled out by other schools across Norfolk. It is also expected to reduce traffic congestion around the school.
“When you ask children what they want, most of them like to be active and would prefer to walk, cycle or scoot to school,” explained Carolyn Baxter, Head Teacher at Kinsale Junior School. “All these are really good for them. Children who’ve had an active journey to school arrive calm and alert and ready to learn and that’s what we all want to see.”
The schools recognise that dropping and collecting children is sometimes part of a longer more complex journey and for some, bringing a car is essential. The community centre has made its car park available and less busy streets further away from the schools have been identified so where that’s the case, children can still make the last part of the journey under their own steam, benefit from exercise and be a part of the club. It also means parents’ cars are not making the area around the school more hazardous for those on foot.
All pupils were invited to join the Club and receive a branded hi-viz jacket, certificate of membership, a badge and a fluorescent band.
“Everyone can be a member of this club and we hope everyone will be,” said Louise Robinson, Head Teacher at Kinsale Infant School. “We consulted with parents before the launch and we could see that we had the support to make it work. We’re delighted with the way they’ve come on board with ideas and with offers of practical help.”
The project is the result of an initiative by Broadland District Council in partnership with Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Constabulary and with support from Hellesdon Parish Council which has provided parking at the community centre.
Cllr Sue Lawn, Broadland’s Community Safety Champion, said: “This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by everyone. The schools worked with parents to identify issues and shape the scheme. We co-ordinated the initiative and provided materials. Norfolk County Council, which had already been providing pedestrian and cycle training, also contributed scooter storage pods and helped make walking routes safer while the police have been providing advice and helping to deal with illegal and unsafe parking in Kinsale Avenue.
“We’re hopeful that this will have an impact on the well-being and learning of the children and that other schools will choose to create their own Bike Walk Scoot Clubs with the materials we have created and with all that has been learnt in the process.”
Any schools interested in rolling out the project can contact the Broadland team at: firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01603 430510.