Walk Once a Week (WoW) is a national scheme that rewards primary school children who walk, scoot or cycle to school. Typically it is run as Walk on Wednesday and each child who walks at least one day per week for a month receives an attractive collectable badge.
To get involved a school should identify a lead contact to act as ‘WoW co-ordinator’ and get in touch with the council through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let us know what year groups you would like to run WoW for and give an estimate of how many children would qualify for a monthly badge. In autumn 2014 a record 37 Croydon primary schools are taking part in the programme. There are 424 classes involved, expecting to hand out 8000 badges each month.
You can find out more about WoW and download resources from: http://www.livingstreets.org.uk/walk-with-us/walk-to-school.
Walk Once a Week provides easy to use teaching resources following an annual theme and monthly topic. There are fun-facts, competitions and tasks such as word searches which get all pupils engaged, including those who don’t walk to school. Together these promote healthier, active lifestyles and children learn about the importance of air pollution and road safety, and their role in improving both.
A key feature of the programme is that Living Streets, the national coordinators, run a competition for the designs each year, providing an extra way of engaging children in walking. The theme for the coming school year is ‘When I Grow Up’. Each month the badge represents someone’s dream profession! The badge for January 2014 was based on a design by a pupil from Park Hill Infants School, so proved extra popular in the Park Hill area.
Walk Once a Week is simple for teachers to run. On the Wednesday or other chosen day(s) of the week, a quick hands-up survey is recorded on a themed wall chart. A school can opt to use a web-enabled interactive whiteboard instead. At the end of the month a badge is given to every child who had walked every Wednesday. The school must then send the figures to the School Travel Plan team. Resources are delivered termly so we need at least half a term’s notice for a school to take part.
Research in Croydon shows that the scheme is most effective when a child takes part over three years, and at Key Stage 2. A school needs to have an up to date School Travel Plan. In Croydon the council pays for all the basic resources using Transport for London funding, so we require the school to be at least working towards Accreditation. In 2014/15 we also have funding from LBC Public Health so can offer additional incentives and support more schools. We’d like at least half of Croydon primary schools to take part!