Pentland Infant and Nursery School in Dewsbury, Hartshead Junior and Infant School, Ashbrow School, Birkby Junior School, Bramble Primary Academy, Golcar Junior and Infant Nursery School and Kirkheaton Primary School have all been presented with the Modeshift Stars bronze standard for their commitment to sustainable travel after joining the scheme in September.
Despite all the challenges the pandemic presented to schools, they have continued their journey to improve the health and well-being for their children, encouraging parents, pupils and staff to choose healthier and more climate friendly modes of transport to and from school.
To achieve the bronze standard, schools must demonstrate a commitment to promoting sustainable transport by conducting an annual survey, identifying travel issues and solutions, and delivering a range of travel initiatives.
Parents have played a significant role too in adapting their school run where possible, keeping a log of how their children travel to school.
Everyone has benefitted from taking part in the scheme, learning how small changes can positively impact their health and well-being as well as helping the environment.
Warwick Road Primary School in Batley, which gained bronze in December last year, has successfully achieved the silver award. This makes it the first school in Kirklees to gain this level of award.
To achieve this, schools must - in addition to completing everything at bronze level - demonstrate a commitment to promoting sustainable travel by establishing a working group and delivering a range of travel initiatives.
The STARS initiative (working group) brings the whole school community beyond pupils, teachers and parents together, providing an opportunity for everyone to have a say on school travel.
This group could include school governors and neighbours of the school, as well as the local authority and police who may also offer support.
A green award has also been achieved by Luck Lane Primary School in Huddersfield.
This required the school to plan sustainable travel activities, five supporting initiatives and two consultation initiatives, as well as much more.
Modeshift Stars is a national school’s awards scheme, established to recognise schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting their pupils in getting to and from school through cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.
The scheme encourages schools across the country to join in a nationwide effort to increase levels of sustainable and active travel.
There are several schools now in Kirklees – in addition to those who have successfully achieved bronze and silver awards - working towards the next level of award, with the support of officers from Kirklees Council’s highways safety team.
Councillor Naheed Mather, cabinet member for environment, said: “I would like to say well done to the children and their families who stepped up to the challenge to make their journey to and from school a more active one.
"Sustainable travel is not only important to our children’s health and well-being now but instils good habits for their future.
"It also has a positive impact on the environment and helps to reduce traffic around schools, so has three-fold impact.
“We hope to see more schools take up the Modeshift challenge and we will support where we can help them to achieve the awards and work towards their goals.
"So far 30 primary schools and five secondary school have signed up to the challenge, collectively achieving 16 awards to date - a great success for our schools in Kirklees.”