07 Jul

Credit: Welsh Government

A primary school in Cardiff has seen almost one third of its pupils (31%) change how they travel to school since launching its campaign in 2018.

Through a collaborative effort with Cardiff Council's active travel team, Howardian Primary School, in the Penylan area, has introduced cycle clubs, training sessions, and events to encourage active travel.

By engaging with parents and pupils, nine in ten pupils are now walking, cycling, or scooting to school on a regular basis.

Helen Thomas, Active Travel Lead, said:

"When the school first opened in 2015, we knew we wanted to become an active travel school. We worked in partnership with Cardiff Council to set out our active travel plan which included goals and initiatives to engage, inspire, and support our pupils and their families in travelling actively to school. At the beginning just over half (58%) of the children actively travelled to school, but now it's 90% of pupils."

One of the standout changes introduced by the school is the WOW Tracker program, supported by Living Streets and funded by Cardiff Council. This programme incentivises active travel by rewarding students for regularly walking, cycling, or wheeling to school.

According to the UK Government, in 2022, 40% of trips to and from school were made by car, by children aged 5 to 10 - Credit: Getty Images

Howardian Primary actively engages parents in their active travel initiatives, providing information through newsletters and social media platforms like X (Twitter). By sharing updates on events, competitions, and student achievements, the school ensures that parents are involved and supportive of their children's active travel endeavours.

Helen added:

"Parents have been really supportive of our initiatives as well. When pupils first start, we try to encourage them to travel actively one or two days a week and work up to everyday. The school has given lots of information to parents and guardians to help them with this."

Howardian Primary School's commitment to promoting active travel extends beyond its own campus. The school participates in active travel meetings with other schools and collaborates with the Cardiff Council's active travel team to share best practices and resources.

This collaborative approach has led to Howardian Primary being recognised as a leader in promoting sustainable transportation practices among schools in Wales.

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