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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ponteland pupils free their feet for school run

STUDENTS at Ponteland High School are taking part in a national scheme this week to put their best foot forward and reduce congestion.
The school is doing the Free Your Feet walking challenge during Walk to School Week, which runs until Friday, with the aim of encouraging teenagers to walk more on a daily basis.

The challenge, run by national charity Living Streets through their Step Up campaign and in partnership with Northumberland County Council, encourages students to record the amount of walking they do during the week to be in with a chance of winning an iPod Nano.

Fifty other schools across England will be taking part, but Ponteland High is the first in Northumberland to be involved.

Headteacher Stephen Prandle said: "We are very pleased to be part of this initiative which encourages students to think about both environmental and health issues.

"This project brings these important matters to the attention of our young people in a very practical manner."

While middle school pupils are already taking action to walk more, at high school age only 43 per cent take the trip to school on foot and journeys by car are increasing.

Finding out what is stopping students from walking more, and providing answers, is the key aim of Step Up.

Northumberland County Council School Travel Advisor Tracy Aitken said: "Walk to School Week is already a big event in our year and Free Your Feet is a fantastic new initiative which will enable us to engage with high schools and hopefully encourage more pupils to walk to school."

She added: "This has benefits for both the pupils and the school by increasing the amount of daily exercise taken and also by reducing the number of cars around the school, therefore improving congestion and safety."
A CAR boot table top sale will be held at Whalton First School this Saturday.

It has been organised by the school's PTA to raise money for new reading books.

The event runs from 10am to noon in the playground with space limited.