Sheffield pupils were joined by special guests this week (21 June) to celebrate the strides they are taking to make their streets greener by getting active on the journey to school.

Pupils at St Mary’s CE Academy School in Walkley were joined by Cllr Tom Hunt and Cllr Ben Curran for a celebration walk to school event.

The school takes part in WOW – the walk to school challenge from Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking. Pupils who walk, wheel, cycle or scoot at least once a week for a month are awarded collectable WOW badges. WOW schools typically see walking rates increase by 23 per cent with a 30 per cent reduction in cars around the school gates. St Mary’s CE Academy is currently ranked fourth on the WOW Travel Tracker leaderboard of most active schools in Sheffield.

Cllr Ben Curran (left) and Cllr Tom Hunt (right) join pupils and staff from St Mary’s CE Academy and Living Streets’ mascot, Strider

Cllr Ben Curran (left) and Cllr Tom Hunt (right) join pupils and staff from St Mary’s CE Academy and Living Streets’ mascot, Strider.

Living Streets’ mascot, Strider, joined pupils and families on the walk through Ruskin Park to the school, where the councillors heard first-hand about the benefits the pupils are experiencing from walking to school.  

Cllr Tom Hunt said:

"It was brilliant to join children, families and staff on their walk to school. Walking to school is a great way to stay active and the challenge helps to make it fun. Well done to everyone at St Mary’s for taking part! I hope more schools follow in their footsteps and sign up for next year.”

Sylvie Roux, Special Educational Needs Coordinator, St Mary’s CE Academy School said:

"Since we started the Living Streets Walk to School challenge in March, we have seen a steady increase in active travel.  Families have been very supportive and there is now far less congestion and dangerous parking at the gates.  Children love taking part and arrive at school refreshed and ready to learn."

Jim Shaw, Project Coordinator, Living Streets said:

“St Mary’s CE Academy are seeing incredible results since they started WOW, with walking and active travel rates on the rise. The children really look forward to earning their WOW badges and it was fantastic to see them being worn with pride on this celebration walk.”

Pupils at St Mary's with Strider, Living Streets' mascot