Our Commercial Manager, Kevin Croasdale tells us why schools looking to improve their pupils' health for the next academic year should be looking to the PE and Sport Premium to springboard activity.
Why walk to school?
Children who walk to school arrive fit, refreshed and ready to learn. One in three children are leaving primary school overweight or obese because they're not getting the exercise they need. It's recommended that children get up to 60 minutes of exercise per day; if they've walked to school they'll already be on their way to achieving that. What's more walking to school is fun: seeing friends, exploring the streets you live on and spending quality time with your parents and guardians.
WOW - the year-round walk to school challenge
Pupils log their daily journeys to school each day on the WOW Travel Tracker. Those that walk to school at least once a week for a month earn a WOW badge, with 11 to collect across the year. It’s as easy as that. Once a week is pretty manageable and most children love walking to school, so much so that they're walking almost every day, come rain or shine. Our WOW badges are made from recycled yoghurt-pot material and designed by children in an annual competition. Each year has a new theme and along with the badges schools get curriculum-led resources to further integrate the theme into pupils' learning.
WOW works - we see the number of children walking increase by 23% in just five months of running WOW.
How much does it cost?
WOW costs just under £1.50 per pupil per year to run. That includes 11 badges, learning resources and Travel Tracker.
This signifies a fraction of the total PE and Sport Premium funding available for each school per year, making it a sound investment.
Why use your PE and Sport Premium to fund WOW?
We’re trying to get every child that can, to walk to school. This is no small task and the funding we receive only allows us to impact on hundreds of schools’ pupils. We want WOW to have an impact on thousands.
To do this we need schools to invest in our WOW challenge, so that more children experience the benefits walking brings. We know that budgets are stretched but with the doubling of the PE and Sport Premium in September 2017, headteachers and their staff can decide to invest in active travel initiatives like WOW. Walking is free, inclusive, accessible to all and gives pupils a life-long, healthy habit. In our eyes, investing in WOW is a no-brainer.
Who’s already taking part?
We have over 2,000 schools taking part in WOW this year. St Michael’s Primary School in Stoke Gifford has been taking part since January.
Debbie Abbott, Deputy Head of the school says: “As a school, we chose to become involved in WOW for two main reasons. Firstly, we are currently focusing on improving the health of our children and getting regular exercise by walking to school helps them to become more active. Secondly, as a large primary school, it can become quite congested around the school gates at the start and end of the school day. More children walking, cycling or scooting to school means fewer cars and makes the environment safer for our pupils."
Join the thousands of schools already taking part in WOW today. Visit livingstreets.org.uk/sportspremium for more information or call one of the schools team on 0207 456 9793.
Walking Cities: Edinburgh
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