A bright idea for walking to school

Pupils at Park Junior School with their hi-vis wristbands, donated by local housebuilder Barratt Homes Northampton.
Pupils at Park Junior School with their hi-vis wristbands, donated by local housebuilder Barratt Homes Northampton.
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Pupils from Park Junior School in Wellingborough will be joining forces with thousands of children from across the UK to celebrate International Walk to School Month.

Teaming up with local housebuilder Barratt Homes, the school is encouraging its pupils to reap the benefits of walking to school throughout October.

Despite the average distance to a pupil’s primary school being one mile, about 50 per cent of children do not walk to school regularly, with 41 per cent driven to school in cars.

Deputy head teacher at Park Junior School Jenny May said: “We believe walking to school is important and try to encourage as many of our pupils as possible to walk to school in a safe and sensible fashion.

“It is great to see a developer support such a valuable initiative and we really appreciate the donation from Barratt Homes.

“Initiatives like this help to get the children excited about walking to school.

“By increasing physical activity every day, not only is it benefitting the pupils health, the pupils have the opportunity to burn off some energy before the school day begins and we can also reduce congestion outside the school gates.”

Managing director for Barratt Northampton Andrew Swindell said: “Barratt is supporting the campaign for the fourth year running.

“A large number of our developments are located within close proximity to schools, and as families move in, it makes perfect sense for Barratt Homes to support International Walk to School Month.

“By offering pupils at Park Junior School a helping hand and donating hi-visibility wristbands to each pupil, the pupils will be encouraged to walk to school and can stay safe as winter approaches and the dark nights draw in.”

It is recommended that children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day and therefore walking to school is the ideal time for children to be active.

Studies have revealed that walking to school reduces stress in children, and simply walking one mile a day was found to curb increases in blood pressure and heart rate in later life.

Studies have also revealed that 90 per cent of parents who walk to school with their children believe it’s a great way to spend quality time with them and over a third stated that the journey to and from school is when they find out the most about their child’s day.