Birkenhead pupils lead the way in national walking initiative

Pupils in Birkenhead are celebrating coming first on a national leader board of active schools.

Birkenhead Christ Church Primary School is one of ten schools on the national leaderboard for the WOW Walk of Fame for October 2022.

Pupils in Wirral are celebrating coming first on a national leader board of active schools. Birkenhead Christ Church Primary School is one of ten schools on the national leaderboard for the WOW Walk of Fame for October 2022.

Birkenhead Christ Church CofE takes part in WOW – the walk to school challenge from charity Living Streets. WOW sees pupils record how they get to school using the interactive WOW Travel Tracker with those who walk, wheel, cycle, scoot or ‘Park and Stride’ to school being awarded a monthly WOW badge.

The Walk of Fame helps boost pupils’ engagement in WOW and increase walking rates at schools. With a few challenges scattered across the school year, the Walk of Fame supports pupils’ health and wellbeing while reducing congestion and pollution around the gates.

This term, pupils at Birkenhead Christ Church Primary School took part in the autumn WOW Walk of Fame Challenge which asked them to walk to school as many times as possible between 3 and 31 October. Pupils who live too far away or are not able to walk the whole way to school were encouraged to Park and Stride by asking their parents or carers to park at least ten minutes away from the school and walk or wheel the rest of the way.

A generation ago, 70 per cent of primary school-aged children walked to school, now it’s 49 per cent. Living Streets is working to reverse the decline in walking rates. WOW schools typically see an increase in walking rates by 23 per cent with a 30 per cent reduction in cars driving to the school gates.

Nationally, 43 per cent of 5–10-year-olds are driven to school[1]. However, just 1 per cent of journeys recorded on the WOW Travel Tracker by pupils at Birkenhead Christ Church Primary School are car trips all the way to the school gates.

Nicola Tweddle, Headteacher at Birkenhead Christ Church Primary School said, “As a school, we are absolutely delighted to finish top of the WOW Walk of Fame leader board in England. Since joining Living Streets’ School Streets initiative in February 2021, every member of our school community has pledged their commitment to sustainable and safer travel to and from school and the WOW challenge has provided us with the perfect platform to do this.

“A huge congratulations to all involved, but particularly to our amazing children at Christ Church, who have led this initiative brilliantly and shown they are active and committed ambassadors of sustainable travel. We are so proud of this fantastic achievement!”

Stephen Edwards, Chief Executive, Living Streets said, “It’s fantastic to celebrate the achievements of Christ Church Primary School as part of the WOW Walk of Fame. Walking to school helps children to meet the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day needed to stay fit, healthy and happy and it can also reduce congestion, air pollution and road danger outside the school gates.

“It’s great that pupils at Christ Church Primary School are benefitting from walking to school. They are an inspiration and I’m sure that they’ll encourage other children and their families to follow in their footsteps.”

WOW pupils also celebrated International Walk to School Month during October, when families around the world are encouraged to leave the car at home and walk, wheel or cycle to school instead.

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