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Walking to school

Benefits of walking

Walking is one of the best ways for pupils and staff to travel to and from school.

Some of the benefits include:

  • less traffic congestion and improved air quality in Hackney
  • healthier, more active children, families and staff
  • children arrive at school invigorated and ready to learn
  • parents and carers save money on petrol
  • children can learn how to cross roads safely
  • pupils can gain independence and confidence
  • it’s free

Big WoW and Walk to School Month

The Big WoW is an annual celebration to raise awareness of the Walk once a Week (WoW) campaign and International Walk to School Month in October. WoW encourages children to walk to school to help achieve the recommended 60 minutes per day of physical activity.

A recent analysis of the WoW scheme in Hackney, showed that participating schools have seen an average 34% decrease in pupils travelling to school by car and a corresponding increase in pupils who regularly walk to school.

Lesson Plans

Don’t forget you can use the Big WoW Lesson Plans all year round.

Lessons are aimed at key stage 2, in particular year 5 pupils, although they could be adapted for other year groups. The Big WoW Lesson Plans link to QCA schemes of work for: geography, ICT, history, physical education, English and art and design.

These lesson plans are also designed to support and compliment the resources that are available through Get Set – the official London 2012 education programme..

Walk 4 Life

As part of the Change 4 Life campaign there are some free resources which are great for promoting walking to school.

WoW (Walk Once a Week)

WoW is a simple scheme for your school to get involved in to encourage children to walk to school throughout the year. We provide your school with all the resources including classroom wallcharts.

All you need to do is record the number of children in each class who walk to school, or use another sustainable mode, at least once a week, for the whole month.

Send us your figures and each month we will send you your WoW badges.

Every London Borough is taking part in WoW and 300,000 pupils take part nationally. In London WoW has increased the number of children walking to school by 30%.

To download the application form to join WoW visit the downloads page.

Setting up a WoW Walking Zone

A Walking Zone sets a clearly defined area around the school inside which everybody has to walk in order to qualify for their WoW badge.

The aim of this pack is to involve children in developing a WoW Walking Zone around their school. The pack is primarily aimed at Key Stage 2 and has been designed to link in with QCA schemes of work for geography (Unit 6 – Investigating our Local Area and Unit 8 – Improving the Environment).

Visit the downloads page to download the WoW Walking Zone Pack.

WoW Activity Pack

A fun, informative activity pack supporting the WoW scheme which contains a range of puzzles and challenges for children aged between 7 and 11 years is now available. Visit the downloads page to download a copy.

‘Walk this Way’ Guidance

`Walk this Way’ is a guidance booklet produced by Transport for London. It contains useful information and case studies about what other London schools have done to promote walking to school. The booklet contains details of National campaigns, like WoW and Walk to School Month (WtSM), but also original campaigns that schools have devised themselves. Visit the downloads page to download a copy.

Page updated on: 17 June 2019