Birchfields is a larger than average primary school in Manchester with 724 pupils on roll, with over 90% of pupils being from an Asian background. Due to the cultural area and background the school found a lack of physical activity not only with the pupils but within the families too.
The school were also facing a safety challenge due to the lack of parking and high number of vehicles in the local area.
The school looked to find a solution in partnership with the local community Year 6 Pupils, helping to give them ownership of the proposed solution.
Two Birds, One Stone!
The Year 6 pupils decided that a walking approach would help both situations. This way they would be able to increase physical activity by walking and reduce congestion at the school. After researching they selected the Living Street Programme.
The Living Streets Programme is an initiative promoted by Manchester City Council encouraging park and stride to relieve parking challenges and encourage physical activity for all the family.
The school chose to invest some of their funding to support this programme to increase physical activity and community engagement.
The impact of the school implementing this initiative increased physical activity not only amongst Birchfield pupils but their families too!
Prior to the start of the programme 243 pupils travelled to school by car. In April this number had reduced to 51, which was an improvement of 476%! The park and stride numbers increased from 65 to 122 – an increase of 102%!
Parking in the areas outside the school has massively improved and with it a reduction in safety issues. Families have reported an improvement in behaviour due to walking and developing social skills.
“Walking helps me to feel more prepared for the school and have more energy” Tremaine
“It has been wonderful how the staff at Birchfields have taken the travel scheme on board and encouraged children to make healthy choices. All the classes enjoy the competition of trying to be at the top of the table.” Miss Wall (Travel Tracker Administrator)
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