Our school has a car parking problem as in way too many parents choose to drive rather than walk. I will be the first to put my hands up and admit to driving when I could walk. Especially when I live less than 15 minute walk away! But sometimes it is just easier to bung the kids in the car and drive. Our school (which I won`t name due to privacy) though increases their pupil numbers each year but no reservations has been made for parking. They have admitted that over 50% of their pupils live out of catchment. Parking is the bane of many parents and it won’t be too long before a child will get hit. The school are trying to address the issue and one way is The Big Pedal.
For the past couple of years our school has taken part in The Big Pedal! It is a 2 week event with the aim to promote alternative sustainable travel. It is ran by Sustrans and sponsored this year by Micro Scooters. Over 1,600 schools took part this year which is an incredible amount! For each student, sibling and grown up who chooses to use a bike or scooter a point is awarded. Within our school the class with the most points gets to keep Bradley Bear for the day! Bradley Bear is a small teddy dressed in a little high visibility jacket wearing 2 little badges on its chest. One says I heart scooters and the other I heart bikes.
Every day if over 15% of the school pupils cycled or used their scooter they were entered into a prize draw. There were 10 prizes ranging from stunt shows, equipment and storage!
The Big Pedal 2017
Every morning the boys asked if they could either scoot or cycle to school. The first morning we decided to use the scooters which was met by Jack getting upset. Not just because he wanted to cycle but also because I said he had to wear his helmet. He didn’t understand how come he had to wear one when others didn’t it was tough persuading him but in the end I won! He wore his helmet and despite seeing loads of children not wearing one he was reassured by those who did. Arthur struggled to keep up with them as they were speeding ahead and because he can’t ride a bike he was left on his scooter. One thing I loved when I got to the school was seeing the array of bikes/scooters in the racks and how happy the kids were!
Most mornings where like the one above! I was left behind holding the bags walking whilst they all sped ahead!
Thank you from Joanna Rowsell Shand MBE
Over 500,000 pupils across England and wales took part in the 2017 Big Pedal. Everyone should feel proud of themselves!!