Walk to school for health and happiness

Scavenger hunts have been produced to encourage children to explore their environments on the way.

Walk to School Week runs from Monday, 15 May until Friday, 19 May. Families are encouraged to walk to and from school every day in the week. On Tuesday, primary school children will be encouraged to come to school dressed in wacky shoes for Happy Shoesday. Children can come in odd shoes, decorated shoes or even in their slippers.

National charity, Living Streets, organises the event. They are dedicated to encouraging more people to walk by promoting the benefits of walking and improving streets for pedestrians. They organise a range of projects including the year-long Walk to School Once a Week campaign (WOW for short) and local campaigns for lower speed limits and safe walking routes.

Walking to school is good for children’s health and happiness and reduces congestion and pollution. Research shows that children who walk to school every day use twice as many calories as those that travel by car. Travelling on foot also helps to develop a sense of road safety and children arrive at school more settled and ready to learn.

Pat Hayes, executive director for regeneration and housing, said: “Leaving the car at home and walking to school is a simple change that the majority of people can make that will have instant health and environmental benefits. Children who walk to school arrive less flustered, because they haven’t been stuck in traffic queues or had to endure the hunt for a parking space. They also have the chance to develop road sense and feel more connected to their local community and environment.

“We all want to have quieter and less polluted streets, but this won’t happen unless everyone does their bit. Walk to School Week is an ideal time to make walking a part of your daily routine.”

Ealing Council’s school travel team will be tweeting in support of the initiative throughout the week from their @ealingSTARS account.

Copies of the scavenger hunts are available to download from the EGFL website.

More information about safe and healthy travel to school can be found at TFL's STARS website 

More information on Walk to School Week can be found at Living Streets