PEDAL power is inspiring pupils at a primary school — with the number arriving by car two-thirds lower than the national average.
Waverley Junior Academy opened this year despite delays in building and the chaos of the pandemic.
And the wide, shared-use paths on the growing estate have encouraged 84 per cent of pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to school.
It means the number arriving for lessons by car is about two-thirds lower than the England average of 46 per cent.
A Bronze Modeshift Stars award has been attained already and Jaimie Milner, the school’s active travel champion, is targeting gold.
She said: “It was important to hit the ground running to make sure that we encouraged positive travel habits as soon as the school opened its doors.
“I am driven by the outcomes of our work and want to see Waverley Junior Academy recognised as one of the best Stars schools in the region.”
Principal Cathryn Keeton added: “I enjoy walking and cycling with my own family so I understand the value that active travel can bring to the health and wellbeing of all young people.
“I am extremely proud that we can offer a broad range of extra-curricular activities that support active travel, whilst teaching children the importance of keeping safe on their journey to school.”
Twenty-seven pupils have completed Level 2 Bikeability on-road training this term and another 55 have benefited from cycle or scooter training in the playground.
A Dr Bike day where pupils and staff had their cycles serviced was so popular that a second event was arranged.
Dom Qaiser-Sweeting, Stars South Yorkshire active travel officer for Rotherham, said: “It is amazing to see staff, pupils and parents already doing so much to support active travel.
“Wide, shared-use paths integrated into the new Waverley estate also make it easier and safer for families to scoot and cycle to school.
“I am confident that the school will encourage even more families to choose healthier and greener ways to travel and are likely to earn their Silver award before the end of the academic year.”