Children from six local primary schools are being encouraged to get some fresh air and exercise by walking to school this week, as part of a national initiative.
Walk to School Week is promoted by Living Streets UK, aiming to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality around schools, promote healthy and active children and help reduce stress at the school gates.
"A lot of the children are starting to learn more about the environment and how we take care of it," said Year One teacher at Forest Primary School, Hannah Mills. "This was a nice was of tying in looking after our environment and less pollution."
Participating schools have been provided with special resource packs, including classroom wall charts to plot the children's walking activity and diaries for students aged 4-11 to record their walks. All those who take part will also be given a small reward at the end of the campaign.
Pictured: Year One teacher at Forest Primary Hannah Mills.
"We're aware that some children may not be able to walk to school if they live a little bit further away so we encourage [parents] to maybe drive the car and park it a little bit further away from school and then walk the last bit," continued Ms Mills. "Some children have to get the school bus so we say if they've walked to the bus stop then we will include that. It's not always possible for all children to walk all the time and we want it to be something that most children can access.
"We want to encourage children to be healthy not only physically but mentally, there's a lot of research to say that exercise helps with positive endorphins and gives you that mental positivity. Particularly in the morning it wakes them up and they come into the classroom ready to learn instead of still being half asleep!"
With very few cars to be seen in the Forest Primary car park this morning, the initiative seems to be going well so far.
In total, 40 local Key Stage One and 55 Key Stage Two classes from Forest Primary, Hautes Capelles, La Houguette, La Mare de Carteret Primary, St Martin's and Vauvert have registered to take part.
President of the Committee for the Environment and Infrastructure, Deputy Barry Brehaut, added: "One of the aims of Walk to School Week is to encourage parents and children to walk more often throughout the school year. It has been proven that children who do some form of exercise, especially before school, do better in class because they arrive refreshed.
"Encouraging young people to walk more frequently at an early age helps them learn vital road safety awareness and orientation skills, which improves their confidence for when they are older."
Pictured top: File image.
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