Hackney pupils are greener travel 'STARS'
Five Hackney schools are officially some of the best in London for helping promote greener and safer travel at the same time as nearly a third of all the borough’s schools have been recognised in a different, European, project that encourages active travel on the school-run.
Transport for London’s STARS (Sustainable Travel: Active, Responsible, Safe) encourages children, parents and teachers to adopt better ways of travelling to school through reducing car use, increasing walking and cycling, and encouraging more responsible behaviour on public transport.
The achievements of the highest-performing schools were celebrated last week at the annual awards day at City Hall, where winners included: Tawhid Boys School, in Stoke Newington; Gayhurst Community School, in London Fields; Jubilee Primary School in Stoke Newington; St Scholastica’s Primary School, in Clapton; and Sir Thomas Abney Primary School, in Stamford Hill.
Usman Mapara, Headteacher of the Tawhid Boys School, which picked up the Best Secondary School of East London Award, said: “The award demonstrates our commitment to promoting sustainable travel and developing youngsters in becoming responsible, healthy citizens."
Gayhurst Community School won the Excellence for Cycling Award. Louise Nichols, Executive Headteacher, said: “We are all delighted about our award and proud of the cycling staff who have led this initiative so effectively for Gayhurst children. The success of our campaign for cleaner air and sustainable transport helps children to learn about and take care of their environment for the future.”
Jubilee won the Excellence for Walking Award; St Scholastica’s took home the Pupil-led Excellence Award; and Sir Thomas Abney Primary School was awarded the Excellence for Road Safety prize.
Separately, STARS Europe (Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools) saw 26 primaries and four secondaries in Hackney – nearly a third of all Hackney schools – gain bronze, silver and gold accreditation, thanks to initiatives which aim to increase the number of pupils walking and cycling to and from school where before they travelled by car.
STARS Europe, active in Hackney for the past two years, is a joint project with eight other European cities and aims for a five per cent shift from car-use to walking or cycling
A celebration event, also held last week, included a share fair, where local schools could present and swap best practices, experiences and materials. It also featured a workshop where schools could fill in their School Travel Plan with the help of experts.
Hundreds of Biker’s Breakfasts, laid on for children and teachers who cycle to school, and the Council’s Bike Around the Borough annual mass bike ride, were some of the initiatives which led to the borough’s success.
I would like to congratulate all the schools who won awards and achieved accreditation for helping make Hackney a cleaner, greener and safer borough in which to travel, as well as our staff for the training and guidance they provided.
We want to see as many pupils as possible travel by public transport, or by foot and bike, as this helps reduce congestion on the school run and is a healthier, cheaper, and often quicker, way to travel.
Hackney is London’s foremost cycling borough, with more commuters choosing to cycle to work than any other borough in the capital.