ON THE SADDLE: Mikael Khan, Maja Smoragiewicz and Hajra Azhar are not only having fun on their bicycles but getting fit too
ON THE SADDLE: Mikael Khan, Maja Smoragiewicz and Hajra Azhar are not only having fun on their bicycles but getting fit too

In order to become a more eco-friendly and healthy school, Thornbury Primary in Bradford have installed a new bicycle shed and already the playground is filling with the joyful sounds of kids whizzing into their lessons.

The bike shed, which can hold 20 bicycles, was put in place by CityConnect as part of the school’s Health and Wellbeing programme.

The shed is at the back of the school in an area which will be revamped over the next few months. It is being used by pupils and school staff who travel to school on bikes.

Other plans for the back of the school include growing vegetables in the raised beds; creating improved parking for the two minibuses and a picnic area.

An area to the front of the school will also be developed as a small garden.

One of the seven main themes of the Health and Wellbeing programme is to ‘encourage cycling and walking to school’.

The others are making healthy lunchbox choices and thinking about meal size portions; taking part in healthy cooking clubs, promoting healthy lifestyles through classroom projects and encouraging exercise and sports sessions at after-school clubs.

CityConnect launched its bike scheme at the school with two cycling events last September as part of a year-long programme of events at the school.

CityConnect is behind the multi-million pound programme to make it easier and safer to get around on foot and by bike.

They have built the £29.1m cycle Superhighway between Leeds and Bradford including a section at nearby Thornbury roundabout. Plans have also been approved to create a cycle lane on Dick Lane, which will pass the school.

Head Teacher, Clare Daddy, said: “Our Health and Wellbeing programme is already making a difference in school and in the local community. More children and staff now come to school on bikes, there has been a big take-up of health-related after school activities and more pupils are getting involved in a wider range of sports.

“The school’s award-winning Toast Ladies now regularly inspect children’s lunch boxes. Awards are given for healthy lunches, along with letters suggesting improvements when they come across lunch boxes which could be healthier.

“Our school is in the BD3 postcode, a very deprived area with high rates of obesity, diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Our programme is helping families make healthier lifestyle choices and having a positive impact on the local people.”