Posted on: Wednesday 17 May 2023
Staff at Cwmffrwdoer Primary School are offering pupils the chance to join a walking bus this week, as part of #WalktoSchoolWeek.
The bus will meet at a nearby public carpark at 8.40am Monday to Friday, with pupils escorted by teachers and members of the school's Heddlu Bach group.
Encouraging pupils to walk or cycle to school is part of the school's new Active Travel School Plan, which is due to be discussed by the school's governing body this week.
The Active Travel School Plan has been developed in conjunction with the school's pupil committee, which encourages pupils to take an active role in school life and attend regularly.
Head boy Lucas, who helped to lead the group of 22 pupils on Monday, said: "My dad usually drops me off at the car park and picks me up rather than driving to the school. Walking is good for our health and wellbeing.
Head girl Lola added: "I prefer to walk to school. It means there are less cars outside the school at the start and end of school."
A recent survey of pupils found that around 52 per cent of pupils already regularly walk or cycle to school.
Headteacher Sarah Truelove said: "It's fantastic so many pupils already travel to school actively but we want to improve on that.
"We offer cycle proficiency lessons for all year six pupils and Torfaen Council has recently installed new bike storage for 20 bikes which is also going to help."
Mrs Truelove added: "We want children to come to school regularly and enjoy being part of school life, so those with good attendance get the chance to join the pupil committee and groups like the Heddlu Bach volunteers, run with Gwent Police."
"After the pandemic average attendance dropped from 95 per cent to 88 per cent. We have been doing a lot of work to support pupils and families and our average attendance is now around 90 per cent."
As part of Torfaen Council's #NotInMissOut campaign, the school has commissioned an artist to paint an attendance board in the school hall as a permanent reminder of the importance of good attendance.
For more information about the #NotInMissOut campaign, visit our website.
Walking to and from school regularly is just one example of active travel - walking or cycling for short journeys you would otherwise do by car. Find out how you can travel more actively in Torfaen here.