Efforts by pupils and parents have helped two schools to gain recognition for their achievements in encouraging cycling or walking on the school run rather than travel by car.

They have gained successes in the national Modeshift STARS awards scheme, which recognises schools’ excellence in promoting, supporting and increasing sustainable forms of active travel, so improving the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

Every school in the county can register and plan sustainable travel initiatives to achieve a Modeshift STARS award. Interested schools should contact our sustainable travel team at opennorthyorkshire@northyorks.gov.uk

Malton Primary Academy has achieved its platinum Modeshift STARS award, the scheme’s highest honour, while St Augustine’s Catholic School, Scarborough, has won the Modeshift STARS Secondary School of the Year Award for the Yorkshire and Humber region for its commitment to obtaining the Modeshift STARS Gold Award.

To secure the Platinum Award, Malton Primary Academy undertook a variety of activities, among them a road safety week that included truck awareness training provided by DHL and local haulage company Dennis Distribution, who also supplied hi-vis jackets that are used on school trips.

Other actions included surveys of how pupils and staff get to school, a parking pledge asking parents to be mindful of where they park, a request to a local shop to change its delivery times, which was quickly agreed, “walking home alone” arrangements for some pupils and a balance bike training day for reception and year 1 pupils.

Mandy Carpenter, from the school, said: “When I found we had achieved Platinum I was eager to share the news. I was emotional as it has been such a rollercoaster over these three years!

“Malton Primary Academy is so proud of everyone involved, including staff, pupils, parents, guardians and the wider community. We will continue to work to retain this accolade, keeping active travel an ongoing area for development.”

To achieve their Gold award, St Augustine’s worked closely with their students, staff, parents, governors, local councillors and our sustainable travel team, which nominated the school for the Modeshift STARS Secondary School of the Year Award.

The school regularly encourages pupils and staff to walk, cycle and use dedicated school transport. Initiatives include active travel breakfasts, cycle maintenance workshops, youth travel ambassadors, increasing cycle storage shelters, attending the Schools Yorkshire Tour and conducting travel surveys to monitor the Modeshift trends.

Lisa Scott, from St Augustine’s, said: “We are delighted to have won a Modeshift STARS School of the Year Award. The school remains committed to promoting sustainable travel and encouraging our children to lead a healthier and more active life while reducing congestion and improving air quality outside school.”

Help for businesses, too

The Sustainable Travel team can also help any business that would like to work towards Modeshift STARS Business accreditation. The team can support businesses in creating a travel plan to promote and encourage active travel to work. Any business owners who would like to know more should email opennorthyorkshire@northyorks.gov.uk