The summer holidays always seem to last forever when you’re a kid, but this autumn it’s back to school for pupils and teachers.
With the government encouraging us all to be more active, there’s no better time to jump on your bike or stretch your legs by walking to school.
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has committed to investing thousands of pounds in cycle lanes and cycling lessons for children and adults. That means in the last few weeks of summer holidays, while the weather is good, you can boost your confidence on two wheels with the whole family!
Cycling and walking are not only good for keeping you fit and healthy which will help your body fight off nasty infections and viruses, it also benefits the environment too. By walking or cycling to school we can reduce the number of cars on the road, improve the air we breathe and reduce polluting emissions that lead to climate change. Did you know that two thirds of all car journeys are less than 5 miles – that’s only 25 mins on your bike!*
So, as you start to get ready to go back to school, think about the active ways you could get there. It’s easy to jump in the car to get to school but think about all the benefits to your health and the environment that you could get if you chose another way.
Top tips for active back to school journeys:
Know before you go: Get to know the highway code so you and your friends stay safe when out and about
Adding extra steps: if you normally get the bus to school, why not get off a couple of stops early and walk or jog the rest of the way? You’ll arrive feeling fresh and ready to learn!
Weather warriors: worried about the rain? Why not start a brolly borrowing scheme with your classmates where everyone brings in an umbrella to keep in the class for a rainy day? Then when it rains in time for the walk home, everyone has access to an umbrella to shield from the wet.
Plan your route: Get the map out and plan the safest and easiest route to school from your house. Perhaps you could pass your friend’s house to pick them up on the way, or ride through a park to avoid a busy road.
Spot wildlife: As you’re walking through local parks on the way to school, make a note of all the insects, birds and animals you spot taking pictures where possible. How many different species did you spot in one week? Countryside Classroom has wildlife spotting worksheets to help you track what you see.
Green travel plans: not everyone lives close enough to school to walk or cycle. If that’s you, could you work with your local school bus provider to create a green travel plan which is bursting with ideas to make travel to school greener and safer for everyone? Ideas could include bus safety days, tips for how to make yourself visible to drivers when cycling or walking and perhaps sharing a lift to school with classmates on really bad weather days!
Count your steps: keep a track of how many steps you take on your way to school, start a mini competition with your class mates to see who takes the most steps in a week!
Remember to stay safe however you choose to get to school.