Bembridge CE Primary School wins gold for encouraging sustainable travel

The dedication and hard work of staff and pupils at this Isle of Wight primary school has been recognised with the Gold ‘Shift It’ award for encouraging sustainable transport to and from school.

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The council share this latest news. Ed

Bembridge CE Primary School is the first school on the Isle of Wight to win a gold ‘Shift It’ award for its achievements in encouraging sustainable travel to and from school.

The award is part of a ‘Shift It’ schools scheme aimed at inspiring pupils on the Island to consider more sustainable ways of travelling to school.

Wight Cycle Training
The project is delivered on behalf of the council by Wight Cycle Training, and is part of a wider programme of transport interventions being carried out by the Isle of Wight Council over the next two years, using £1.35 million of funding won competitively from the Department for Transport (DfT).

To win the gold award, the school had to show that sustainable active travel is a key part of school life and over the past three years it has have hosted inter-school triathlons, trained staff to deliver cycle training, held bikers’ breakfasts, carried out local area surveys, improved its facilities and also have the most active travelling students and parents on the Island in comparison to other schools in the scheme.

Ward: Dedication and hardwork of school
Cllr Ian Ward, Cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, said,

“I’d like to congratulate headteacher Sandra Groocock, the pupils, teachers and the parents at Bembridge CE Primary School, for their dedication and hard work; leading them to being the first to win a gold ‘Shift It’ award.

“Sustainable forms of transport, such as scooting, biking and walking really have an impact on reducing congestion and pollution outside schools and are key to improving health and general well-being.”

Active Travel Crew
An Active Travel Crew was set up at the school and carried out a daily ’Shift It’ survey that made pupils more aware of how they travel to school and a weekly school award is given to encourage pupils to be active through cycling and scooting.

Lindsey Stapeley, deputy headteacher, said,

“Bembridge Primary School is very proud to have received the gold award for active sustainable travel to and from school and it is recognition of our achievement and continued drive to promote active physical journeys to school, while decreasing the number of unnecessary car journeys.

“Our staff and ‘Active Travel’ student crew have worked really hard to ensure that all our children embrace the benefits of active travel through cycling, walking and skateboarding to school. Parents have fully supported this programme and have been fully engaged in events like our ‘Bikers’ Breakfast’ which brings together the whole school community. The Shift It team has been brilliant in supporting our school.”

Inspiring other Island schools
Ross Edmunds, ‘Shift It’ schools project manager at Wight Cycle Training, said:

“The school really deserves the gold award as cycling, walking and scooting to and from school is part of everyday life for their pupils. I would also like to extend a special mention to Lindsey Stapeley for being a positive and proactive link between ‘Shift It’ and the whole Bembridge school community.

“I have no doubt that the whole school community – children, parents, school staff – will continue to inspire other schools on the Island to do the same.”

Image: ttimlen under CC BY 2.0

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Excellent and well done to Bembridge Primary school. This shows what can happen when education is kept local and within suitable distance for cycle travel.

Unfortunately the IWC prefers to bus many secondary school pupils to schools that are miles from their homes, with routes that are too far distant and unsuitable for cycle travel. Will they ever learn?