Tip of the Month - Archive
Every month, the School Travel Planning Team provide you with a new tip or idea, which may help you with developing your travel plan. We have collected these either from going out to schools ourselves, from other local authorities or from organisations such as Sustrans. If you have any suggestions that you would like to make, please contact the team so that we can share your great ideas!
|1||October 2005||Try using the School Council or a group of willing pupils to write a set of guidelines to send home to parents about how they would like them to behave e.g. 'please don't park near the entrance as we cannot see if it is safe to cross'.|
|2||November 2005||Organise a poster competition at your school to promote walking and cycling in all weather.|
|3||December 2005||Create a distance map or chart that shows how far children have walked/cycled in a week, month, year etc in relation to geographical places, e.g. to Disney World, the height of Ben Nevis etc. Great to link with map reading skills!|
|Walking Routes. Take groups of children and comment on routes, taking photos of problems/issues which can prompt children of any issues or feelings. This can then provide great evidence in your travel plan.|
|5||February 2006||Rather than giving pupils fluorescent clothing that is out of date and unlikely to wear, why not use lesson time to get them to design their own fluorescent clothing or accessories and see if any local businesses will provide funding to have them made!|
|6||March 2006||For those parents who are only able to drive their children to school, but would like to make a positive contribution, why not start up a 'carbon off-setting' scheme. This would simply involve setting a small amount of money per mile that parents pay, and this is then put towards green travel e.g. fluorescent jackets or umbrellas for those who walk to school.|
|7||April 2006||As part of Bike to School week (or any other cycling
initiative, why not start up an after-school bike club? It's
fun for the children and they will also learn some key skills
about bike maintenance and safety.
Ideas to get started include beginning with a small group of interested older pupils who will act as role models, run specific projects that last for about an hour e.g. mending a tyre, and keep it fun with competitions and quizzes!
|8||May 2006||Why not link up with your feeder school to look into any issues that new pupils may have when they progress from junior to senior school. Changing schools is often a very intimidating experience, so perhaps you could consider providing a map to show the safer routes and/or initiating a 'buddy' scheme whereby older pupils walk/cycle with new pupils until they feel confident travelling by themselves.|
|9||June 2006||If your school has speed issues, why not involve the children by using a speed gun to measure traffic speed. This data can then be analysed within the classroom and used as a baseline survey for your travel plan. The data could be given to the local Police to help with enforcement.|
|Interested in setting up a car sharing club but not sure if there are enough people who live close enough to one another? The School Travel Planning Team can obtain the postcodes for all of the pupils at your school and plot them on maps which will enable you to clearly see if there is potential for sharing. If you would like further information on car sharing visit either http://www.school-run.co.uk/ or http://www.liftshare.org/|
|11||August 2006||If you have problems with unsafe and illegal parking problems outside of your school and have repeatedly included messages within your newsletters, then perhaps you could consider involving the pupils at your school. By asking the children to design pretend parking infringement tickets, then could then hand these out to the drivers of cars who they feel are parked illegally and putting their safety at risk. As it comes directly from the children, more notice is likely to be taken.|
|12||September 2006||If you are frequently receiving letters from your local residents complaining of parents blocking them in, then perhaps consider providing parents with a local area map of the school indicating where it is and isn't acceptable to park. The School Travel Planning Team can also provide you with maps showing distance rings from the school. These maps can show parents where they can park and still be within a mile or less of the school and perhaps walk with their child/ren, which allows them to plan the right amount of time into their routine to drop off their children.|
|13||October 2006||Why not set up a Travel Plan Board, preferably in the reception area, so that parents and visitors can be provided with advice and information on how to arrive at the school sustainably. If coming by car is the only option perhaps you could suggest they car share and remind them about the need to drive and park safely. This could be particularly useful at a new parent's evening!|
If you've ever wanted to 'neutralise' the carbon impact
of your car on the environment then there are now websites set
up so that you and/or your school can do this online. Payments
would typically amount to around £20 a year to offset 3.7
tonnes of CO2 equivalent (approximately the emissions of an
average car driving 10,000 miles.)
|15||December 2006||Trying to get teenagers to wear fluorescent/reflective
clothing? Based on research carried out by 'Safe Kids Walking'.
the following ways were more likely to result in younger people
wearing items to make them safer;
- wearing other colours than fluorescent yellow e.g. red.
- using integrated hi vis products that has another use
- carrying items is more popular than wearing them e.g. bags
- engage the pupils in the design of the product or the logo, which can then be custom made
- use the older pupils to choose the design of the product as it is more likely to appeal to the whole school and have more 'street cred'
|Invite the children to think of a mascot that could be linked with either walking or cycling e.g. WILF (Walking Is Loadsa Fun). This can be used for all promotional material and events e.g. colouring-in pictures, posters etc.|
|17||February 2007||If you are about to carry out your parent/pupil survey and
are concerned by the amount of responses that you are likely to
receive, then perhaps it is worth providing an
The STP team can provide you with stickers for the pupils and perhaps the school can offer a prize, such as a voucher or have a raffle for the responses from parents.
The team can also provide an online survey form for pupils and staff which can collate the results in an Excel spreadsheet. Ask the team for further details.
|18||March 2007||If you are continuously receiving complaints from residents and/or parents about the unsafe parking/driving of some inconsiderate drivers, then perhaps the school could provide a log book to the school community. This will enable people to take a note of the number plate of the offender and write it anonymously in a book. This will enable the school and/or the Police to tackle the individuals, whilst avoiding confrontation with residents and other parents.|
|19||April 2007||Not sure which fluorescent clothing or accessories are most effective? Consider working with a group or class of children to investigate and test various items and produce a leaflet or presentation to feed back to the rest of the school and/or parents.|
|20||May 2007||Would you like to engage your pupils in designing their own reflective accessories? The School Travel Planning team are currently trying to purchase off-cuts from various companies which we can provide schools with to use in lessons. If you would be interested in using these, please contact the team.|
|21||June 2007||If engaging secondary school pupils is a problem, perhaps integrate travel issues within a media project whereby students film their issues relating to their journey to and from school. This can then be shown to the rest of the school and start to raise a debate. (Example provided by Brookfield Community School)|
|If you're finding problems attracting volunteers to provide cycle/pedestrian training or assisting with your walking bus, perhaps you could start up an exclusive membership club at the school. This could be made available to parents who are giving up their time to help the school and they (and their children?) could be rewarded with preferential treatment e.g. free entry to events, facilities etc. The school could also arrange an end of year/term social event or awards event in a school assembly!|
|23||August 2007||The School Travel Planning Team have now designed and produced their own classroom wall charts to enable schools to set up their own incentive scheme. Younger children enjoy the competition of a reward chart and enjoy receiving stickers etc to show positive behaviour. If you would be interested in receiving some classroom charts and/or other promotional materials, please contact the team.|
|24||September 2007||One way of integrating the travel plan within the
is to ask pupils to write a week diary of their journey to school. This could be an ideal piece of homework and would be interesting to look at within an English class. It will also provide evidence in your travel plan of any issues or concerns that children have on their journey to and from school.
|25||October 2007||To encourage parents to feel safe about their children
walking to school, you could perhaps start up a Neighbourhood
School Watch scheme which is created along the routes along
that children take to school. Residents can display a badge in
their window showing that they are a caring neighbour and will
watch to check if any instances occur and report them if
This would be an informal arrangement and it would need to be made clear to parents that they are still responsible for their child's safety on the journey to school, not the school.
|26||November 2007||If you're looking of ways of encouraging staff to travel more sustainably but most of them live quite a distance, why not encourage staff travelling from out of town to meet in a central place and walk the last part of the journey to school? The team could loan the staff pedometers so they can see how many extra steps they're taking, how many calories they're burning etc.|
|27||December 2007||So as to give those children who walk or cycle a priority over car users, and to encourage a safer environment outside of the school gates, why not allow those travelling to and from school by sustainable means to leave 5 minutes early?|
|To promote the use of road safety clothing and accessories, why not have a 'Road Safety Gear' fashion show and encourage pupils to design some of the items themselves. This could link in with the curriculum and promote a positive image of reflective/fluorescent clothing!|
|29||February 2008||So as to entice staff to travel to school sustainably, consider launching a 'commuter challenge' whereby staff sign up to either walk, cycle, car share or travel via public transport for 2 journeys a month, for 3 months. Names can then go in a hat for various prizes which local businesses may be able to support.|
|30||March 2008||To encourage enterprise within schools and to try and overcome the barriers to walking and cycling, why not try a 'Dragon's Den' challenge. By encouraging the children to come up with inventions or ideas, it may provide some interesting solutions which will appeal to a variety of circumstances.|
|31||April 2008||Schools now need show through their Travel Plans how they will be promoting the aims and objectives of the travel plan. One way of demonstrating this is to include some information within your school's prospectus or including some information on your website. To help schools with this, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council have produced a template leaflet to include within schools' prospectus', and they have kindly allowed us to give it to our schools.|
|32||May 2008||When developing your travel plan and consulting with key partners, it may be useful to contact both your County Councillor/s and your District Councillor/s. They will be able to advise you what is happening in the local area, and provide support and advice on the suggestions that you make in your action plan.|
|33||June 2008||If one of the issues flagged up in the surveys is about fading lines, encroaching hedges, overgrown trees etc, then why not fill out HCC's online defect form?|
If you are looking to open up an old entrance or need to clear
vegetation in order to create a new path/access, why not
advertise for volunteers and arrange a day on the weekend
where you can clear most of the undergrowth and therefore reduce
some of the costs. You may also have a local business or a
training establishment e.g. for the navy, who maybe able to help
with resources and/or manpower.
Any volunteers could then be rewarded with a barbeque and a pat on the back!
|35||August 2008||Now that Governors are expected to produce 'School Profile' reports for parents, why not use this as an opportunity to inform parents that you are promoting sustainable travel and/or safety through your travel plan. It's an excellent way of demonstrating to parents that the safety and wellbeing of your pupils is important! To read your school's 'School Profile' visit http://schoolsfinder.direct.gov.uk/|
Did you know that for all schools submitting pupils' mode of
travel through their school census, we can now plot how
pupils are travelling and from where?
It is only compulsory for schools with travel plans in place to submit this, but it is equally useful for schools who haven't as it can help you identify any potential issues.
If you would like free map/s showing this information, please contact the team who will be able to help you with providing this.
Worried about having a poor response rate to your
Some schools have offered a prize e.g. vouchers to act as an incentive for parents to return their forms, and others have provided rewards for the children e.g. stickers, which we maybe able to assist with.
Another option is to display a map of the area at a parents' evening and ask parents to mark on the spots they have concerns about with a sticky dot. This will provide a visual representation of the problems, and will take parents very little time to comment. It is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the travel plan.
|38||November 2008||If you're having problems with recruiting members for your school council (or travel group), then one way to encourage children to sign up is by providing house points, or some other reward. This process could include children making formal applications and interviews. (Idea provided by Balksbury Junior School).|
|39||December 2008||Why not hold a photo competition at your school for those travelling on their journey to school? It will be interesting to show how those that are walking some or part of their journey will be able to take photos of smaller things like flowers, insects etc, which those coming by car, bus or train are unable to see.|
|For those who travel to school by car and have no other alternative, visit www.direct.gov.uk/actonco2 for tips on how to reduce your fuel usage and how to drive better.|
|41||February 2009||Did you know that the CTC are now able to provide a breakdown service? "Bike to Work" costs £52 per year, which includes £10million third party insurance. Cyclists can be recovered with their bike and delivered to work, home, a railway station or a bike repair shop - anywhere in the UK. www.ctc.org.uk/commuter|
|42||March 2009||Trying to find ways of ensuring that your travel plan is regularly updated? Why not include the travel plan within the curriculum e.g. Geography or Citizenship? This could be through traffic surveys, looking at the local area etc. This can apply to all key stages to varying degrees. Browse the various curriculum materials listed on our website.|
Having a problem with children arriving late or absenteeism? Has your school thought of looking in to starting a walking bus? By having pick-up points close to where many children live, it will encourage parents to use the walking bus and provide some fun and exercise on the school journey. For more information on walking buses, either view the section on our website or request a resource pack.
|44||May 2009||Do you currently have a high number of pupils who come from outside of your catchment area or just live beyond a reasonable walking distance? Why not encourage parents to drop-off their children at their friends' house if they live within walking distance? This way they get to share the journey with their friends, the parent avoids the stress of parking and the school becomes less congested!|
Looking to bring sustainability more in to the Curriculum? One way is to invite pupils (and staff) to measure their own baseline using an online carbon calculator.
It covers most aspects of daily life and will provide an interesting way of evaluating how much difference can be made by making a few simple changes in our daily lifestyles.
Tip from Nursling Primary School;
Members of the School Council give
out raffle tickets each morning to children who have walked or
cycled and to children whose parents have parked in the near by
community centre car park and walked the rest of the distance into
school. At the end of each week winners are drawn and receive small
prizes such as pencils, stickers, marbles. They also produced a road
safety video, which they have made available on their website;
|47||August 2009||Empathy for other's views is one way of helping children to understand the issues about the journey to school. The 'jigsaw' technique can be undertaken within the classroom and each group can research different views e.g. residents, parents, children, Headteacher etc. This approach can also help with developing any proposals for improvements within the travel plan as all views will have been taken in to consideration.|
|48||September 2009||Another way of incentivising walking and cycling is to have class challenges whereby each class sets themselves their own targets. This can culminate in a school award to the class who achieves their target by the greatest difference. Please contact the team if you would like suggestions or help with prizes to start off your own initiative.|
|49||October 2009||With cameras being so available on mobile phones nowadays, it would be quite easy to run a photo competition for the journey to school. Those who walk and cycle could be asked to take a photo of something interesting on their route to school, and the winner could be eligible for a prize.|
|To engage the whole school community, why not invite the local Councillor, parents or residents to the school for children to give prepare and deliver presentations on different aspects of the travel plan targets.|
|51||December 2009||Need some help with your travel plan? If you're a junior or primary school, then why not sign up to Hampshire's Junior Road Safety Officer initiative? By having pupils leading on road safety they can be involved in engaging their classmates on travel to school issues and leading on poster competitions and assemblies.|
Trying to inspire your parents or pupils to walk or cycle in to
Why not ask some of those parents that already do walk/cycle in to talk or write about their experiences, what benefits they have noticed, how they deal with hazards with their children etc. It maybe that someone who currently drives is inspired by someone who lives nearby and walks in.
It may help some to stick to their New Year's resolutions!
Updating your school prospectus?
Perhaps you could include a section on travel and how to travel sustainably and safely to school. Why not direct parents to Hampshire's new 'Smarter routes to school' site so parents and pupils can plan their journey?
Keen to promote cycling at your school?
Newtown Primary has been working with their local independent cycle shop to get children's bikes roadworthy and working.
The shop has offered to carry out a check on the bikes to see if the bikes are in good condition, and any works that need doing would have to be paid for.
Looking into purchasing new cycle storage? Trying to look for ways to
Often, the Perspex cover adds a significant amount of money on to the total cost, which is essentially only required to keep the saddles dry. By providing each person that cycles with a cycle seat cover (approx £1) you could afford to buy additional storage. The covers can also be taken anywhere! Contact the School Travel Planning Team for more details and samples.
Looking at routes to school in the classroom? Why not make
use of the various websites now available,
including Hampshire's interactive route finder
Got the walking bug after Walk to School Week?
Why not continue on the momentum with a walking initiative such as WoW (Walk once a Week or Walk on Wednesdays).
Living Streets have a very colourful, flexible and interesting scheme -
the materials can be viewed online at;
If your school would like to trial these scheme, please contact the School Travel Planning Team as there maybe support available for your school
Are you a secondary school and feel that there isn't anything designed for older pupils?
Living Streets have followed on from their successful WoW campaign with a scheme for KS 3 and 4 called Step Up. They are already looking for schools interested in participating for Walk to School Week 2011. Look at what they have to offer on www.stepup.org.uk
Are you trying to promote active, healthy living in your school?
Healthy Hampshire and IOW are now supporting the Change 4 Life campaign and have created a new website with local events and general tips and information focusing on three basics forms of physical activity - walking, cycling and running. There are a variety of tools that can also be used within your school such as a pedometer challenge.
Want to know if your travel plan and measures are making a difference?
You can now access your travel to school data showing against the previous year so you can see if car use is going up or down. This can help with planning future ideas etc in your reviews.
Do you or someone you know live close to a school and have a spare space
on the driveway? Have you considered 'driveway sharing'?
This can help to reduce congestion and engage with residents by offering parents the use of an unused driveway, and helping to eliminate some of the conflict with blocking of residents' driveways and working together as a community to resolve problems.
Looking for ways to fund a walking incentive scheme? With financial
times being quite hard today, the more ideas for finding sources of
funding, the better.
Living Streets have produced a leaflet (PDF) providing schools with10 ways that may provide you with funding, depending on your local circumstances. For more useful information, please see their website; http://www.walktoschool.org.uk/
Would like to promote walking in the classroom at Christmas theme ?
Visit Living Streets' website for ideas and downloadable activities like colouring-in Striders.
|64||January 2011||Seen a problem on your journey to school or work and not sure who to report it to? http://www.fixmystreet.com/ enables you to locate and report issues such as fly tipping, graffiti, broken paving slabs, pot holes and so on and they will pass on the details to the relevant authority. Quite often people are confused as to whether the responsibility lies with their Local Authority or their District Council, and in some cases a location can be on the border of two or three authorities and it is unclear who it should be reported to. This website will identify the correct body and do the rest! Pass it on to others.|
Looking into cycle storage for your school and need some handy hints?
Sustrans have published an information leaflet, 'Cycle parking for schools', that gives you advice on the right type, location and if you need planning permission. Their website will also notify you of any funding opportunities for cycle storage.
Concerns about Year 6 children making their way to their new school?
One example in Sustrans newsletter gives details of how gifted and talented Year 9 pupils worked on providing a PowerPoint presentation and leaflet by doing an audit of routes and liaising with the Year 6 pupils. See full details on page 4 of the Spring 2011, no. 23 edition.
Needing some inspiration? Want to hear what other schools have tried?
Living Streets have a selection of case studies that they have collected through their Walk once a Week (WoW) scheme covering a range of examples from park and stride, to walking independently to saving a school from closure.
Questions questions questions...
Can a child cycle on the pavement? How can a rural school get involved in walking and cycling initiatives? How can we involve younger children in cycling activities? and many more questions, for which the answers can be found on Sustrans new FAQ pages on their website.
|June 2011||Looking for ways to integrate safety and sustainable travel into the curriculum? Gateshead Council have developed their own materials by employing teachers to develop them to ensure that they are user-friendly and current. Do you need to purchase a licence for the school to use them, which costs £70 per annum per school. To find out further information, please visit the site at www.travelmatters.org.uk A few samples are also available to view on line and there are currently 30 lesson plans available and it is anticipated to develop materials aimed at KS3 and 4 in the future.|
Unsure as to who is responsible for parking enforcement in your area? Tired of parents parking carelessly?
Hampshire has modified an Eastleigh publication, called 'Parkwise' which aims to remind parents of the relevant sections of the Highway Code and inform them on who can enforce this in their area, as well as useful hints and tips.
Looking to get a good news story about the positive work you've been
doing? Living Streets have produced an advice leaflet on how to get
media coverage including how to write a letter to an editor and how
to sell your story to the media.
|72||September 2011||With Walk to School month approaching, incentives are usually a winner. Walktoschool.org now offer packs that parents can buy for their own children to encourage them to walk, if their school doesn't run the scheme. For £14.99 a parent would receive the resources needed to run the programme for a whole year.http://www.walktoschool.org.uk/our-shop/for-parents|
Promoting healthy living to your school community? One way is to encourage families to visit their local woods or perhaps make a day trip to visit one further away. www.visitwoods.org.uk provides maps and details of nearly 12,000 publicly accessible woods across the UK, and you can review them afterwards. You can also register online for nature alerts.
Wanting to look at the travel needs for your community? A new transport self help kit has been created to enable local communities to identify their transport needs and come up with possible solutions such as car sharing, taxishare scheme and so on. Case studies are provided to give you ideas to share with your community and progress. www.hants.gov.uk/passengertransport/transport-self-help-kit.htm
|December 2011||If car sharing is something that you feel your school could do more of, then our guidance, based on Surrey County Council's, will enable you to find out more information and how you can go about enabling more car sharing within your school. To find out more, please see our car sharing page.|
|76||January 2012||Looking to hold an assembly to your school about the benefits of walking? No need to create your own as Living Streets has already produced a PowerPoint which can be downloaded straight off of their website.|
Problems with parking? How about partnering up with your local PCSO,
Police or Parking Enforcement Officer and
getting your pupils to become Pupil Traffic Wardens (Yr 6 and
They can put together a letter to parents, launch the project in an assembly and write a script that they will use when speaking to drivers. Together with the PCSOs, they approach drivers that are parking unsafely or inconsiderately. The PTWs read their script and the PCSO is on hand to deal with questions from drivers. (Idea provided by Bucks CC)
|78||March 2012||Do you have someone in your school community who likes tinkering and repairing bikes? Why not encourage your pupils and parents to look in their garages for bikes that they've outgrown and would be happy to donate and for another child to have. Your contact could fix the bikes, and then they could be sold at a small charge, which could pay for any insurance that maybe required to operate the service.|
Finding that your parents have got in to bad parking habits? Perhaps you
would be interested in developing your own Parking Promise
Parents and/or staff are asked to sign a pledge to say that they will park responsibly in the vicinity of and around the school entrances. The promise is returned to the school (usually someone in the school office) who will issue the parent a car sticker or badge to show they have signed the promise. The sticker reminds parents to park responsibly.
The scheme has originally been designed by Bucks CC but Hampshire is designing its own version; Parkwise Pledge. If you are interested in further details, please contact the team.
Looking to become an Eco School and want to integrate the themes, including travel, within the Curriculum?
Eco Schools has a whole section on their website with free resources for schools to download and cover KS1-4.
Visit their website to view the range of materials available http://www.keepbritaintidy.org/ecoschools/freeresources
|81||June 2012||Want to provide your pupils with slightly more advanced cycle training? Hampshire's Road Safety Team now have funding to provide Level 3 Bikeability for KS3 pupils. If your school is interested in receiving this training, please contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.|
|82||July 2012||Need up-to-date travel information? The My Journey Hampshire website has now been launched and includes events, journey planner, traffic alerts, real time information. Mainly covering the towns of Andover, Aldershot, Basingstoke, Farnborough, Fleet and Winchester at present, additional areas will be added with additional Government funding. www.myjourneyhampshire.com|
|Looking for some online, fun and interactive ways of engaging pupils in sustainable transport? www.letzgogreen.org provides a variety of resources that can be printed off or used on a white board for KS1, 2 and 3 and includes games, comics, videos and quizzes.|
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