A SCHOOL which has seen a surge in parents leaving the car at home has been hailed as a “shining example” for active travel.
Brookfield Junior Academy in Swinton has been recognised as the National Modeshift STARS Primary School of the Year, thanks to their commitment to sustainable and active travel since 2017.
The number of pupils travelling to and from school by car dropped from 35 per cent to around ten per cent in two years.
The partnership between the school and the STARS team encourages cycling, walking and scooting, backed up with bike safety checks, dedicated walk-to-school events, transport-themed activities, group bike rides and scooter skills sessions.
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Pupils have embraced parking campaigns and national initiatives like the 10 Day Active Travel challenge.
The school has improved road safety outside the school gates, improved the health and wellbeing of pupils and reduced traffic, air pollution and greenhouse gases as more pupils choose to walk, scoot or cycle to school.
Eunice Newton, the chief executive of Aston Community Education Trust, which runs the school, said: “The ACET family are delighted with the announcement that Brookfield Junior Academy have won the National Modeshift STARS Primary School of the Year Award.
“It is a fantastic achievement which recognises the commitment and determination of pupils, staff, parents and carers to work together to accomplish a positive outcome for the Swinton community.
“Our thanks must go to Andrea Liversidge, the former principal of Brookfield, who invested time and energy in prioritising this initiative with her staff in order to promote active and sustainable travel for all pupils.
Andrea Smith, who led as the STARS active travel champion at the school also deserves a special mention.
This award epitomises what can be achieved when a community comes together. Thank you to everyone involved in Brookfield’s success.”
Modeshift STARS active travel officer for Rotherham, Dom Qaiser-Sweeting, said: “We are extremely proud to see Brookfield Junior Academy become national award winners.
“On average around 46 per cent of primary school pupils are being driven to school every day across England.
“To see car journeys to school fall from 35 per cent to just ten per cent within a couple of years explains why they deserve the award.
“The school is a shining example of how the whole community, both inside and outside school, can work collaboratively together to change the way we travel for the health and wellbeing of young people and the local area.
“The ACET trust have engaged extremely well in STARS and we are likely to see even more of their schools achieve Silver and Gold accreditation in the new year.”