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Primary pupils in Perthshire and Renfrewshire top national leader board

Pupils at Muthill Primary School (Perthshire) and Kirklandneuk Primary School (Renfrewshire) have been putting their best foot forward for a more sustainable journey to school and recently topped the national WOW Top Ten leader board during Walk to School Week 2023.

Both schools are taking part in WOW – the walk to school challenge from Living Streets Scotland – part of the UK charity for everyday walking.

WOW sees pupils record how they get to school using the interactive WOW Travel Tracker with those who walk, wheel, cycle, scoot, or ‘Park and Stride’ to school being awarded a monthly WOW badge. 

During Walk to School Week (15-19 May 2023), Muthill Primary School topped the leader board for schools with up to 250 pupils, with Kirkandneuk Primary School taking the top spot for schools with over 250 pupils.

Celebrations of their achievements were held at both schools (15 June), when pupils received a visit from Strider, the walk to school mascot.

Chris Thompson, Project Manager at Living Streets Scotland, said:

“Pupils and schools can achieve big changes by taking part in WOW and choosing active ways to get to school. We’re delighted to share in the success of these two schools and celebrate the benefits they are experiencing, including reduced traffic and congestion in their local communities.”

Both schools have recorded over 90 per cent of their pupils travelling to school by active or sustainable means – this includes Park and Stride, where parents park away from the school entrance and pupils walk the last part of the journey.

WOW and the WOW Top Ten are part of the Walk to School programme, funded by Transport Scotland.

Living Streets Scotland actively promotes the social, health and environmental benefits of active travel. There are currently over 200 schools running the WOW challenge in Scotland, with pupils recording more than 25,000 journeys to school daily.

Patrick Harvey MSP, Minister for Active Travel, said:

“It’s great to see how pupils, parents and carers have stepped up to the walking challenge at Muthill and Kirklandneuk. We look forward to more schools joining in with WOW and the Top Ten next term to make these healthy habits for life.”

Rachel Bell, Headteacher at Muthill Primary School, said:

“WOW is a fantastic way of encouraging pupils to be active in their journeys to school.  I love that there is the flexibility for all pupils to be included regardless of their mobility levels or where they live in relation to the school; if a partial car journey is necessary then pupils and parents or carers can ‘Park and Stride’ and our pupils who use school transport can complete a walk in the playground at lunchtime instead. They are so excited to earn their monthly badges to celebrate their success and have been delighted to meet Strider and the Living Streets team today.”

Ava, a P4 pupil at Muthill Primary School, said:

“I live about a mile from the school so I often ‘Park and Stride’ but I really love it when I can cycle to school with my dad because it’s much more fun than going in the car! I like earning the WOW badges too!”

Karen MacKechnie, Headteacher at Kirklandneuk Primary School, said:

“This award reflects the sustained effort and commitment to improving physical and mental health in our school community, as well as doing our bit for the environment. When pupils and families make the choice to walk, park and stride or walk and bus, they are making a positive impact on parking, congestion and air quality around the school as well as getting our daily step count off to a great start.”

Iain Usher, Teacher and Walk to School Co-ordinator at Kirklandneuk Primary School, said:

“Our Walk to School Leaders have worked hard to instil healthy travel habits across our school. They have taken responsibility each morning to ensure that the travel tracker is completed and up-to-date. I am delighted that our efforts have been recognised with the WOW Award.”

Noah, a P7 pupil at Kirlandneuk Primary School, said:

“Fitness and mental health is the key here at Kirklandneuk. When you walk to school, it gets your daily steps up and makes you feel better”

If your school would like to get involved with the WOW Walk to School challenge or you would like to find out more, please contact [email protected] 

About the author

Sarah Philpott

Communications Coordinator, Living Streets / [email protected]