Pupils get the WOW factor on school walks

Primary schools across Midlothian are taking part in an award-winning behaviour change scheme to help more pupils walk to school.

Friday, 13th March 2020, 7:26 am
Among the schools taking part in Midlothian is Danderhall Primary. Pictured from left to right are avid walkers, Harris (P7), Jack (P6), Carley (P4), Eve, P5), Macy (P4), and Marshall (P7).

For the rest of this academic year, Midlothian primary schools will be taking part in WOW – the year-round walk to school challenge from Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking.

When running WOW, schools see an average 23 per cent increase in pupils walking to school and a corresponding drop in car use; reducing congestion outside the school gates, increasing safety and helping in the fight against air pollution – all whilst children benefit from being more active.

With WOW, pupils log their daily journeys to school each day on the WOW Travel Tracker tool. Those who walk to school at least once a week for a month earn a badge, with 11 to collect across the year. Each year, the 11 WOW badges follow a new theme, all of which are designed by pupils in Living Streets’ annual badge design competition. This year’s theme is ‘inventions that changed the world’.

Joe Irvin, chief executive, Living Streets said: “Walking to school is an easy way for children to fit more activity into their day. More children walking to school means fewer cars around the school gates - making them safer and cleaner places.

“WOW has increased walk to school rates in over 2,000 schools across the UK. It’s simple to run and pupils love to take part. Just a few minutes of a teacher’s day is needed to make a big difference.

“We can’t wait to see what a difference it makes to the health and happiness of more pupils this year.”

Gillian Bathgate, Midlothian Council’s travel plan co-ordinator said: “We’re really excited about running WOW this year. Our pupils are looking forward to collecting the badges and experiencing the natural world around them in the morning before class. We hope it will ease traffic outside the school gates and teach pupils vital road safety skills.”

Among the schools taking part in Midlothian is Danderhall Primary. The group agreed walking to school was great for their health.

Eve said: “I walk to school with my friends and it takes me about 10/15 minutes. It helps get me ready to learn.”