Fitzalan High School
Writing a school active travel plan for a 21st century school – Fitzalan High School
Designing and developing a brand new school is an exciting opportunity. For some schools it means having new school buildings on their existing site and for others it may mean moving to a new site. In either case it is an opportunity to review how pupils, parents and staff are travelling to school and to consider how a school community can reduce its impact on the environment and improve pupil and staff health and wellbeing.
Fitzalan High School has embraced the opportunity to promote and enable active and sustainable travel to their new school. Due to open in 2023 the new school will be located on a site close to their existing school on Lawrenny Avenue. With the support from the Schools Active Travel team, the school has already written their active travel plan for the new school as well as having an active travel plan for their current school.
Cath Morris, Assistant Headteacher told us how important it is to encourage active travel to school.
‘Making our daily journeys to school by walking or cycling not only boosts our physical and mental health but also helps to make our local environment safer and cleaner’
Cath told us how making an active travel plan has helped to raise awareness of how pupils, staff and parents travel to school and already it has helped to implement change
‘By raising awareness of walking and cycling through challenges such as ‘The Big Pedal’ we have seen some positive changes in the travel habits of staff and pupils’
Working with the Schools Active Travel team has enabled the school to examine the barriers their staff and pupils face in travelling to school. This has meant that they have been able to set realistic and relevant actions to support parents, pupils and staff.
‘Our active travel plan will support the school to encourage and promote change. Our aspiration is to achieve a reduction in car use where possible and increase the number of pupils and staff travelling actively and sustainably.’
Adopting a whole school community approach, Fitzalan High School has identified actions in their travel plan focussed on changing the culture around travel to school and to support pupils, staff and parents to make a change. See below for examples from their plan:
- Culture – the school will have a dedicated Active Travel governor to champion active travel and has included their Active Travel Plan in the School Improvement Plan
- Pupils can access cycle training provided by Cardiff Council and the school will set up a school cycling club.
- Develop a pupil/parent Active Travel Pledge that asks parents to support their children to travel actively and sustainably to school.
- Run staff cycle staff cycle training days and encourage all staff to sign up to the Nextbike scheme
In addition to the above, the school has worked in partnership with Cardiff Council, Sustrans Cymru and Welsh Cycling. This has helped to raise awareness of issues concerning traffic congestion and poor parking during the school run. Working with the Council and partners, the school has secured a new bike fleet that will support a cycling club and cycle training.
The school has made a very positive start on their active travel journey. Their active travel plan is helping to guide their actions, start a discussion and ensure that the whole school community is taking a step towards a more sustainable and active school journey. If you would like to your first step towards becoming an Active Travel School then please get contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org