Award recognises excellence in sustainable travel to school

Tweedmouth Community Middle School has been named the best secondary school in Northumberland, as well as the best in the North East, Yorkshire and Humber region, for the work it has done to encourage pupils to travel sustainably.

Presented at the recent Modeshift STARS Regional Awards the accolade recognised a number of initiatives at the school.

Headteacher Ben Hulbert said:  “Tweedmouth Community Middle School is absolutely thrilled to have been awarded the Secondary School STAR Award for both Northumberland and the North East, Yorkshire and Humber Region.

“As a school, we have been working hard to improve the percentage of students, staff and parents who travel to school sustainably.

“Our Green Ambassadors have played a vital role in promoting various initiatives, such as The Big Pedal, Bikers Breakfast and Walk to School Week.

“Following our work with Modeshift, the school has created a School Travel Policy, encouraged safe travel and promoted the Be A Smarter Parker initiative.

“Furthermore, three members of staff have also gained their Level 1 British Cycling Ride Leader Award which allows us to take students on bike rides - this is alongside the Bike Ability award already available in school to all Year 5 and Year 6 students.

“The initiatives are helping to improve our environment and overall health - and have allowed us to achieve our Bronze Award. We are now continuing - and extending - initiatives to achieve our Silver Award.

“Having won the Regional Awards, we are now looking forward to attending the Nationals.”

Schools are nominated by their local authorities for demonstrating best practice in the promotion of sustainable school travel, with all nominated schools invited to attend the regional awards where the schools of aach local authority area and the schools of the region are announced.

Cllr Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for the environment and local services at Northumberland County Council said: “Tweedmouth is a shining example of a school which has made a real difference to its students and parents travel and transport habits - which is good for road safety, for the environment and for pupils’ health.

“It is fantastic to see one of our schools going forward to represent the whole region at the national finals and I am pleased to offer huge congratulations to everyone involved.”

Cllr Georgina Hill, the local County Councillor said; “I echo Glen’s comments.  These sustainable transport schemes have a range of benefits and I am really pleased that Ben and all those at Tweedmouth Middle School have been recognised in this way.”

Allendale, in the west of the county, won the award for the best primary school in Northumberland.

Modeshift STARS, which is supported by the Department for Transport, is the national school travel awards scheme that has been established to recognise schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting walking, cycling and other forms of sustainable travel for the journey to and from school. Sixty-nine local authorities across the country participate in the scheme representing around 15,000 schools.

Nick Butler, Modeshift STARS Awards Manager said “Every year it is great to have the opportunity to recognise schools for their hard work and commitment to the promotion of walking, cycling and other forms of sustainable school travel. Over 3000 schools nationally have signed up to Modeshift STARS so each of our STARS Schools of the Region have proven to be at the forefront of our collective effort to encourage more young people and their families to adopt healthy and sustainable forms of travel. Together, they are helping us to make a real difference on how people are undertaking the journey to school.’

Modeshift STARS is supported by the Department for Transport and is free for schools to use. It is an online platform that can create a school travel plan, log sustainable travel activities and schools can work towards Modeshift STARS National Accreditation. For more information visit www.modeshiftstars.org
 
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