Scottish pupils step up for start of the new school year with WOW
Pupils at Bishopmill Primary School in Moray have started the new school year on the right foot by leaving the car at home and instead walking, wheeling, cycling or scooting to school.
They were joined by Councillor Sandy Keith (Elgin City North) at a celebration event today (1 September 2023) to launch a new year of WOW – the walk to school challenge from Living Streets Scotland.
Over 150 primary schools in Scotland take part in WOW, which sees pupils record their journey to school on the interactive WOW Travel Tracker and rewards those who walk, wheel, cycle, scoot or ‘Park and Stride’ to school with a WOW badge.
In Scotland, WOW schools see on average a 5-10 per cent increase in pupils walking to school with a corresponding drop in car use, helping to reduce congestion and improve safety outside the school gates.
Councillor Sandy Keith said:
“I had a lovely morning meeting pupils and teachers at Bishopmill Primary School and learning all about how they enjoy the walk to school.
“It’s great to see to see how the school is working with Living Streets Scotland to make the walk to school an accessible option for pupils and their families. I’m sure this will encourage more children to make the most of the health and environmental benefits that come from regular exercise.”
Chris Thompson, Programme Manager, Living Streets Scotland, said:
“WOW is easy for teachers to use, and pupils love to take part.
“We’re thrilled that so many schools across Scotland are experiencing the many benefits that regular exercise can bring to our health and happiness. Walking to school can help children and their families start the day with a spring in their step and it’s great to see such dedication and enthusiasm from pupils and staff.”
Irma Westwood, Depute Headteacher, Bishopmill Primary School, said:
"At Bishopmill Primary School, we’re delighted to host the launch of the WOW programme. Our pupils love using the interactive WOW Travel Tracker to log their journeys each morning.
"Thanks to WOW, more and more children and their families enjoy walking, wheeling, cycling or scooting to school and we’ve seen a really positive difference to their wellbeing.”
WOW badges are designed by pupils in Living Streets’ annual badge design competition. This year’s theme is ‘The British Nature Walk’ and aims to bring pupils closer to the nature found across Britain. As pupils walk to school through the year they will learn and collect badges depicting urban and rural British landscape and animals.
Moray Council and Living Streets Scotland have worked in partnership for eight years and continue to progress the active travel agenda in Moray schools and support the Moray Council Active Travel Strategy. In 2022-23 there were 20 schools taking part in the WOW programme.
If your school would like to get involved with the WOW Walk to School challenge or you would like to find out more, please contact email@example.com