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Ty’n y Wern Primary School achieves the ‘Active Journeys Silver Award’

Ty’n y Wern Primary School has achieved the ‘Active Journeys Silver Award’ for continuing to demonstrate a commitment to promoting active and sustainable travel.

The whole school developed a more hands on approach to achieve the silver award by promoting active travel both inside and outside of the classroom with each year group planning different lessons based on active travel.

Three large events were held over the course of the year with incentives for the pupils to travel actively which increased the school percentage of active journeys. Pupils were provided with opportunities to develop their skills through scooter and bike workshops and through Bikeability Cycle training for year 6 pupils.

Ty’n y Wern also competed against schools in Wales and all over the UK in the ‘Big Pedal’, which is the UK’s biggest inter-school cycling, walking and scooting competition.

Different events were held over the two weeks to encourage active travel and each class took part in ‘active travel’ themed lessons.

Some of the events included: A Dr Bike workshop where children received a free bike check and a scooter skills workshop where children learnt how to ride their scooters safely.

Due to their hard work and dedication, the school managed to place 10th in this fantastic UK-Wide competition.

Another of their recent achievements was placing second in the ‘Big Shift Thursdays’ initiative! Big Shift is run by Sustrans Cymru and is designed to motivate the school community in Wales to travel more actively. It takes place every Thursday over a period of 5 weeks. A school survey is carried out at the beginning of the challenge to calculate a starting percentage of active journeys. The school is then set targets to try and achieve every week.

The school’s starting percentage was 60% and their targets were:

  • Small Step- 68%
  • Big Stride – 74%
  • Giant Leap – 78%

To encourage an increase of the number of active journeys, the school had a ‘Fusion Extreme Stunt Workshop’ where pupils could have a go at small stunts.

A school ‘Superhero Day’ was also held where children and staff dressed as superheroes and some even decorated bikes and scooters to match. A superhero photo both sat outside the school and staff encouraged parents to take photos and share them on social media with Sustrans Cymru.

Ty’n y Wern finished the challenge with an average of 83%, placing 2nd in the competition! The school received a certificate for this amazing achievement and were gifted 3 scooters for the school.

Sophie Goodliffe, Head Teacher of Ty’n y Wern Primary School commented, “Our pupils’ health and well-being really is at the heart of everything that we do at Ty’n y Wern. Getting involved in the Active Journeys initiative has been a fantastic way of bringing our whole school community together whilst encouraging everyone to get active. Due to the tireless enthusiasm of the Active Journeys Crew led by Miss Claire Lippiett and not forgetting the wonderful support of Hamish from Sustrans, the strength and success of the initiative has snowballed over quite a short period of time.

“We are very proud that this year we have achieved our Silver award and have been placed amongst the top schools both during the big pedal and big shift initiatives. We have also been celebrated nationally for our work on the school streets which promotes safe journeys to schools, as we are very lucky to have a TRO on the road outside our school. The biggest thing to celebrate though is the amount of joy that the whole initiative has brought to school from our ‘Bling My Ride’ competitions, ‘Superhero Day’ and visit from top stunt show ‘Fusion’, there has been a real buzz and excitement around the school which has been much needed during such difficult times.”

Cllr Ross Whiting, Cabinet Member for Learning and Leisure added, “We here at Caerphilly Council are incredibly proud of the dedication shown by staff and pupils of Ty’n y Wern Primary School; Their recent achievements are testimony to this and highlights their enthusiasm to improving the general health and wellbeing of those at the school.”