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L-R: Sam Silito, Shift It’s Ross Edmunds and Shift It’s Nicky Metcalf with pupils Mylea Gobby and Cruz Broughton

Queensgate Foundation Primary School has won a special award for championing active travel.

The East Cowes school has received a gold ‘Shift It’ award for encouraging more pupils to use sustainable ways to get to and from school. It’s only the second school on the Island to receive the gold award.

Over the past year, the school has set up a ‘School Travel Action Plan’ aimed at establishing regular active and sustainable transport events and activities. As a result, Year 5 and 6 pupils walking to and from school increased by 8.2%, cycling up by 2.8%, car use by parents went down by 3% and bike ownership increased by 17%.

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Councillor Ian Ward, Cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, has said:

“Well done to Queensgate primary and its school community for working really hard to make cycling, walking and scooting to and from school part of everyday life for their pupils,” said Councillor Ian Ward, Cabinet member for infrastructure and transport.

“They thoroughly deserve this award and their results speak for themselves”.

Students also took part in a range of activities, from a competition to design a cycle helmet, to cycling and scooting and triathlon events.

The project is delivered on behalf of the council by Wight Cycle Training.  It is part of a wider programme of transport interventions being carried out by the Isle of Wight Council over the next 2 years, using £1.35 million of funding from the Department for Transport.

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Sam Sillito, Queensgate Primary head teacher, said:

“I am delighted the school has achieved the ‘Shift It’ gold award for sustainable travel. We love encouraging the children to be active at school and on the way to and from here. This fits well with our ‘Out and About’ curriculum and learning outside.

“We enjoy seeing the children arrive on their scooters and bikes. As well as encouraging children to be active it encourages our parents as well and saves on congestion outside the school at key times. I would like to say a huge thank you to Nicky Metcalfe for all her support and commitment to this project, and to the Isle of Wight Council for securing funding to deliver this important initiative.”

Nicky Metcalf, ‘Shift It’ schools officer at Wight Cycle Training, said:

“We are proud to present our Gold Shift It Award to Queensgate Primary School. They are only the second Primary School to be awarded this on the island to recognise all of the dedication of the pupils, staff and parents in travelling to school in a sustainable way.

“The school plans many additional skills training and education to the pupils from Balanceability and Bike Clubs to Bike Fix sessions to make sustainable travel a main part of school life.”

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