SAFETY: GSAL pupils Sejal and Oli receive their Modeshift STARS bronze award from the school’s estate team
SAFETY: GSAL pupils Sejal and Oli receive their Modeshift STARS bronze award from the school’s estate team

School awarded for dedication to road safety

Two young pupils from Leeds accepted a national award on behalf of the Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) last week as the educational establishment was commended for its safe transport schemes.

Year 1 pupil, Seja Sood, and reception’s Oli Yates, received the Modeshift STARS bronze award which demonstrates the school’s commitment to promoting sustainable travel.

Sejal Sood and Oli Yates with GSAL staff_2To achieve the accreditation, a school must complete the Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools programme (STARS) run by Leeds City Council.

Amongst the work undertaken by GSAL is an annual travel survey, taking the issues identified in them and delivering transport initiatives that benefit pupils’ safety and wellbeing.

Mark Sadler, road safety officer from Leeds City Council’s Influencing Travel Behaviour team, said: “Modeshift STARS will have a major impact on travel choices for children and on their health.

“The aim is to reduce car use around schools, which will improve safety and congestion and help children to develop important personal skills and independence by walking or cycling to school.”

Paul Womersley, director of estates at GSAL, said: “We’re proud to receive this award in acknowledgement of the measures we have introduced under our travel plan.

“The next challenge is to aim for silver and we are committed to working towards this goal.”

Central to GSAL’s travel plan is the safe transfer of its youngest pupils using a shuttle bus between the main site at Alwoodley Gates and the Nursery and Pre-prep at Rose Court in Headingley, so Rose Court was chosen as the venue for the presentation of the award.

During a special road safety assembly for pupils in reception and years 1 and 2, members of the Influencing Travel Behaviour team presented the certificate and plaque to the two five-year-old pupils, before performing a special pantomime ‘The Gift of Life’, which delivered important road safety messages in a fun, interactive and seasonal way.