Staff and students at Oasis Academy Brislington are well aware of the challenge of Global Warming and the small steps we can all take to improve things like air quality locally.
We are working with local partners; Bristol City Council, Sustrans and Living Streets to ensure we are doing all we can to look after our environment.
At Oasis Academy Brislington we encourage staff and students to walk or cycle to school as it helps to keep us healthy and fitter. Research has also shown that being active can help students concentrate better and as a result of this increase their levels of achievement.
Active travel is important for the following reasons:
1. Students are healthier and fitter - young people should have at least one hour of physical activity each and every day - walking or cycling to school helps to contribute to this.
2. Helps tackle climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.
3. Cleaner air – reducing cars helps reduce air pollution around the school gates.
4. Helps students unwind at the end of the day – walking or cycling home gives them time to think.
5. Improves concentration – studies have shown that students who are active are ready to learn and do better in their studies.
6. Helps students become more independent - walking or cycling without parents helps them develop skills for independent living when they are adults.
7. Reduces congestion – as there will be less cars on the road it will make the environment more pleasant for everyone.
8. Quicker than sitting in traffic.
9. Improves road safety at the school gates – because there is reduced traffic and parked cars.
10. Cheaper to walk or cycle – as it saves on fuel.
It can be a challenge for people to make the change but by increasing walking, biking and other modes of active school travel can help to reduce childhood obesity and improve the lives of children and adolescents as well as saving money on busing children to school.
"The benefits to children of walking, cycling or wheeling to school are huge. Being active not only improves their health and fitness, but it is also good for children socially and mentally too"
"It improves their concentration and learning, makes them feel good and builds confidence and social skills - all things essential to the school day ahead.
"Using the journey to school to increase activity levels will help our children to flourish".
Sustrans have very kindly donated a bike tool kit to us. For details of how this can be used please watch the video below:
Below are links to three bike maintenance PDFs that our students may find useful. To open these files the password is: TOOLS
Do any of the following reasons for not actively travelling to school relate to you?
I live too far away – Surprisingly enough it only takes approx. 15 to 20 mins to walk a mile. If you live several miles away you don’t have to walk the whole way, Park & Stride by getting dropped off 5-10 mins away from school and walking the rest, or Park & Pedal and cycle the rest of the way. Getting off a couple of stops early if you travel by public bus and walking the rest will also help you Actively Travel.
Bad weather - Don't let the weather put you off – it might seem obvious but keep an umbrella or a waterproof in your bag just in case, and a scarf and hat are a good idea when it is cold.
I am worried about my child's safety - If you're worried about your child walking alone then maybe get them to arrange to meet a friend or walk in a group.
Too much to carry - A decent backpack is great for carrying your things when walking or riding a bike.
Busy roads - might put you off, but there are lots of different roads, routes and footpaths you could use to get to school. Openstreetmap or Google maps can help you plan a safer route and pick out some quieter roads and traffic-free cycle paths instead of the main roads.
I don’t know if my bike is safe to ride - Like any machine, a bicycle will work better and last longer if you care for it properly. Get in the habit of checking your bike regularly – simple checks and maintenance can help you enjoy a smooth ride to school and avoid repairs. The M check is a simple way to make sure your bike is safe to ride. Check out this 3 minute video explaining the Sustrans M Check. (tinyurl.com/sustransmcheck).
Lack of confidence riding a bike - If you feel that you are not as confident a cyclist as you'd like to be, then check out Bikeability – a cycle training programme replacing cycling proficiency. Bikeability gives everyone the skills and confidence for all kinds of cycling.
Top 10 Tips to get you going on 2 wheels:
1. Plan and practice your route, using cycle paths where they are available.
2. Check your bike is safe to ride before using it (do the M Check!)
3. Be safe and be seen by wearing visible clothing. School uniform is often very dark - try choosing a brighter bag.
4. Get yourself some bike lights - a white one for the front and red for the back so you can see and be seen when it is dark.
5. Wear gloves and a lightweight raincoat during the winter to keep yourself warm.
6. Mudguards are a brilliant bike addition and will help keep you dry.
7. Make sure your helmet is properly fitted – it should feel snug, but not tight.
8. Lock your bike securely when you’re not using it.
9. Consider buddying up with a friend, for some, or all of your journey.
These downloadable maps detail on-road and traffic-free cycleways across Bristol. They are good for getting a general sense of the cycle options in your neighbourhood without planning a specific route. https://betterbybike.info/maps-and-guides/regional-cycle-maps/#bristol
Leisure Rides around Bristol (https://betterbybike.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/10-Cycling-Routes-in-Bristol-June-2018_WEB.pdf)