Promoting Walking

Walking is something everyone can get involved in. You don't need any equipment you just point your feet in the right direction and get out and discover things. There are all sorts of opportunities to promote walking in schools, but the main focus is around Walk to School Week in May, which is co-ordinated by the charity Living Streets and supported by Sustrans.

In 2019, Walk to School Week is happening between Monday 20th May and Friday 24th May. Further details can be found on the Living Streets website here.

There is no assembly presentation this year, but you can use ours here.

There is a parent advice and information guide here.

Your school may wan to join in with Happy Shoesday on Tuesday 21st May. This is where pupils and teaching staff are allowed to come to school wearing the shoes that make them happy. You can find out more by following this link. Register your school here

This can be run periodically throughout the year - some local schools do this, calling it Free Your Feet or Treat Your Feet, so once a term, pupils can wear the shoes of their choice (or fun shoes). You can link in some school fundraising if you wish.

We are running a Green Man competition in Ampthill in 2019 alongside Walk to School Week. Download the entry form here.


Walk Zones: pupils can help set up walk zones around the school, which can be informal or enforced. There is a lesson plan here and more information about what walk zones are here.​

Park and Stride: advice on setting up a park and stride scheme can be found here.

A load more downloadable resources from Living Streets aimed at teachers can be found here.

You can combine a walk with the Sustrans Big Street Survey, where pupils get to know their local area and get to understand how changes around the school could make things nicer and safer for all.

Making Walking a Year Round Thing: Living Streets has a WOW walking challenge. There are loads of great season-based learning resources available on their website. Find out more here.

You could consider incorporating Nordic Walking into PE, which is an inclusive activity that enthuses pupils who perhaps don't get on with sports. Find out more here. A staff member may wish to train up to be an instructor. Alternatively, you may wish to bring a trained instructor to the school.

The Brake Kids Walk is happening on Wednesday 26th June. Watch a video about a school's experience here. You can register your school to take part by following this link. Why not partner up with a rival local school and do exchange walks between the two, with some activities running at either school that visiting pupils can get involved in. Alternatively, arrange a transition walk for pupils moving on to middle or secondary school, so they can think about their new routes to school.

In 2016, Edward Peake Middle School in Biggleswade took part in the Brake Giant Walk. We had a 'walk to school' breakfast with the smoothie bike. Each year group then went for a one-hour walk to Biggleswade Common. At the end of the day we had an assembly thinking about the benefits of walking.

How about a nature trail: Sustrans took some pupils from St Andrew's Lower East Site in Biggleswade out spotting. Most of the pupils lived in the new Kings Reach estate and had just moved to the area. This provided a valuable opportunity for them to acquaint themselves with local routes and gave them some ideas for places to explore in the summer holiday. Have a think about routes around the school and places you could explore. The spotting sheets we used are here and here.

Lets Go Fly a Kite: your school could combine a walk with kite making. The walk up to Dunstable Downs has become a fixture for Dunstable Icknield Lower School. Parent volunteers love the idea and are often keen to help. Watch the film here.

Further ideas can be found here (some ideas from Sustrans officers) and from the British Heart Foundation here.

Schools do lots of local trips which involve a walk. This means you already have everything in place to do a walk. However, if you do want to see a risk assessment, here is ours.