Pupils lead effort to reduce use of cars

Pupils from St. Mary's School, Banbury, walk cycle and scoot to school. NNL-150519-131322009
Pupils from St. Mary's School, Banbury, walk cycle and scoot to school. NNL-150519-131322009

School traffic troubles are frequently in the spotlight but a group of Banbury pupils have been learning how it’s good to walk when you can.

The young students at St Mary’s School, Southam Road, Banbury have been celebrating their great record of healthy travel to school this week.

The initiative is part of the national campaign STARS – School Travel And Road Safety.

“Pupils in years five and six have been working hard to highlight the dangers of dropping off children on roads near the school and encouraging as many young people as possible to use their legs to cycle, scoot or walk to school,” said acting head teacher, Tracey Ostler.

In recent assemblies the STARS team, made up of pupils committed to promoting healthy and safe travel, have reminded younger pupils about the benefits for everyone of travelling to school by foot or on scooters or bicycles.

Ms Ostler, said: “ I am really proud of the work the STARS team has done to remind everyone to be healthy and safe and I have enjoyed rewarding all the pupils who made a special effort to walk to school all this week.”

Safreen Razaq, one of the STARS team, helped distribute stickers to friends as they entered the school gates each day and said: “ It is really important to encourage children to walk to school because it helps to make people healthy.”

Another year six pupil, Abigail Charlton, added: “I find walking a very relaxing thing to do and it helps weight loss too.”

A recent survey by year five members of the team found well over half the pupils regularly walk, scoot or cycle to school and many of these are never driven to school by car.

Daniella Odu-Jemade said: “It’s good when you walk with your friends because you can chat and get fresh air.”