Walk To School Week – Leaf The Car At Home

Thank you for showing interest in this year’s ‘leaf’ your car at home initiative in support of Walk to School Week 2019.

Improving the air we breathe in Leeds is a huge priority and one we can all play a role in. We can’t always see it, but air pollution is all around us and can have a serious effect on our health and our environment.

Leeds has been identified alongside other UK cities as one which needs to reduce pollution levels as quickly as possible. By working together to improve the quality of the air we breathe, we can protect the health of the people of Leeds.

That’s why this year’s Walk to School Week theme ‘leaf’ your car at home continues to embrace the Clean Air initiatives running throughout Leeds, and will see participating schools aiming to turn their trees green by encouraging pupils to walk, scoot or cycle to school.

Within Leeds, 2018 saw a year on year decline in the number of children walking to school by 3.42%, and an increase of 2.1% in the number of children being driven to school by car. In 2019, we are trying to increase the number of pupils walking to school by asking all schools to take part in national initiatives such as Walk to School Week.

This Pack contains information and resources you will need to help you run your Walk to School Week event. From planning, to resources, to publicising the event. Email us at Travelwise@leeds.gov.uk for your schools pack.

To incentivise pupils to walk to school we will be offering £40 of high street vouchers to help you reward those who are taking part in this event.

We look forward to hearing from you about how your school’s Walk to School Week went. 

Please send pictures of your tree to Travelwise@leeds.gov.uk by the 7th June 2019. The wining school will be announced by the 14th June 2019.

The best tree will be offered a fun day of activities delivered by Leeds City Council Road safety team.

The initiative

Instructions for participation

  1. Firstly decide whether you want to take part as a whole school; year group; class or as individuals.
  2. Decide what type of reward you will provide (i.e. additional play times, certificates, raffle ticket for every green leaf earned or prizes) and whether this is awarded to individual pupils or a class with the greenest tree and/or the best sustainable travel results.
  3. Promote the initiative widely at your school (i.e. using the posters, letters to parents, in assemblies, in class; Twitter; newsletters etc).
  4. Explain that the initiative will run from Monday 20th May until Friday 24th May. Let parents and children know what the reward will be. Use the tree as an incentive to encourage walking as an environmentally friendly option.
  5. Inform parents about Walk to School Week and how they can help support their child by leaving their car at home during Monday 20th to Friday 24th May 2019.
  6. Each class should designate a pupil (or a member of the school staff) who will be responsible for overseeing the leaf colour or issuing leaves depending on what method of recording you choose.
  7. Pupils can colour in or receive one leaf per active journey to and from school using one of the following ways (the colour will be dependent on the mode of travel):
    + Walking – Green
    + Cycling – Green
    + Scooting – Green
    + By Bus – Orange
    + Car Share – Orange
    + Park and Stride (parking in a location designated by school that is approximately 500m away then walking the rest of the journey) – Orange
    + Car / Driven all the way – Brown
  8. At the end of the week the trees / pictures are examined and prizes will be awarded at the end of the school week.

Going forward

The Green tree walking / sustainable travel promotion ‘leaf’ your car at home has a longevity that can be used termly as part of a longer term walking promotion to reduce car use within your school.

Here are some more ideas to promote Walking to School

Park and Stride

A park and stride scheme is ideal for families living too far away from school to be able to walk. It means that children can at least walk part of the way to school and is great for parents who then have to drive on to work.

It involves parents parking at a set location (perhaps a local supermarket, leisure centre or pub) away from the school and children walking the rest of the way, either by themselves, with other children or with their parent or carer. If you think a Park and Stride scheme would work at your school, then we may be able to support you in setting it up.

Walking Bus

Walking buses operate in many schools around Leeds. A ‘Walking Bus’ is a group of children walking to or from school under the supervision of at least two trained adults, one leading the group (‘driver’) and one at the rear (‘conductor’). Walking buses are usually run by parent volunteers. They follow a set route and timetable, with pick up points – ‘bus stops’ at the start and along the way. Our Walking Bus pack (PDF 321KB) provides you with more information.

Sign up for Modeshift STARS

Modeshift STARS is an accreditation scheme that supports the development and implementation of School Travel Plans and recognises schools that have shown excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.  The scheme is completely free of charge for schools https://www.modeshiftstars.org/.

Go Green

Go Green rewards pupils for travelling to school sustainably. Pupils that either walk, scoot, cycle, car share, park and stride or catch the bus can have their Go Green card stamped.  When the card is full pupils can receive a rewards, such as extra play time. Download the electronic pack from the Road safety and sustainable travel for schools web page.

Alternative Ideas for Walk to School Week 2019

We want to make sure all schools have the opportunity to take part in this year’s Walk to School Week. We have therefore added some additional ideas which you may find are more suited to your schools schedule and resources.

  1. Sing to school
  2. Walk to school backwards (it’s the clothes that are put on back to front)
  3. Odd socks/shoes
  4. Bright Coloured socks
  5. Themed walks (romans/book characters etc)

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