“Bellfield want to safely increase their active and sustainable travel modes within the school, whilst also promoting a healthier lifestyle for pupils.”
Increasing active and sustainable travel can be incredibly difficult for any school to implement, however, Bellfield Primary School are the first school to take a great step in the right direction by signing up to the Modeshift STARS programme in Hull. Made up of 217 school pupils and 18 nursery children, the school are determined to make a difference both at the school and in their local community with the way that people travel in the area.
They are known for providing great foundations for sport and physical activity, along with priding themselves in ensuring that all children have opportunities to get involved in projects the school are running. The facilities consist of a small playground area for children to take part in our activities such as cycling and scooting, with the quiet surrounding areas of the school also supporting a safe place to improve their skills.
At Bellfield Primary School the pupils already enjoy some of the programmes provided through First Step Cycle such as Bikeability and Balance Bike Training for years 1 & 2, which always brings a huge smile to the faces of the pupils. The thought of a new challenge and initiative excited the staff, and they did not hesitate at the chance of being the school that would pilot the scheme to set the example for other schools in the area.
The challenge here would be to increase active and sustainable travel for their pupils in the way they travel to the school. They already experience heavy traffic at their drop off and pick up points before and after school, and therefore the scheme would also help decrease congestion. Overall, giving the children the chance to develop these skills would help both the local environment and keep the children healthy and happy. A double win!
The main priority of the Modeshift scheme for Bellfield was to increase modes of active travel amongst their pupils so that they could provide a long-term solution for health and the local environment. The school also wanted to increase these skills for their children so that they would be safe when using these modes of transport not only to get to school, but also when playing outside in the local area as well.
Hull City Council representative Alan Robins claimed that school partnerships with Modeshift would ‘provide a sustainable plan for the future, through increasing active travel and promoting healthy lifestyles to children.’ Encouraging methods of transport such as cycling, scooting, and walking instead of using cars reduces congestion on the roads of Hull, and makes our roads safer.
Overall, the school have been thrilled with their progress since signing up to Modeshift STARS Hull and have already nearly completed their green award. Each day the children enjoy the fun of learning to ride safely through the Bikeability and Go Scoot lessons. Additionally, it brings pleasure to the teachers seeing the pupils of the school having the opportunity to try something different.
Moving forward Bellfield have many initiatives planned to expand on what they have achieved, these include ‘Car Free Day’, ‘Bling your Bike Day’ and ‘Bikers Breakfast’. The final goal being that the school will eventually be providing all children with the ability to actively travel to the school safely, allowing them to also gain health benefits from the lifestyle. In turn, this will give Bellfield Primary School a sustainable plan for the future, and they hope that many schools follow suit after saying they would fully recommend the programme to any schools considering!