School pupils recognised for green travel initiatives

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TWO Thurrock schools have won top honours at a national awards ceremony, thanks to their collaborative work with Thurrock Council to promote sustainable travel.

On Wednesday, 13 November, St Cleres School in Stanford-le-Hope was presented with Regional Secondary School of the Year for Sustainable Travel and Best Thurrock Secondary for Sustainable Travel at the Modeshift STARS National School Travel Awards East of England regional awards ceremony. Warren Primary School, Grays, picked up Best Thurrock Primary for Sustainable Travel, and Benyon Primary School in South Ockendon was also shortlisted in the primary category.

The council’s Road Safety Team, which includes road safety trainers, cycle instructors and school crossing patrols, works with all primary schools and a number of secondary schools in the borough throughout the school year to promote sustainable travel and safety. Initiatives include being safe on the school walk for parents and reception aged pupils; road safety theatre in education for school years nine, 10 and 11; interactive classroom based training for years eight and nine; assistance with school travel plans; and free cycle and scooter training to all local schools.

Nominations for the three schools focused on the above schemes, as well as partnership work with Thurrock Council to set up Junior Road Safety Officers and promote The Journey of Life Bear (Jofli) whose sustainable journeys are recorded in a journal. St Cleres has also supported independent travel for deaf and visually impaired pupils, implemented anti-bullying measures on school and public transport and supported sustainability lessons in its curriculum.

Modeshift STARS is the national schools award scheme which recognises schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.

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