Best feet forward for Maresfield children

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This month pupils from Bonners CofE School in Maresfield are joining forces with thousands of children from across the UK, and over 40 countries worldwide, to celebrate International Walk to School Month.

The school is encouraging the pupils to reap the benefits of walking to school throughout October. Despite the average distance to a pupil’s primary school being one mile, around 50 per cent of children do not walk to school regularly, whilst an enormous 41 per cent are driven in cars.

Head teacher Angela Hamill commented: “We believe walking to school is important and try to encourage as many of our pupils as possible to walk to school in a safe and sensible fashion. Initiatives like this help to get the children excited about walking to school.

“By increasing physical activity every day, not only is it benefiting the pupils’ health, the pupils have the opportunity to burn off some energy before the school day begins and their learning starts.”

It is recommended that children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day and therefore walking to school is the ideal time for children to be active.

Studies have revealed that walking to school reduces stress in children, and simply walking one mile a day was found to curb increases in blood pressure and heart rate in later life. Studies have also revealed that 90 per cent of parents who walk to school with their children believe it’s a great way to spend quality time with them and over a third stated that the journey to and from school is where they find out the most about their child’s day.

Managing director for local housebuilders Ward Homes, which donated 50 high visibility vests and enough armbands and stickers for all pupils, said: “We hope children will be encouraged to walk to school and can stay safe as winter approaches and the dark nights draw in.”