This year’s Walk to School Week theme is walking superpowers that benefit individuals, communities and the planet. Former primary school teacher Oli Ryan of education resource experts PlanBee knows just how to get your youngsters enthused – and learning at the same time
1. Keep it brisk
Walking to school is beneficial for parents as well as children! Enjoying the mental and physical health benefits of walking are right at the heart of Walk To School Week. Briskly walking to school, rather than travelling by car or public transport, helps children feel fitter and happier.
Encourage your youngsters to discuss and share their experiences of walking to school. How does it make them feel? What do they notice on their walk? Who do they see as they walk through their community? What do they enjoy about it?
Set your children a walking distance challenge:
2. Track your route
Use maps and satellite images to:
● plan new walking routes;
● find and measure regular walking routes;
● and describe journeys using compass directions.
Find out how to make maps and walking in your local area in these Map Makers.
3. Count on it
You can link Maths Curriculum objectives to Walk to School Week in a variety of ways. For example, you could use pedometers to collect data. You could also plan and conduct surveys about how children get to school then present the data using charts and graphs.
Key Stage 1: ages five to seven
Collect data about how all your children got to school each day with a show of hands. Record the results (e.g. walk, bus, taxi, driven, scooter, bicycle) on a tally chart. Children can then make pictograms to show the data, or use Multifix maths cubes to physically make pictograms.
Lower Key Stage Two: ages seven to 11
Challenge children to write their own survey questions and make their own tally charts, collecting the data themselves. Plot the data at the end of the week using bar charts.
4. Time gone by
Link Walk To School Week with local history by challenging youngsters to identify local landmarks on their walk. Can they spot keystones in arches? Do they notice the years in which houses were built? Is your local area home to some British History Heroes such as the significant historic figures we feature in these lesson plans for Years 3/4? What evidence of their existence and their achievements can you spot on your walk to school?
5. Explore the natural world
Walk To School Week links brilliantly with exploring nature. Why not encourage your children to start a small scrapbook to record information about plants and animal species? It could include photos, plant sprigs, sketches or tables to record plant growth throughout the week.
Furthermore, you could encourage children to keep walking throughout the year by learning about what can be observed outside as the seasons change.
We have FREE outdoor challenge cards.
Living Streets is the UK charity for everyday walking
We love Living Streets’ classroom packs and other resources – they’re ideal for planning a five-day walking challenge in your school.
In 2019, their research found that 42% of parents are concerned about air pollution around their children’s schools.
It’s clearer now, than ever, that promoting exercise, and reducing travel by car, in particular, is vital for our children’s health and wellbeing.