Exning Primary School Junior Road Safety Officers Carrick Needham, left, Eva Szkic, Annabelle James, and Troy Cole with the school’s Modeshift STARS award.

[Source: Suffolk County Council]

Exning Primary School has been named Modeshift STARS Local Primary School of the Year in recognition of its excellence in promoting sustainable travel.

The national awards scheme encourages schools to consider how their pupils can use alternative transport modes to help to reduce congestion, pollution and the risk to pedestrians and cyclists posed by cars.

This benefits not only the local community but also the pupils themselves, as studies show that the way children travel to school can have an enormous impact on their health and wellbeing.

Exning Primary School, in Exning, near Newmarket, has a team of Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSOs), aged between 9 to 11 years old, who promote local and national road safety messaging to fellow pupils.

Pupils have promoted the anti-engine idling message for car users as well as updating parents on recent changes to the Highway Code.

They also took part in the Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel campaign, the UK’s largest inter-school walking, wheeling, scooting, and cycling challenge.

Exning Primary School was previously awarded a Silver Modeshift STARS Award in 2021, having scooped Bronze in 2020.

Head Teacher of Exning Primary School, James Clark, said:

“We are immensely proud of our Junior Road Safety Officers here at Exning Primary.

“They have worked incredibly hard to encourage our whole school family to think sustainably and are fully deserving of this award.

“I’d also like to thank all staff who have supported them, especially Liz Kent, one of our Teaching Assistants, who has been instrumental in the project.”

Councillor Richard Smith, cabinet member for Economic Development, Transport Strategy and Waste, said:

“Congratulations to Exning Primary School for its hard work in earning this impressive accolade.

“The Modeshift STARS initiative is an ideal way for schools, pupils, parents, and the local community to join forces and reduce the impact of the school run, and I would encourage any schools who haven’t yet signed up to the scheme to consider doing so.

“Together we can make active travel an attractive alternative to using the car – saving both fuel bills and the environment.”

Further information on Modeshift STARS can be found on Suffolk County Council’s website and officers from its Travel Plans team are on hand to help schools apply for their accreditation.