160515A_002 - Modeshift StarsA primary school from the West End of Newcastle are the first school in the North East to receive the Modeshift Stars Award.

Stocksfield Avenue Primary School were this week presented with the Modeshift Stars Bronze Award for their continued commitment to road safety and healthy travel.

Modeshift aims to secure increased levels of safe, active and sustainable travel in educational establishments, businesses and communities.

Mrs Angela McEnaney, Deputy Head of Stocksfield Avenue Primary School, said: “We are proud to have achieved the Modeshift Stars Bronze Award, as it represents all of the hard work that has been delivered to improve how pupils and in some cases parents journey to school.”

All of the School’s 470 pupils from Nursery through to Year 6 got involved in the award scheme with a wide variety of activities urging the young people to be road safe and vigilant. Those activities included Stabiliser-free training (Year 2, aged 6-7); Non cyclist training (Year 3, aged 7-8); Cycle training (Year 4, aged 8-9); Pedestrian training (Year 5, aged 9-10); and visits to the SafetyWorks! – Interactive Safety Centre (Year 6, 10-11).

The whole school also enjoyed some quirky events such as Wheelie Wednesdays; Happy Shoesday (as part of Walk Once a Week); as well as Bikeability; the Park and Stride scheme; and Bling Your Bike Breakfasts – where young people blinged up their bicycles and scooters with reflective materials in the run up to the winter months.

Stocksfield Avenue is well equipped to house the uptake in their pupils cycling to school, as they’ve kitted out the site with cycle racks and secure bicycle and scooter storage pods.

Mrs McEnaney added: “Another important reason for us doing these training activities is to try and encourage families to exercise together and stay fit and healthy.  The young people are also more likely to notice aspects of their environment that they wouldn’t necessarily observe if they were in a car.

“The School takes road awareness and cycling training very seriously, which is why we introduce the key messages at the earliest possible opportunity.  This is even more significant as the school building is situated near a busy main road, so everyone’s eyes and ears have to be extra alert.”

Stocksfield Avenue Primary School work closely with the City Council’s Road Safety Team, Schools Go Smarter, and Sustrans to deliver their road safety and cycling education programmes.

The Modeshift Stars award is fully supported by Schools Go Smarter. The DfT (Department for Transport) funded programme has encouraged schools, pupils and their parents across Tyne and Wear to promote and use sustainable and active modes of transport on the school run since 2011.

Peter Gray, Head of Highways and Local Services for Newcastle City Council, said: “The award is great news for the young people and staff of Stocksfield Avenue Primary School. It represents what can be achieved with care and dedication – when everyone comes together to learn about something as important as road safety.

“Our Road Safety Team work closely with the School to advise and deliver a range of activities; and if one accident is avoided and one life is saved – then it has all been very worthwhile.”

Stocksfield Avenue Primary School is now working hard towards achieving their Modeshift Stars Silver Award.

For further information about the Modeshift Stars Award please visit www.modeshift.org.uk